I’ve always preferred moths to butterflies. They aren’t flashy or cocky; they mind their own business and just try to blend in with their surroundings and live their lives.
National Moth Week ended yesterday and I managed to miss most of it for a variety of lame reasons. But, even though I failed to put out my moth light (which is at work for summer camp use), I did manage to find some cool moths hanging out at lights or ones I flushed from their hiding place as I went about my work. With your permission, I’m going to cheat a little and present a few that I photographed outside the official moth week window. The group includes several that are new to me and several that meant more because I have photographed their larval forms in the past. So, get outside and look around, the beauty and variety of moths is astounding!
I found several large sphinx moths (most sphinx larvae are known as hornworms due to a prominent tail spike). They are the fighter jets in the moth world, typically with a sleek shape and rapid flight.
It was also a good week for the underwings, so named because they tend to have bright colors on their hind wings that are only revealed when they open their forewings (this may serve as a predator avoidance aid when flashed).
It was a good week for little green moths…
The biggest surprise was a rather innocuous-looking little moth found outside one of the entryways to the office. As is often the case, a close-up image showed some beautiful patterns and subtle colors that I might have otherwise missed. But the shocker came when I identified it and saw its name – Wasp Parasitizer. That’s right, this little moth lays its eggs on paper wasp nests and its larvae consume the larvae and pupae of the wasps! The natural world, literally just outside our doors, is truly amazing.