Tag Archives: The Moth and Me

The Moth and Me #12

The latest edition of The Moth and Me, #12, is up over at The Skeptical Moth. Chris has done a great job compiling the varied posts, in the process reflecting on his own “mothing journey”. You should, at the very least, head over to check out this month’s TMaM – but while you’re there, spend some time browsing some of Chris’s other excellent content, too!

TMaM heads to Today in NJ Birding History for edition #13 – and despite convention, I consider 13 to be a lucky number, so make sure you remember to participate in what will surely be an outstanding edition! Send your submission to Jennifer (ammodramus88 AT gmail.com) or to myself (canadianowlet AT gmail.com) by July 13.

We’re looking for hosts for August and beyond! It’s easy and fun, and only takes an hour or two (or several, if you’re the type to go crazy with it…). If you’re interested in hosting, send me an email indicating what month you’d like to sign up for.

The Moth and Me #10

The latest edition of The Moth and Me, the blog carnival dedicated to our favourite club-less lepidopterans, has been posted at my other blog, The Marvelous in Nature.

The next The Moth and Me will be hosted by Ted at Beetles in the Bushsend him your posts by May 13th for inclusion in the next edition!

We have a host lined up for July, but June and August through November are still awaiting hosts. If you think this sounds like fun (and it is!), drop me a note at canadianowlet [at] gmail [dot] com to sign up or find out more.

The Moth and Me #9

It’s been three long, empty months, but just as our moths are beginning to return to our porch lights here in the northern hemisphere, so too does The Moth and Me make a return to the blogosphere. The Moth and Me #9 is now up at Xenogere. Jason shares with us an encounter and conversation with a female Woolly Gray, Lycia ypsilon – a species of moth where the females lack functional wings. Into his story he weaves all of this month’s great contributions. Make sure you pop over to check it out!

6651 - Lycia ursaria - Stout Spanworm (3)

Not a Woolly Gray, but related. This is my local species of Lycia: a Stout Spanworm, Lycia ursaria. Looks similar. This one's a male. They'll be on the wing soon.

The Moth and Me #8

This month’s edition is the final one of 2009, and was hosted by Susannah of Wanderin’ Weeta. Check out the excellent assortment of moth-related blog posts that she’s assembled to give us another reason to be glad the earth is not flat.

The Moth and Me will return in March 2010, when it will be hosted by Jason of Xenogere. Send your submissions to jason AT xenogere D0T com by March 13th. We’re looking for hosts for April 2010 and beyond. If you’re interested in hosting, send me a note at sanderling AT symbiotic D0T ca.

The Moth and Me #7

The Moth and Me #7 is now up at Reflections on the Catawba. Lori runs a Tuesday Night Moth Club in western North Carolina as a regular event for the nature park where she works. She’s relatively new both to moths and to blog carnivals, so let’s all pop over and make her feel welcome! While you’re there, check out some of the links she’s posted on how to get started in mothing, see some of her latest catch, and check out all the other goodies submitted to her or that she’s collected from around the web.

The November edition, #8, will be hosted by Susannah over at Wanderin’ Weeta. Even though here in the northern hemisphere our snow-less season is drawing to a close, there’s still some last few moths to be caught on the warmest nights. Folks further south of the border might yet find things on the wing for a couple of months. Blog about what you find and send your links to Susannah (wanderinweeta AT gmail D0T com) or myself (sanderling AT symbiotic D0T ca) by November 13.

The Moth and Me will be on hiatus for the northern hemisphere winter, December through February. We’re looking for hosts for March 2010 and beyond next year. If you think you might be interested, drop me a note with the month you’d like and I’ll pencil you in.

The Moth and Me #6

The September edition of The Moth and Me, #6, is now posted at my main blog, The Marvelous in Nature. Pop over to check it out!

The October edition, #7, will be hosted by Lori at Reflections on the Catawba. Send me (sanderling [at] symbiotic [dot] ca) or Lori (loriowenby [at] gmail [dot] com) your submissions by October 13th.

We’re looking for hosts for March and beyond. If you think you’d be interested, drop me a line at sanderling [at] symbiotic [dot] ca.

