First but not last… National Moth Week in Las Arrieras Nature Reserve, Costa Rica – Guest post by Dariel Sanabria

Costa Rica is worldwide known by its rich biodiversity. A country full of birds, plants, reptiles, frogs and……. moths! The tropics are home to a vast diversity of this interesting group that is barely known by science. Taking this into consideration, we decided to create a big event for the National Moth Week.

The activity took place at Las Arrieras Nature Reserve, in the Caribbean lowlands of the country, being one of the most diverse regions of Costa Rica! The Reserve protects more than 60 acres of tropical rainforest, rivers, swamps and it also have small patches of disturbed habitat that are in process of reforestation. The variety of habitats enables a lot of niches that moths occupy, resulting in a massive diversity of species!

The event was held on July 27-28. Luck was on our side, as we had perfect climate conditions, despite this being a very rainy place (it is a Rainforest after all). Twelve people participated in the moth-watching event, anxious to learn about these mysterious creatures.

We had three different setups for the moths to be attracted to light (blacklight and fluorescent bulbs were used). Turning on our lights at 18:00, the activity of moths started to warm as the night advanced. The firsts species came from the Crambidae and Pyralidae families, followed by other groups like Notodontidae, Geometridae and Arctiinae appearing later on.

People were especially attracted to the diversity in forms and colors of geometers and tiger moths, but what really caught all of our attention was the enormous Automeris belti with its striking eyelike patterns in the hindwings!

But we not only saw moths, we had nightwalks in the inside of the forest, where we found more insects and frogs! We played a Bingo with the species of moths that were appearing at the traps and games regarding the tropical nature of our country! In the traps we also had the presence of other insects such as praying mantis, giant cockroaches, dobsonflies, beetles, a couple of mantidflies and even a Bullet Ant (the insect responsible of one the most painful stings in the world!).

By the end of the night, everyone was completely satisfied because of the high diversity of moths that we saw and the time spent meeting people that are also interested in this amazing group of insects!

Las Arrieras Nature Reserve showed us more than 120 species of macromoths in only 6 hours! The tropics are incredible and we only can imagine the infinite mysteries that this group is hiding!

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Moth Week event at WWF-India – Guest post by Kaustubh Srikanth

We are delighted to share that WWF-India was invited to participate in the National Moth Week, wherein we organized a moth observation and awareness event at the Secretariat on the 24th July, 2019.

Two moth setups were placed- one near the entrance of the office, while the other was placed in our office’s Butterfly Garden. 

Glad to share that our office backyard is home to over 15 species of moths that were recorded in our backyard itself. Topics regarding moth identification, behaviour, breeding biology and habitats were discussed through informative activities such as moth themed quizzes and moth tambola. The participants were fascinated to spot  the Beet Webworm Moth which was around us through the event.

We had received registrations from 45 participants, but due to rains only 15 were able to make it. Overall we received a positive response on the event organized and we are grateful to have been invited by National Moth Week and Dr. Shubalaxmi Vaylure to guide us in conducting this event.

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First Moth week in Slovakia – Guest post by David Turčáni

For the first time we made mothing event in Slovakia. The organizer was the project Land of Bees, which educates about pollinators, mainly bees. But this year we started a special program about butterflies and moths.  

Our event was held on July 25, 2019. Mothing attracted not only moths, but also people and kids from our local community. We were also pleased by a visitor – 13-year-old enthusiastic entomologist that was talking with such passion about his experiences. We experienced that nature and insects are still attractive for kids. 

We observed approximately 15 species, forexample Phragmatobia fuliginosa, Chiasmia clathrate, Acronicta megacephala, Ematurga atomaria, Chlorissa clorar. Our visitors and even we were so surprised how diverse, colorful and fascinating the moths can be.  

We hope everybody enjoyed this night and we will continue 5th of August with second Moth night. 

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7 Year Old “Little Moth Volunteer” from India – Guest post by Saurabh Singh

National Moth Week is around the corner and the buzz can be felt throughout the scheduled mothing events across the globe, all preparing to make it a grand one. About 40 countries are participating in 2019 edition of NMW and the citizen scientists are waiting eagerly for the moths to glam up their event.

Shreemoyee Das

 

 

Shreemoyee Das (2)A little girl from India, Shreemoyee Das is just 7 year old but her interest towards science and environment is just amazing, every time she gets an opportunity to express her love for nature she beautifully narrates her perspective through her artistic approach and showcases her love through beautiful sketches. She is the youngest volunteer of NMW this edition for us at Jashpur, Chhattisgarh, India.


