The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

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National Moth Week is here!

I’ve mentioned this event a few times in the last month or so, and it’s now finally here!

Little White Lichen Moth (Clemensia albata), #8098

National Moth Week is an event intended to highlight the biodiversity and ecological significance of moths, an important group that is often overlooked in favour of flashier or less nocturnal insects.

Hundreds of moth’ers from around the world will be moth-hunting this week (July 23-29), perhaps in their own gardens and at porch lights, or at large black-lighting events. Participants will photograph and record their findings – I can only imagine the giant data set that’s going to be amassed at the end of all this!

I have committed myself to recording my own moth discoveries while I’m away this week, and since I don’t have a computer at my disposal I’ll be sharing my finds next week – a moth a day! In the meantime, here is a collection of some of the moths I found during my last camping trip at the end of June; since I’m returning to the same location this week, I’m very curious to see how the species assemblage has changed in the last month!

You can click to embiggen any of the images below. I’ve ID’d them to the best of my ability (hover the mouse over the image to see what I came up with), but I welcome any corrections or help for those missing names!

I am giving myself the luxury of a blogging break for the remainder of the week, so enjoy this photo gallery in the meantime!

Get your mothing on with National Moth Week!

National Moth Week

First National Moth Week – July 23-29, 2012

Well hello! Have any of you noticed how freaking nice it’s been outside?

I’ve been outside.

A lot.

And therefore have pretty much been entirely ignoring the Internets. But I’m back!

Since my last post was about a pretty little moth I found in my garden back in April (bad blogger!) I thought it was quite appropriate to re-start my summer posting with some exciting news for all you moth-lovers out there (generalist bug geeks also!): July 23-29 is officially National Moth Week. Although this venture is originating in the U.S., we Canuks have been invited to play too.

NMW is a great opportunity to get outside (um, it’s really nice out there), play around in the dark (minds out of the gutter, plz), take photos, record data, and enjoy some fun, hands-on citizen science! From the official website of NMW:

National Moth Week brings together everyone interested in moths to celebrate these amazing insects. This summer, groups and individuals from all the across the country [and Canada! and other countries!] will spend some time during National Moth Week looking for moths and sharing what they’ve found. Getting involved during National Moth Week is easy: attend a National Moth Night event, start an event, join friends and neighbors to check porch lights from time to time, set up a light and see what is in your own backyard, or read literature about moths, etc.

I registered an “event” (i.e., I’m going camping and taking my camera) just this morning – you should too! You know you’re probably already going to be hanging around your porch light in the evenings, so why not make it an official (and scientifically useful!) event?

I probably hang around my porch lights almost every night. I actually deliberately buy the really bright pure white floodlights, rather than the recommended yellowy ones that are supposed to keep swarms of insects from harassing you on your patio and streaming into your home every time you open the screen door. Keep the insects away? Pshaw! What’s the fun of that?

Despite all the time I spend looking at moths, I realized today as I waded through my photograph collection that I only have maybe 2 or 3 decent photos of moths. That’s it. I’ve only blogged specifically about a moth three times. Pathetic.

To rectify this sad state of affairs, I plan to get myself a copy of Seabrooke Leckie’s new Peterson Moths of Northeastern North America field guide (one can never have too many field guides – by the way, you can WIN a field guide if you register!). Then, when I return from my camping trip (which will be internet-free), you can expect some post-hoc blogging highlighting a moth or ten from each day of NMW.

Consider yourselves duly notified, and get yourself registered!

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