The Moth and Me #5

It has been a hectic summer. Between the move (both packing up and getting settled) and a few other personal happenings the months have just flown by. Some things have fallen by the wayside as a result. This blog has been one of them, and The Moth and Me likewise was put on the backburner. I had received no submissions, and lacking the time to actively go out to round up links myself, I’d decided not to worry about getting it done.

New blogger and moth’er Matt Sarver of The Modern Naturalist discovered the blog and was excited about the prospect of a blog carnival for moths. Noting that I had missed the deadline I’d indicated for posting the carnival, he offered to pull it together himself this month. I was pleased and grateful to accept his offer. Matt did a great job with The Moth and Me #5, which he is hosting over at his own blog. Make sure you pop over to check out the August edition.

Because I anticipate having less time to devote to this blog, and because I think it might foster more interest in the carnival, I’m sending it roaming. Although initially I’d planned to have each edition hosted here, I think it makes more sense to invite participants to host the different editions, which would hopefully be mutually beneficial in providing exposure to both the carnival and the hosting blog.

If you’re interested in being a host, we’d love to have you on board! It’s a fun way to see some new blogs and also learn a bit more about moths. We’re looking for hosts for September (to be posted on or about the 15th), October and November this year, and March next year and beyond. If any of these months appeal to you, send me a note at sanderling [at] symbiotic [dot] ca indicating which month, and providing the name and address of your blog, or leave a comment here.

Happy mothing!

The Moth and Me #4

Another busy month has come and gone! Dan and I are in the throes of moving plans, preparing to vacate this house and settle into the new one at the end of the month. In between all that we’re trying to get some work done, and I’ve also been going out to help Dan with his fieldwork, which requires rising at 3:30am and unavoidably cuts into my evening blogging time. Whew! At least, once we’re moved, we should have a bit more time for things I hope. I’ve been continuing to post to my primary blog, The Marvelous in Nature, but my other pursuits are being squeezed.

For this edition of The Moth and Me, I thought I’d try something a little different. Included below are photos taken from each post. I haven’t given any details about any of the moths shown here for a reason. I’m offering a contest to readers: visit each link and find out the name of the moth (common is fine, scientific if no common is given), and the country that the moth is from (ie., the home country of the blog). Email me with your answers (sanderling [at] symbiotic [dot] ca) on or before Thursday June 25th. Include “TMaM contest” in your subject line so it doesn’t get lost in my inbox.

Everyone who has all of the answers correct will be entered into a draw for a $5 Amazon.com gift certificate (or the Amazon appropriate to your country). So okay, it’s not the $20,000 that Canon Canada is giving away, but I rather suspect your odds are better, and it certainly involves less work. And who wouldn’t like $5 off that book they’ve been eyeing for the last month?

Without further ado, the moths for this month. Good luck!

#1. Ben Cruachan
Ben Cruachan

#2. Beetles in the Bush
Beetles in the Bush

#3. Catalogue of Organisms
catalogue of organisms

#4. Gossamer Tapestry
Gossamer2

#5. Martin’s Moths
Martin's Moths

#6. Medlar Comfits
Medlar Comfits

#7. Mersea Wildlife
Mersea Wildlife

#8. MostlyMacro
Mostlymacro

#9. The Natural Stone
Natural Stone

#10. The Nature of Robertson
Nature of Robertson

#11. North Downs and Beyond
North downs

#12. The Ohio Nature Blog
Ohio Nature

#13. A Passion for Nature
Passion for Nature

#14. Rich Ford’s Birding Diary
Rich Ford

#15. Roundtop Ruminations
Roundtop Ruminations

#16. Sense of Misplaced
Sense of Misplaced

#17. St Margaret’s at Cliffe Photo Diary
St Margaret's

#18. Urban Moths
Urban Moths

#19. Willow House Chronicles
Willow House

#20. Yorkshire Moths
Yorkshire Coast

#21. The Marvelous in Nature
Marvelous in nature

All photos copyright their respective photographers/bloggers.