Shreemoyee Das (3)Shreemoyee has always been on the first notch every time an event is there to serve environment and wildlife. She has been educating their fellow classmates about various creatures of wild and why we need to conserve them. Isn’t this amazing signs for future?? Yes!!! Indeed. I am absolutely sure that Shreemoyee and other kids like her will definitely make this a better planet to live that is degrading day by day.

Shreemoyee Das (1)As always educating a kid is always a good investment to invest on. Keen interest, enthusiasm, energy etc. always on high side and that too with a lifelong awareness be pinned upon their heads. There is a saying that, if you want to educate a society for future and with maximum impact, “educate a child”.

Cheers!!! Happy Mothing

 

 

 

 

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In a War-Torn Country, Moth Watching Offers a Peaceful Diversion

In war-torn Syria, Mudar Salimeh has found an oasis of tranquility by studying moths.


MudarSyria2019 (5)Thanks to Mudar’s interest in moths, Syria is on National Moth Week’s world map for thefirst time since it was started in 2012. He will be setting up lights near a lake in the Mashqita area to observe and photograph moths and invites others to join him.

“I like nature and photographing nature, but I have just started my second year following butterflies and moths,” said Mudar, who adds that he also will be working on the “first Syrian encyclopedia about Lepidoptera.”

MudarSyria2019 (4)“After I saw the event announcement on the National Moth Week website, I said to myself: ‘why I do not join, I am naturally looking for Lepidoptera everywhere’ and because the event specialized in moths, I decided to make overnight camping in the forest.”

He chose  a mountainous area close to a large lake, “part of the coastal mountain range in western Syria, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea,” where he hopes to discover new species.

MudarSyria2019 (6)Mudar says he is still learning about the  moths of Syria, but believes there are many species that deserve attention. “There may be species that are not described in the rest of the world,” he writes. “I think that Syria is the ideal place to get samples from them. “

He hopes to get IDs for his moth photos to properly identify them. National Moth Week recommends that moth-ers submit their photos to our partner organizations listed on the website.  Experts will assist will identification.

MudarSyria2019 (1)Mudar laments that moth watching is not very popular in Syria.

“I live in a country where the war began eight years ago and has not yet ended. This means that there will not be many people to join in the event and maybe I will be there with one or two of my friends,” he said.  

 

“But that will not be frustrating,” he said. ” I am doing this to enjoy myself and certainly will not be alone.”

Mudar’s Syrian Butterflies (and moths) website – click here

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Sandy Lanman

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Why should you register your public or private event with National Moth Week?

Here are some reasons: 

1.National Moth Week provides a central portal for teaching and learning about moths.

Grammiavirgo by CarlBarrentine

Grammiavirgo (Photo: Carl Barrentine)

2. National Moth Week helps researchers see the big picture. Where are people looking at moths? Where is data coming from?

Figure 2 Reproduced by kind permission of Magarell

 

3. We post your event on our events map. This helps people find public events all over the world. 

Royal moth

4. We spotlight great events and groups on our blog (just ask).

5. You’ll receive a beautiful certificate of participation from the NMW team designed by our talented NMW artist Belen Mena.

Jacob2 50 s j

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Sandy Lanman

 

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Moth Breakfast – Guest post by Marnie Crowell

We are looking forward to our annual Moth Breakfast. We hang our moth sheet and UV lights and the moths come. Then comes dawn and enough moths stay to delight the humans who arrive to be amazed at the moths. We serve coffee and doughnuts and sit on the lawn in front of the moth sheet and talk about what fascinating creatures moths are.

MarnieCrowellMothBreakfast
This year promises to be a little different. We have been getting a Luna or two in recent nights. But that’s not new; what is new to us is an invasion of browntail moths. We have had them in the hundreds for the past few nights.

sheet IMG_3261

Sheet covered with Euproctis chrysorrhoea (L.), a.k.a. browntails

This invasive species has been around for some years but only recently made it up the coast of Maine to where we are. They defoliate trees and the urticating hairs on the caterpillars cause severe rash and even respiratory problems for humans.   

We offered workshops and made it a point to remove from public places as many of the browntail winter webs as we could last February. Total eradication is unlikely but perhaps that helped cut down the numbers where we hold our moth breakfast.

 

 

Good moths? Bad moths?  Lovely moths? Fantastic moths? THOUSANDS of species of moths live in Maine. Most all the rest are not a problem. In fact 98% of them are quiet vegetarians that go about their business not bothering us humans.

 

 

This year we may well get both browntails and a Luna or two. You can bet that we will be talking about diversity, ecosystems, balance, and human actions and responsibilities.

Happy moth watching!

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Marnie will be serving Moth Breakfast in Deer Isle, Maine, USA. 

