Like moths to a flame

Everybody knows that moths are dull, drab, night-time things that are outshone in every respect by their butterfly friends.  Except they are not. Tonight I am going moth trapping. The two experts I am going with are serious scientists. I am a dabbler. Enthusiastic yes. But a dabbler. (It’s that ‘nearly man’ syndrome again). Usually we run 4 or 5 Robinson traps and maybe a white sheet with a cold lamp. The Robinsons will have 125w mercury vapour lamps in them and all will be powered of a generator. You can’t plug in to the mains where we go! The moths are identified, recorded and set free. Unless they are unfortunate enough to be very rare. In which case………

Here to illustrate that moths don’t deserve their reputation is a selection from my photographic collection of HK moths.

“Cataclysta” angulata group

“Cataclysta” angulata group

Dichocrocis zebralis

Dichocrocis zebralis

Death by Drowning

Death by Drowning

Episteme lectrix

Episteme lectrix

Eterusia aedea

Eterusia aedea

Lophoruza pulcherrima

Lophoruza pulcherrima

Pergesa acteus

Pergesa acteus

Plutodes flavescens

Plutodes flavescens

I have a very busy day tomorrow but if I get time I shall report back on how we did. Fingers crossed that the rain holds off.

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16 thoughts on “Like moths to a flame

  1. Well if you don’t let the rare ones go they will become even more rare won’t they? Seems to defeat the object there.

    They are nice, an amazing variety there. I tried to get a rather pretty one perched on the white wall of our finca. Failed miserably. There endeth my history of mothtography.

    • Rarities are usually vagrants, Rough Seas. They are often common somewhere else. If they are a first for HK then usually a type specimen will be taken to properly describe and ensure identification is correct. If there is indeed a local population not previously discovered then the habitat will be considered to see if it under threat . We need to know the larval food plant if possible – if the caterpillars have nothing to eat then they will die come what may. If taking one specimen threatens the population then it will surely die out anyway. Sometimes conservationists do need to take specimens and the experts I go with are properly licensed.

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