The Moth and Me #3

Here it is, a tad late! I am visiting my parents this weekend, and ran into internet trouble. I’m sure that Murphy has a cousin who is responsible for the inevitability that if you have a deadline on something computer-related, there will be some sort of issue that will prevent you from meeting that deadline. It seems to happen to me too often for it simply to be coincidence. Or perhaps you just notice and remember those occasions more than the times where something happened but you weren’t up against any pressing deadlines. Or where you were up against a deadline but nothing happened.

7746 - Automeris io - Io Moth (2)
Io Moth, Automeris io

Regardless, here it is now! Spring is moving along at breakneck pace here in the north, and the moths are really beginning to appear in numbers. A good warm night can see the sheet covered in small furry bodies, and the trap stuffed with exciting things.

Just recently, for instance, I’ve started seeing the big silk moths and sphinx moths out flying in the evening, and have even turned up a few in the trap, such as the stunning male Io Moth above. I’ve posted a few of my most recent catch over at my own blog.

In the southern hemisphere, the season is wrapping up. Back in April, when moths were still fairly abundant, Duncan of Ben Cruachan blogged about some of the variety of moths he was seeing in his local patch of Victoria, Australia, and invited readers to join the obsession.

If Ben’s moths weren’t enough to hook you, swing by BunyipCo to check out an assortment of awesome Tiger Moths of Queensland, Australia. Although the stereotypical North American tiger moth is striped peachy-orange and black like its namesake, they actually come in a great variety of colours and shapes.

In another part of the continent, William at Esperance Fauna shares his encounter with a Southern Old Lady Moth, a large, lovely fawn-coloured species.

If you want a really big moth, though, head over to Ugly Overload for a Giant Wood Moth. At 3.5″ long it’s a good thing it’s a docile moth.

Also on Ugly Overload, someone sent in a great head-on macro shot of Eupackardia calleta, the Calleta Silkmoth, a native to the North American southwest. Although a very stunning species in ordinary encounters, it does have a very evil look to it in this photo.

Speaking of no-do-gooders, Susannah of Wanderin’ Weeta, in British Columbia, had a difficult time getting a photo of her fugitive moth, an Indian Meal Moth, that slipped in with her dried goods.

Though the mothing season may be picking up for some, for The Moth Man things are still slow in his garden in Ontario. He shares with us a couple of loopers that were one of just a handful of species to grace his trap so far.

This is the time of year where the large and eye-catching silk moths start flying. Unsurprisingly, they’re a popular subject in the blogosphere right now, and most especially the large, soft green Luna Moth. Darlene of Dirt Road Heaven, Karen of World of Karen, Daisy of Ananda, and artist Sheila Thornton all share their encounters with this beautiful moth.

7757 - Antheraea polyphemus - Polyphemus Moth
Polyphemus Moth, Antheraea polyphemus

Of course, the Luna is not the only silk moth to be catching eyes; at Elfspeak the blogger shares a Polyphemus Moth found at her porch light one evening. Shortly after, she finds a female at her work.

Over at Moonraking in Indiana, the author shares the story of some silk moths raised by his daughters’ preschool class. The teacher has been breeding them and sharing them with the class, and his daughters got to bring two home.

In southern California, “Vanessa” of Am I Bugging You Yet? discovered a Large Yellow Underwing, a fairly common species found across much of the continent, which popped out of a small bush during a search for mantids.

In Illinois, Doug at Gossamer Tapestry also had a daytime encounter with a diurnal moth; his was an Eight-spotted Forester (check out those orange leggings).

From a bit further south, Martin of Nature in the Ozarks shares his sighting of a Hollow-spotted Plagodis (the spots are not see-through, and the origin of the common name is unclear).

On the other hand, Hummingbird Clearwing moths really do have clear wings, as Aydin of Snail’s Tales shows us using a dead individual found on the sidewalk of a shopping centre in Maryland.

Another sphinx moth appears on the blog of Desert Survivor, who was graced by many White-lined Sphinx Moths visiting the flowers of her garden in the American southwest.

