Thursday, July 30, 2009

beginning to moth!

It's been impossible to see any good birds lately, or even go out during the day other than rushing to and from my car. It's been a fury of packing, paring down the crap, throwing away tons of papers and trash, and cleaning -- for me, for Matty, and for AB! It's been crazy. Still, I'm staying out at a nice house with AB while she dog-sits for someone, so it's been like having a hotel away from home. (Besides, my bed and the rest of my belongings left for California yesterday on the moving truck.)

I sometimes walk the dog, and I've noticed all these moths everywhere, especially at night. The ones in previous posts were seen in the late afternoon, but last night (after a hard night of cleaning out my apartment and carrying down ELEVEN bags of trash to the curb) I turned on the lights, took the dog for a walk, and came back to find a beautiful assortment of moths!

The night photography is a challenge; I just had the outside lights on, and those moths never want to land in a nice place that's well lighted. And they fly around crazy and sometimes hit me (ALWAYS in the face, those jerks!), and I have to wait for them to land so I can get a decent pic. Still, it's really neat to see the different ones in all their splendor. Just like birds, some are plain and nondescript while others are like the Blackburnians of the moth world, flashing their crazy colors. There are tiny ones and huge ones, all of them with their distinct shapes and anatomy. It's cool stuff, and it's satisfying my urge to "Document and Identify!" which is what started me birding too.

Just making sense out of a crazy natural world, I guess. It's making me a little insane that the autumn migration is starting already and I'm missing it, but I figure I'll bird myself into a delirium when I get to California, so for now I'll play with some other stuff.

And now... it's time for... moths on parade!
Sorry for the blurry on this one, but it's hard to get my silly camera to focus sometimes. Isn't he pretty? I thought it was a Crambidae (this guess was updated in 2012 when I got a clue) species, but someone found something similar and calls it a Gelechioidea species. Help? I wish I could've gotten a better photo but he flew right after I snapped this. What, moths don't like flashbulbs? Sheesh.

This guy made me draw my breath in and giggle with glee; is that a beautiful moth or what? He's definitely a Showy McShowoff, otherwise known as a harnessed tiger moth or Apantesis phalerata.


This one is scary. No idea what it is. Maybe a kind of Pyralid? I don't know.

This is a type of plume moth, which is a very cool kind of moth. I think this is an Emmelina monodactyla, but I'm not sure.

I THINK this is a dingy cutworm moth or Feltia jaculifera. The markings are right but he's darker than the example on Bug Guide. Perhaps it's a male/female thing?

No clue.

Another Crambidae?, no idea what kind.

Um, yes.... No idea. But his wings are funny-shaped like some kinds of Geometrids. But here he is again, comin' atcha!Look at those crazy psycho eyes! Run for your lives!

Do you know how many gray moths there are? SQUILLIONS, that's how many. I looked at moth pics until I was cross-eyed. I think this next one might be the same kind, only he's patterned. No idea.Someone help me.


These two images are of a banded tussock moth, or Halysidota tessellaris.

I called this one "dayglo moth" because of that bright salmon pink on him. He is a Hypoprepia fucosa, or painted lichen moth.

Right. It's a moth. With whiskers.

Yet another white Crambidae-looking moth.

Is this a mosquito hawk? Did you know mosquito hawks bite? I tried to save one, to take him outside instead of letting him stay trapped on my three-season porch at the Marsh House, and the little *(!$%*^ bit me! And it hurt for several days!

Is this a katydid? I would see his little wings move ever so quickly and slightly, and at the same time I heard a sharp little "chirp!"


I'm exhausted! And I still haven't finished IDing all these moths. Give me a hand, mothy people!

Sources consulted:
--a Bing! search of "common moths photos"
--Bug Guide's moth search
--W.J. Holland's The Moth Book, which I downloaded for free from the web thanks to a tip from Patrick

9 comments:

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I wish I knew more about moths- I'm a moth dunce.

LOVE the McShowoff moth! Really pretty. The one with the sticking-out-the-sides-wing-things reminds me of a hammer-head shark.

Good luck with your last minute arrangements and

SAFE TRAVELS!!!!

John said...

Here are a few suggestions based on the Kaufman insect guide:

The one with a long snout, which you call a Pyralid, might be a Sod Webworm or another Crambid.

The one labeled "Someone help me" looks like a Common Gray (Anavitrinella pampinaria).

John said...

By the way, the link for the moth book points to the wrong page. It should be this one: http://www.archive.org/details/mothbookpopularg00holla

Crafty Green Poet said...

I wish i knoew more about moths. The harnessed tiger moths is gorgeous, what wonderful patterns... the plume moth too,

Earl Cootie said...

I can't even identify butterflies beyond monarchs and tiger swallowtails. Moths are way beyond my ken.

I hope you're having a safe and fun-filled journey!

dAwN said...

Way cool looking moths here! Cant help with the ID..but certainly wouldnt mind knowing myself what these are..will subscribe to comments to see if anyone else knows..

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Life in Egypt said...

the snowy egret. is the little white egret ( Egretta garzetta)
up your way they have yellow around the eyes.here in Egypt they have black markings.

ehunter said...

These are some cool moths! You've inspired me to start looking more closely for what might be around here. Of course, I'll now have to wait until next summer.

That Plume Moth is wild.

Also, I was just at the Pawnee Grasslands last month. Great place.