National Moth Week in the Philippines – guest post by Leana Lahom-Cristobal

Leana Lahom-Cristobal, an admin of National Moth Week partner Philippine Lepidoptera, summarizes some events in the Philippines during National Moth Week 2016.

The Philippines is a tropical country and the National Moth Week celebration in July falls during the summer monsoon season which brings heavy rains to most of the archipelago. This however does not dampen our enthusiasm to celebrate this event.  Each year Philippine Lepidoptera, Inc. (PhiLep) sponsors moth watching and photography events in Baguio City at the highlands of the Cordillera. But why in Baguio City?

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Though highly urbanized, Baguio City is situated at an altitude of approximately 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) in the Luzon tropical pine forests ecoregion conducive for the growth of mossy plants and trees that are host to a variety of lepidopterans.  Moths are naturally bountiful and attracted to the lights of a mall in the city, hence there is no need to set up sophisticated moth light traps.  Moths cling to nearby plants and walls in the morning before they are predated upon by birds and lizards.

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To celebrate the annual National Moth Week in 2016, Cordilleran’s Photo Sharing (CPS) Facebook group members with Rey M. Abellada representing Philippine Lepidoptera as coach did a moth search photo walk. This was registered with National Moth Week 2016. Rain was heavy in the early morning but still they proceeded with the photo walk when the rain abated.  Philippine Lepidoptera (PhiLep) T-shirts, key chains and book markers were given to participants and guests.

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Follow Philippine Lepidoptera and their adventures on Facebook or on their website.

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Moths of Huntedon County exhibit – Guest post by Jill Dodds

Hunterdon County Library will celebrate National Moth Week with a moth-themed display at their Headquarters site, which is located at 314 State Route 12 in Flemington, New Jersey.

The exhibit will be located on the lower level of the library, and will feature photographs of 70 moths that are known to frequent Hunterdon County backyards.  Visitors will get a glimpse of the incredible diversity in size, shape, color and pattern that may be seen in our local moths, while learning a bit about their habits and behavior.  They will also have an opportunity to vote for their favorite moth!

The display will open on July 7 and will continue through mid-August.  The library is open from 9:00am-5:00 pm on Monday, Friday and Saturday and from 9:00am-9:00pm Tuesday through Thursday.  (Closed on July 4 and on Sundays).

Images for the exhibit were provided by Jill Dodds, a biologist and nature photographer who resides in Hunterdon County.  All of the moths on display are species that she has found in her hometown.  Some of her favorite nature photos, including moths from other parts of New Jersey, may be seen on her blog at http://jillsdodds.tumblr.com/

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Tiger Moths in the spotlight – News Release, 28 June 2017

The colorful, boldly patterned tiger moths are in the spotlight this year for the Sixth Annual National Moth Week taking place throughout the United States and around the world July 22 through 30.        Read more

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India Biodiversity Portal introduces a podcast series for NMW 2017

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India Biodiversity Portal (IBP) has been a NMW partner since 2014.  Over the years India, with the help of IBP, had the the second most number of mothing events per country. For 2017 IBP is producing a series of podcasts about moths and mothing.  The first episode was published on June 20, 2017 and more episodes will air in the coming weeks.

In our first episode of the audio podcast series, we are talking to Nagesh, a maths professor with a special love for nature and wildlife. The appearance of Fibonacci numbers in Nature has always fascinated him. He has been a regular contributor to the National Moth Week and has been uploading observations on the India Biodiversity Portal through the Wildlife Conservation Group (WCG) account where he volunteers.

The strangely beautiful forms, shapes and patterns in moths specially interested him. His goal is to document all the Moths in and around the Bannerghatta National Park near Bangalore, and, make the data available for the scientific community.

Click here to listen to the posdcast

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Art, Science, and Moths? – guest post by Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki

Below is a guest post by Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki, who hosted their event titled the Moth Project, during National Moth Week in 2016. Below, they describe their project and event, which consisted of projecting photos of moths and kaleidoscopic designs to attract moths!

Working under the guise of PlantBot Genetics, artists Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki collaborate with various partners to empower audiences through art and citizen science, promoting environmental literacy and backyard naturalism. This past National Moth Week, they partnered with Entomica, an insectarium based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Canada to host a one-night Moth Project right on the banks of the St. Mary’s River. This public event attracted hordes of newly hatched caddis flies, 30 participants, and a small collection of moths, some of which were easily identifiable.

Moth Tent with ArtLab

During the Moth Project, kaleidoscopic videos of moths and their wing patterns are projected onto reflective tents and even buildings to attract both moths and curious people. Often an accompanying 18′ solar powered trailer or “ArtLab” acts as the stage for these public engagements providing hands-on activities and information on a broad range of environmental topics. Longer programs feature field guides identifying the moths and useful information on how we can support their numbers whether it be planting pollinator friendly plants or refraining from spraying pesticides on a windy day. Audiences are often surprised how easy it is to survey moths in their backyard using various UV emitting lights, a white sheet, and field guide.

