Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mothing between Storms: Once Married Underwing

Once-married  Underwing Catocala unijuga
The start to [Inter]national Moth Week late last night-early this morning was not salubrious in the extended Home Bug Garden. Actually, in the HBG per se it was even wetter and less mothopilic than in the remote site - about 2 km east of Elk Island National Park. Still, through a process of judiciously applied wine, napping, and radar-gazing, I was able to emerge from the cabin, black-light in hand, just after midnight this morning as the rains receded and start attracting moths (and frogs - rain and moths seem to meet with froggy approval).
Underwing in under position
As usual when the blacklight doesn't have to compete with moon or rain, the results were stunning. I hope to be able to share some of the extraordinary diversity of form with my readers later in the week - as one, by one, names are applied. In the meantime, though, here is the first Catocala of the season and the largest of this morning's visitors. I myself was once married, so the common name of this very large and attractive moth has some resonance beyond its beauty and imposing size.  But much more is in store in the coming week as the smaller, but no less elaborate ad lumina nigra are exposed.
Mystery Moth

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