You didn’t think moths were fashion conscious did you? Well I can now reveal that they are. This seasons colour is blue. All will be revealed later.
We were very lucky with the weather yesterday evening. A very light breeze, just a soupçon of drizzly mist and a nice, cool, low 20’s-something C. The technology however was less successful on my part. Wandering around remote places (where there is no telephone signal) in the dark requires a torch or a head lamp. I opt for a head lamp as it leaves my hands free for photography. I took mine with me but the battery gave out after less than 5 minutes. Not a very auspicious start. Once the traps were set up I had light in their immediate vicinity but walking the stream bed in the dark to get from one to t’other was tricky. So I played grandfather’s footsteps with the two scientists.
Then I had camera problems. It would not focus. And the flash seemed erratic. I still do not know why the camera was struggling to focus but I now have theories. One is that with the twin flash attached I can’t use a lens hood. It may have been flare from the MV lamps confusing the focus mechanism. Theory two is that my vario-focals were causing me to misalign my focussing and I simply wasn’t getting enough contrast to allow the AF to work. So I have less decent photos than I should have. But fear not, because there are enough to keep a blog going.
I mentioned blue. I should have realised immediately that I was the odd dabbler out. Both the scientists were wearing blue. I was not. One scientist actually earns money from being a scientist so he should know what the dans le vent moth fancies in 2013. The other scientist masquerades by day as a very senior lawyer in The City. Despite that he is a thoroughly decent chap. And Lulu quite likes him. The moths were constantly attracted to the boys in blue and so you will note a few images of moths taken on a blue shirt or sweater. Luckily they also attracted the chafers and kept them away from me.
If you have never been at a trap late into the night in the sub/tropics it might surprise you what you can get bombarded with. Green chafer beetles hurt when they hit you. Indeed one scientist insisted that a Chinook helicopter had hit his head. I checked but saw no rotor blades. Longhorn beetles crawl up your leg. Mosquitoes get inside your shirt. Termites bang you on the nose. But the bullet-like chafers are surely the worst. Like Mister Magoo they blunder about unable to work out the difference between a bush and a scientist or dabbler. Should I ever discover a new to science species of chafer I shall name it Anomola magooei.
The worst thing to attack me last night was a blattid. Probably a Rhabdoblatta. Blattids are cockroaches but the wild ones are quite decent chaps and totally unlike the ill-mannered louts that scuttle about the house in urgent need of an ASBO. I tried to take its photo but it legged it. Anyway, enough of this preamble, where are the moths you cry? I shall put my hand into the lepidopteran top-hat and see what I can pull out for you. Please note that there is a spider further down if you suffer from arachnophobia.
This next one is not a moth and should be lower down in the section “Late Arrivals at the Moth-trappers Ball” but I can’t be bothered to move it now.
Damn! The next one is / are caddis flies so they are gatecrashers too. I’m not doing very well at the sequencing here.
And a couple of guests.
Don’t miss the next gripping instalment of The Great Dabblero’s Moth Show. We are scheduled to go out on Thursday but as always the weather will determine whether we do or not.