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NMW Celebration at the “Heartland of India” – Guest post by Saurabh Singh

Jashpur Wildlife Welfare Foundation (NGO) is a nonprofit organization based in Jashpur, Chhattisgarh (India) working rigorously on conservation of wildlife since last 2 years and they are celebrating “National Moth Week” at the heartland of India i.e. Jashpur, Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh which accounts of about 12.26 % of forest in India and has third highest forest cover among all states in India is a paradise for nature lovers.

Team members of JWWF with District Collector Sir

Team members of JWWF with District Collector Sir

Jashpur is a small district with mostly tribal population along with lush green forest all around, adding to this the district receives highest rainfall in the state Chhattisgarh which makes it a heaven for biodiversity.

Butterfly Habitat Walk for Kids by JWWF

Butterfly Habitat Walk for Kids by JWWF

The event organized will be a public event conducted on each day during the NMW. A different site will be selected each day for mothing, which will bring diverse observing perspective throughout the NMW. The information of the venue will be communicated to the registered participants. To register for the event one can visit http://www.jwwf.org/national-moth-week.

Oath ceremony to protect environment conducted by JWWF

Oath ceremony to protect environment conducted by JWWF

Alongside this Jashpur Wildlife Welfare Foundation is also calling all the art lovers to express their love for moths through their majestic art works, and will provide exciting gift hampers to them.

Let’s Celebrate!!!

Public meeting with villagers

Public meeting with villagers

Bird Watching organized for tribal kids

Bird Watching organized for tribal kids

Jashpur photo6

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Saurabh Singh is the Director of the Jashpur Wildlife Welfare Foundation

 

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NMW 2018 a huge success on iNaturalist!

iNaturalist had an incredible showing of moths worldwide for National Moth Week. Over 28,000 observations were made during the week from 24 registered countries, and all 50 US states!

Screenshot from iNaturalist showing National Moth Week 2018 project.

Screenshot from iNaturalist showing National Moth Week 2018 project.

Over the course of the week, 3,548 species wee observed and 1,502 community members helped 5,088 iNaturalist users identify their moths. 61% of observations have research grade distinction, meaning that they are deposited as records in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)! Check out the observation totals by continent, country, and states/provinces below!

Map with observations of moths from the NMW 2018 project page of iNaturalist.

Map with observations of moths from the NMW 2018 project page of iNaturalist.

Continent Number of Observations
North America 24136
Europe 2429
Asia 1235
Australia 233
South America 153
Africa 104
Countries Number of Observations
United States 19,131
Canada 4,073
Hong Kong 699
Mexico 680
United Kingdom 377
Australia 233
Russia 132
Spain 82
India 73
Belgium 72
States/Provinces Number of Observations
Ontario 2,952
Texas 2,950
Alabama 2,481
Vermont 2,063
California 1,567
North Carolina 771
Ohio 664
New York 645
Pennsylvania 593
Virginia 499

In the United States alone, 2,031 species were observed for the week, which is incredible considering there are 12,776 species described from North America north of Mexico! This means that 15.9% of all moths described from this region were observed only in one week!

Screen Shot 2019-07-13 at 11.51.59 AMThe National Moth Week team urges you to contribute to science and biodiversity inventories by submitting your National Moth Week findings to iNaturalist! Our 2019 project can be found here and any submissions made for the dates of NMW 2019 (July 21-29) will be included in the project!

Register for NMW here.

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Partner Project Noah Prepares for National Moth Week!

National Moth Week 2019 is just a week away and the nature community at Project Noah is already starting to celebrate! 

 

 

 

During NMW 2018, a variety of moths were spotted on Project Noah throughout the world! Here are a few of our favorites below:

Corymica arnearia, a geometrid moth spotted by Project Noah user Manoj Samuel Grg.

Corymica arnearia, a geometrid moth spotted by Project Noah user Manoj Samuel Grg.

Gorgonidia

Gorgonidia buckleyi, a tiger moth spotted by Project Noah user bayucca.

Hyperchiria bahisa

Hyperchiria bahisa, a beautiful leaf-mimic spotted by Project Noah user Francierlem.

Aglaomorpha plagiata, a tiger moth spotted by Project Noah user DrNamgyalT.Sherpa.

Aglaomorpha plagiata, a tiger moth spotted by Project Noah user DrNamgyalT.Sherpa.

Epia muscosa, spotted by Project Noah user Eduardo Axel Recillas Bautista.

Epia muscosa, spotted by Project Noah user Eduardo Axel Recillas Bautista.

Project Noah has a new user interface! Check out the updated website and submit your moths to the Moths of the World mission today!

Register for National Moth Week 2019 here.

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