Tent#3 Both art and science have the potential to alter perception, foster dialogue, and inspire social change. Each Moth Project is directly linked to the community with moth surveys allowing any participant to become co-investigator and author of localized data. Moths play a vital role in telling us more about the health of our environment. They are widespread, found in diverse habitats, and monitoring their numbers and ranges can give insight into the effects of farming practices, pesticides, air pollution and climate change. Immediate outcomes of these programs allow communities to learn and identify a few local moths which connect people to their own yard and builds a stronger connection between them and nature.

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Events such as National Moth Week not only provides an opportunity to share the incredible diversity of moths but the decline of the pollinator populations and the need to preserve the environment while short-circuiting doomsday predictions. Wendy and Jeff gently share simple steps that any individual can take to nurture local pollinators — an activity that empowers the community long after the event and artists and collaborators have moved on.

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NMW new partner – The Hellenic Biodiversity Center

The ‘Hellenic Biodiversity Center’ is a collectivity and started from 8 friends. The main goal is for people to observe and record the huge biodiversity Greece has. 

Our goals is:

  • To preserve wildlife and biodiversity
  • To observe and record the biodiversity of Greece
  • Rehabilitation of wildlife
  • Spread information about ecological sensitivity of wildlife and environment in Greece

Also on 2012 we had a big project (6 month project) focusing on butterflies. We recorded, with photos, during these 6 months almost 100 butterflies on mt. Pelion (in central Greece).

Every year we ask our members and people of Greece to add their photos to project Noah’s website on “Moths of the world” with the tag (e.g. For NMW 2017), but we also ask them if they can put it also in “Biodiversity of Greece (Hellas)

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T-shirts and much more

Items with the National Moth Week logo are available from RedBubble.  Click on the link below to see clothing options, mugs and travel mugs and other products.  Your purchase helps support National Moth Week, and we thank you for it!

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Moth Breakfast – guest post by Marnie Crowell

The world needs more moth watchers. Every one of you who watches moths might try this during Moth Week: put on a Meet a Moth for Breakfast at your sheet or even porch light from 5 AM to 9 AM.  Invite your friends—a book discussion group, sports team, scout or 4H group, school class, neighborhood, whatever group you might encourage to drop in. It’s  BYOB— bring your own beverage. Donuts will be supplied and moths beautiful and strange will be there.”   

The donuts might be paid for by your local bank, land trust, grocery store, police department, etc. They get good publicity and so do moths. Everyone wins.  MarnieCrowellMothBreakfast

Marnie Crowell is a nature writer. She participates in NMW in Maine, USA.

 

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The Hamper Trap—Guest Post by Dr. Carl Barrentine

Carl Barrentine, one of our NMW team members, has kindly shared with us an excellent portable strategy for live-trapping moths. 

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Candidly, the notion for the ‘hamper trap’ was actually crystallized when Katsumi Ishizuka shared images of his ‘bait trap’ for collecting underwing moths (Catocala).

I’d employed the standard ‘bed sheet’ technique for years, but was  frustrated that the ‘sheet’ technique was somewhat unsatisfactory  because moths were generally only drawn to just one side of the illuminated sheet.  This problem is solved, of course, by merely raising (or suspending) the light above the top of the sheet.  But my pole, the one I lugged around for my mercury vapor light, was too short to resolve the problem.

A couple of years ago I thought about the notion of purchasing a ‘mosquito tent’ (popular here in North Dakota), and placing the mercury vapor light inside, at the center of the tent.  In principle, moths might then be drawn from all compass directions to the light (from 360 degrees rather than 180 degrees, as with the sheet), and alight on the outside surface of the mosquito netting of the tent itself.

But, after weighing the pros and cons, of the ‘mosquito tent’ idea, I decided that it was really too cumbersome for easy portability and set-up.  I needed something smaller.  And that’s when Ishizuka’s ‘bait trap’ catalyzed the notion of the ‘light-baited’ ‘hamper trap’.

Last year I fiddled with a couple iterations of the design, using two different types of inexpensive collapsible ‘laundry hampers’ that were available at the local Walmart (see photos).   What I like about the ‘hamper trap’ is that the whole shebang (1) fits easily in the trunk of my car, (2) takes just minutes for just one person to set up, and (3) it can be employed on overnight trapping excursions (just like my mercury vapor-powered ‘bucket trap).

Check out a video of the hamper trap below:

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Mothography 101, Guest post by Warren Krupsaw

 

Luna moth

Luna moth

Warren Krupsaw shares his technique and tips on how to photograph moths. Click on the link below to read more.

We all have our cross to bear; mine weighed 23 pounds. Camera on tripod, 4 other lenses, plus all the other stuff a well-prepared nature photographer (landscape & detail) should have on hand. And now, after more than four decades of serious photography, I wanted to ADD to it with the acquisition of a Canon G-9 as a back-up camera? I must be crazy (or so my wife thought).

That was three years ago. Now I’m using a G-11 for ALL my photography and find that it will accomplish approximately 90% of what my weightier, full-fledged system would do without making a bad back worse.

Fooling around with my new point & shoot (I prefer to think of it as “compose & shoot”), I held the camera in one hand and attempted to photograph the finger-tip of my other hand. Lo and Behold, it worked! The finger-tip was in focus so now it occurred to me it could be used to show scale as well as a setting for the proper subject.  Click here to read more.

 

Mothography 101

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