Julie Zickefoose was on a birding trip in West Virginia when she came across a mudpuddling group of Pipevine Swallowtails – and a Nessus Sphinx, which joined the butterflies in looking for the minerals in the mud.

Moving across the pond to England, the blogger behind Tidelines found a Poplar Hawkmoth along a path in a Yorkshire seaside town.

7388 - Xanthorhoe ferrugata - Red Twin-Spot
Red Twin-spot, Xanthorhoe ferrugata

Somewhere further down the shore, Leew of Yorkshire Coast posts a couple of photos of two species of carpet caught in the moth trap one night.

Robert of Robert Laughton Bird Photography doesn’t have any photos of carpets (though he did catch some), but does share a great variety of other interesting species from his trap in Bristol. Included among these are some great Puss Moths, large, striking black-and-white moths.

Some really great photos of Puss Moths can be found over at Mostlymacro, where Dean posts a series following the moth from caterpillar to adult. Included is a series that shows the wings expanding after emergence from the cocoon; it’s amazing they can grow so much!

Another assortment of photos is presented by Tony at St. Margaret’s at Cliffe Photo Diary, though he and a commenter note that mothing has been slow recently.

Also lamenting the low abundance of moths was Steve of North Downs and Beyond, but he shares a Light Brocade with the observation that “even a ‘duff’ year can produce the goods at a local level”, and offers the encouragment to “keep on keeping on”.

That’s it for this edition of The Moth and Me. Get your submissions for the next one in to me by June 13 at sanderling [at] symbiotic [dot] ca. In the meantime, get out there and get mothing! For us northern hemisphere-ers, we’re just starting to head into the best part of the year!

The Moth and Me #2

Spring is slowly, gently settling in here in eastern Ontario, and despite some snow last week, we are actually experiencing sunny weather and mild temperatures, on and off again. Right now we’re on again. There is almost nothing quite as satisfying as stepping out on a glorious spring morning, the sun warm on your back, and checking out all of the new shoots and animal activity that come with the start of the season. I say almost nothing, because finding the first moth fluttering at your blacklit sheet is pretty darned satisfying, too. Although some areas of the province are still waiting for the moths to find their lights, I’ve had the pleasure of watching the moths come in to my sheet on warm nights since mid-March. I’ve tallied over 20 species so far this spring, which I feel is an impressive assortment for yet so early in the season. I can’t decide which I anticipate more, the warm, sunny afternoons or the warm, moth-filled evenings.


Crimson Tiger Moth, Spilosoma curvata, by Duncan of Ben Cruachan

Just as our year is warming up, in the other half of the hemisphere things are cooling down. In the shadow of Ben Cruachan, Duncan has been patiently waiting for rain to bring some of the “big beautiful moths out of their subterranean tunnels under the garden eucalypts.” While he waits he catches some subtle but striking species (including the above), before finally being rewarded with the rain moths themselves.

Down the street and around the corner (insomuch as they’re on the same continent), Snail of Snail’s Eye View collected the caterpillar of an Anthela moth, which she encountered while pruning in her garden, and watched it pupate and then hatch out into a lovely cream-coloured adult.

Lyn at Soulsong Art found a lovely hawkmoth, which she shares a photo of. She also suggests she plans to try her own hand with blacklighting – inspired by Duncan of Ben Cruachan. We as bloggers have a lot more influence than we suspect, I think!

Over at the Moths of Great Western (Australia), JMH has been busy updating the various albums with the latest moths to come in to the lights. Although not strictly a blog, the site operates somewhat similarly to Flickr, in terms of organization, but with the addition of a “latest activity” feed on the front page that includes comments about various moths and/or photos. The site effectively replaces Lepidoptera Diary, which JMH reported moth and butterfly sightings to previously.

From a little bit north and west, in Thailand, the author of TWITstream’s world talks about some great sphinx moths raised by hand in the garden… one of which eats the leaves of an illegal plant, surreptitiously obtained by secret forays into the forest.


Dotted Chestnut, Conistra rubiginea, by Ben of Essex Moths

The mothing season has been going strong for nearly two months now in the mild UK. Given Britain’s reputation as world headquarters for the sport of mothing, it’s not surprising that there are a number of blogs that have been busy posting regular updates over the last month or so.

