Moths and fashion

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.

Aetholix flavibasalis

Aetholix flavibasalis

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.

Ephemera sp.
Ephemera sp.
Erebus ephesperis

Erebus ephesperis

Eudocima homaeana

Eudocima homaeana

Damn! The next one is / are caddis flies so they are gatecrashers too. I’m not doing very well at the sequencing here.

Macrostemum sp.
Macrostemum sp.
(Near?) Arctioblepsis rubida

(Near?) Arctioblepsis rubida

Not yet ID'd by me

Not yet ID’d by me

Parum colligatum

Parum colligatum

Phalera grotei

Phalera grotei

Pterogonia episcopalis

Pterogonia episcopalis

And a couple of guests.

Spider

Spider

Stick insect

Stick insect

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.

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21 thoughts on “Moths and fashion

  1. This is vintage Andrew churning out some delightful narrative and entertaining photos. Not bad at all for a dabbler and speaks well of dabblers of all persuasions. Did you know, but of course you must, dabblers are responsible for many discoveries of new species and behaviors? 🙂
    Anyways…..the results are better than advertised and the order not important for my pleasures
    I am on the edge of my seat in anticipation….seriously. 🙂

  2. Wonderful, glad we don’t have chafers here. Some beautiful moths and friends here. I especially like the Eudocima homaeana. Does something significant occur on Wednesday?

  3. Stick insects?! They can’t be remotely novel. You must have had them at school. Everyone did back then. Not as much taking home the stick insects as Hammy the hamster.

    I like the spider. And his technical scientific name. I like the moth with the big eyes on the wings too.

  4. Oh h—! everyone has such technical mentions of the lepto thingys. Does that mean that everbody is smarter than I? 🙂 I’ll just say it sounded like pure misery to me but hey when you get photos such as these then being miserable is okay as long as it does’t kill you. Just kidding again. The moths are marvelous and quite nice for the eyes. I’ll pass on the spiders. Interesting post, Andrew. Classic or vintage? Either way it is far better than being called elderly and no less than about twice weekly receiving ads in the mail for hearing aids and full sets of dentures. 🙂 I called one place up two years ago and told them where to stick it and to cease and desist on the ads since I had my own teeth and I hear quite well. 🙂 I hope you are not hounded over in Hong Kong as the vultures hound the over 65 people here.

    • Yvonne, the worst example I remember was Barclays Bank sending my father a letter asking if he wanted life assurance. Unfortunately he had died a month earlier. The same bank, after 40 years of banking my mother, decided she ought to have her cheque books and correspondence in Welsh. It took me a while to sort that out too. I don’t mind classic or vintage. As long as I can still photograph!

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