Sunday, July 24, 2022

It's National Moth Week Already?!

Yes, National Moth Week is once again upon us! This year it happens starting yesterday, July 23, and ends Sunday, July 31. NMW is an annual citizen science event that anyone can participate in. You might start by visiting the National Moth Week website for information about the history of the project, and how to contribute your observations.

Suzuki's Promalactis Moth, Promalactis suzukiella

Despite a breezy to gusty night last night, we hung a blacklight, with a white sheet backdrop, from our front porch in Leavenworth, Kansas, USA. Our neighborhood is more or less suburban, with modest yards around each home. It has been hot and humid, but with a prolonged dry spell, so I was not expecting much.

Yellow-striped Armyworm moth, Spodoptera ornithogalli, I think.

Still, we had many moths fly to our ultraviolet beacon. Many were small enough to be overlooked, or easily mistaken for leafhoppers, small caddisflies, or other insects. A few could be dismissed as bits of plant debris, so convincing is their camouflage, even on a white canvas.

Brown-shaded Gray, Iridoposis defectaria

Here is a small selection of some of the moths that appeared. I do not even know the identities of a few of them myself. Moths are that diverse, with little known about them unless they are of economic importance.

Skiff Moth, Prolimacodes badia

Walnut Caloptilia, Caloptilia blandella

Kermes Scale Moth, Euclemensia bassettella

Tubeworm moth, Acrolophus sp.

Small Baileya, Baileya australis

Stripe-backed Moth, Arogalea cristifasciella

Orange-headed Epicallima, Callima argenticinctella

The Wedgling, Galgula partita

Unidentified crambid moth

What is on your sheet, or at your porch light? Share them with the world. All it takes is a phone or camera, and a connection to the iNaturalist projects for global National Moth Week and United States National Moth Week. It is all free, and before you know it you will be scrolling through the observations of other moth aficionados from elsewhere. Happy Mothing!

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