One such blog is Essex Moths, where Ben posts nearly every day with the latest catch from his moth trap. The first moth of Monday evening turned out to be the Dotted Chestnut shown above, a species that hadn’t been recorded in Essex in a few years and is typically more associated with woodlands than backyard gardens, which just goes to show that even in Mothing Central you still never know what might show up.

Brian at The Natural Stone isn’t as regular a poster as Ben, but still offers periodic snapshots of what’s happening in his garden. The most recent visitor to be highlighted is a striking Purple Thorn. The British have some fabulous, colourful names for their moths.

Back in 2006, Brian caught a gravid female Nut Tree Tussock Moth in his light trap and decided to keep her to allow her to lay her eggs in captivity where he could watch them develop. He reared them up to adulthood (knowing the identity of the mother obviously helps with choosing the right food), and documented the caterpillars’ progress over the summer on a separate blog. Although the posts are now a couple years old, and some of the photos from the first posts are broken, the series of photos is still interesting to follow through.

Speaking of Nut Tree Tussocks, Tony at St Margaret’s at Cliffe Photo Diary had one among his catch he got with a couple of young (8-year-old) helpers. Mothing is a great way to spark an interest in nature among kids, there’s an element of surprise and unknown every time you check the sheet that’s somewhat addictive (sure hooked me).

The Norfolk Moths blog posted a note back in February about an eco-friendly way of mothing abroad (abroad, in this situation, meaning down the street at your local nature park). They suggest the use of a bike trailer of the sort intended for carting your kid around with you. Field-tested last year, it apparently fits everything you might need for an evening of mothing with friends, including a six-pack (an important addition!).

6240 - Euthyatira pudens - Dogwood Thyatirid (2)
Dogwood Thyatirid, Euthyatira pudens

Here on the home front (my home, at least), the moths are just beginning to stretch their wings in most areas. As such, moth posts are still few, and the lack of dedicated moth blogs means the critters haven’t got a lot of blog time yet (come July, when we’re enjoying warm, muggy nights and moths are flocking to peoples’ windows, we’ll be seeing a lot more).

There’s lots to look forward to, though. This post, by Dave at The Moth Man, is from last April, and is a taste of things to come. The photos are from a mothing trip to southwestern Ontario on April 19 – a year ago this coming weekend. He reported 55 species from that trip. That part of Ontario is typically warmer than where I am, but with a little bit of luck on the weather front, we might see some of these spring moths, such as the Dogwood Thyatirid above, starting to appear next week.

I did actually have one of my own posts from the past few weeks that I was going to include here, but in browsing the web for other material I stumbled across a post of mine from the same weekend as Dave’s above. The moths were from my parents’ old house, on the rural Niagara Escarpment a bit north and east of where Dave had done his mothing. I didn’t get quite so many species that weekend, but still got a good variety. It will be interesting to see what turns up at my moth light this spring, but certainly some great things to look forward to!

Jennifer of Today in NJ Birding History has a semi-regular post series on her blog called “Mothy Monday”. A Eupsila sp. (perhaps Straight-toothed Sallow) and a Spring Cankerworm start off her mothing season.

Moths are found even in places you wouldn’t think to look. Take these sand cocoons found by Susannah of Wanderin’ Weeta, for instance. Her moth post talks about the wingless sort, females of the family Psychidae, which spend virtually their entire life wrapped up in these homes they fashion for themselves.

And finally, Doug of Gossamer Tapestry offers some tips on how to select a good butterfly net. But this is a moth carnival, not butterflies, I hear you say. True! But butterfly nets are useful for both groups of leps. There are many diurnal moths, such as The Infant, that you might encounter much as you would butterflies. Also, it’s great for scooping moths from the rafters above your blacklight.

That’s it for April! I expect activity for moth’ers in the northern hemisphere will start to pick up in the next month and May’s edition should be a good one. Make sure you get your submission in to sanderling [at] symbiotic [dot] ca before the May 13th deadline for the May 15th carnival!