National Moth Week moth appreciation post

Hello everyone! ^^ Happy National Moth Week! To celebrate the occasion, share some of your moth observations!

Lepidopterans are easily some of my favorite creatures to observe. While I’m pretty new to iNat I already have a handful of moths under my belt. Geometer moths like Red Twin-Spot Carpets, Pale Beauties, Canadian Melanolophias and Large Maple Spanworms are frequent sights around my area, and I recently got my first visit from a Rosy Maple!

While I’ve been seeing them around for quite some time, I was never able to get a decent photo of any Snout Moths until recently, so I’m pretty happy about that. I also somehow went from having never seen a Polyphemus Moth up close before to seeing my first one a few weeks ago and having a second one literally on my doorstep not long after. That first one was flying around alot and it was a bit hard to get close to it, but the second one was very friendly and may be my favorite moth encounter I’ve had thus far.

Any fellow moth enjoyers have more moths to show me? :D

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Yesterday, I saw this mint moth and the day before this sunflower moth caterpillar

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I mothed in Sagehen Reserve this past weekend and while the moths were quite good (I’ve seen better in past summers), the mites were awesome! Saw several snout mites hunting, plus mites were on at least two other insects.

It’s a lot of fun to just put up a light or two and see what shows up.

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This Atlas Moth caterpillar was a neat find, and I like the colors and patterns on this Pearl Moth.

One of my former employees here was really into photographing arthropods of all sorts, so our biodiversity collection project has a lot of moths in it. Unfortunately, most of them not identified to species. yet.

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We’ve had a very good moth year in the Rainy River District of Northwestern Ontario. My project for District moths shows some of the finds I’ve had in 2021, including:

My favorite recent observation is this Maple Spanworm, my first for 2021. These moths are adapted to mimic autumn maple leaves that have fallen to the forest floor. To my eye, anyway, the combination of patterns and colors is beautiful.

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All wonderful spots, I’d love to see a promethea for myself someday <3 Nice to see some more love for polyphemus moths as well! ^^

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Since joining iNaturalist I have racked up over 1800 observations of nearly 650 species of moth, it is by far the taxon with both the highest number of species and observations for me.

I do have to give moths a lot of credit for my overall interest towards wildlife in general, mostly due to the sheer biodiversity of them. The fact that they come in all sorts of colors and shapes and sizes fascinates me. Heck even the fact that we can distinguish between two similar species because “one of the spots is shifted inwards etc.” is also an interest factor.

The role they play in their ecosystem, whether as pollinators, as food items, as defoliators of plants etc. should not be underestimated nor taken for granted. We already know so much about their varied life cycles, ecologies etc., and yet that is only for a small percentage of the moths that are described. There are likely a greater number that have yet to be recorded on iNat, yet alone to be described. I’m glad that iNaturalist provided me the “pool to dip my toes in”.

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This geometer moth is one of quite many I saw for the last 4 days in a completely new place for me (and one with only a few insect lovers visiting, it seems), waiting to have an id for it and to submit others!

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Because of my use of iNaturalist, I have discovered the Sphinx Moths (Family Sphingidae), and they have truly become my favorite type of moth. I’ve been fortunate to make several observations of different species, but my favorite by far is the Pandorus Sphinx.

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I close my eyes and I see thousands of western tent caterpillars defoliating entire mountain slopes covered with quaking aspen. The caterpillar is pretty but all those naked trees are ugly. I haven’t see the moth yet.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/86974800

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Since joining iNaturalist I have racked up over 1800 observations of nearly 650 species of moth

Wow, that’s quite an impressive portfolio! :D How long have you been iNatting?

I agree with this, though I also think it applies to insects in general. Though they have a pretty negative reputation among much of the public and are very widely disliked, their importance can’t be overstated and they’re very underappreciated imo. <3

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I have yet to personally run into a Pandorus unfortunately, though they’re one of my favorites as well! One of the first moths I ever encountered that impressed me was actually a sphinx moth as well, H. Livornica I believe. While I still have a photo or two from that day I no longer remember the exact date so I can’t post it as an observation, but it’s still a fond memory <3

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This geometer was hanging out in my back yard one morning. A late sleeper? I believe it’s E. hortaria.

As usual Bird and Moon Comics has a nice moth cartoon posted for National Moth Week: http://www.birdandmoon.com/comic/types-of-moths/

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Aww that’s so cute <33 I love large friends!! What kind of sphinx moth is that in the bottom-middle btw? :o Anyone here know?

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At last I was able to photograph the bagworm moth caterpillars encased in their skillfully made “bags”. Who knows of I will ever see the moths.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/88494135