I went mothing again last night. Very close to my home. A 5 minute drive. Two traps. Cooler last night, out of the breeze and very light mizzle. The moths were flying but not in the same numbers we had at Ping Tun. Too cool. Hundreds of Plutodes costatus and a couple of Plutodes flavescens. These are crappy photos by anybody’s standards but you see, I was distracted. Here they are anyway as another example of why moths are neither drab nor boring.
I love the squiggly lines on flavescens. I am sure they have a scientific term, probably dentate fascia or something like that. Dabblers don’t worry too much about that. Squiggly is good for me.
What distracted me was the larvae. Caterpillars to the man or woman on the Clapham omnibus. Lots of them. Chomping away in the undergrowth, rudely disturbed by a horde of 5 people with torches and cameras. Although we were mothing (or nothing as my spellchecker insists we should be) a number of these were butterfly larvae. But no matter, a lep is a lep and we have no prejudice against butterflies. So here is a selection of last night’s larvae.
Can you see the twiggy thing below, running diagonally bottom left to top right – that’s a geometrid larva.
The next one I thought I knew but having looked in the book there are too many similar and I would hate to mislead you. The one after……. no idea. Yet.
Now I also have some nice photos of spiders and cockroaches from last night. However my sense is that you are not big fans of either of these. But perhaps I can tempt you with an ant. A spiny ant, of the genus Polyrhachis. Here it is and I call it Norman after the legendary Spiny Norman.
Isn’t Norman cute?
On a serious note (?) I find flash photography at night very difficult. I can do daytime fill flash to lift shadows, bounce flash off the ceiling etc, diffused flash……….. but I really need someone to teach me how to get the best out of my flashguns when I am shooting creepy crawlies at night. Despite the reasonable shutter speeds a number of these images are not sharp or lack DoF as I struggled to balance aperture and shutter speed with flash output. I see some amazing images from real (non-dabbler) wildlife photographers so there must be something I am messing up. With the brilliance of Lightroom and Photoshop I have rescued a number of them but some are just, well, blurgh. The top 2 I wouldn’t normally post – don’t pass the quality test – but they are attractive. My very last shot is just a section of the hood of one of the traps so you can see the numbers of Plutodes costatus in a small area. It must have been a fresh emergence. I even found one in the car this morning but don’t tell Mrs. Ha.
And on that merry note I hope you have enjoyed Larva Minute.