hats off to a moth
October 25, 2006
Yesterday was a quite momentous day. For the second night running we went mothing. Two nights ago the weather was perfect and we were treated to a fashion show by hundreds of creatures with distinctively coloured and patterned wing displays. Last night it hadn’t rained and there was a starry sky so I was less optimistic. We went to the same spot- thickly forested hills at around 1600 metres set with the odd coffee plantation about half an hour from where I live. At first I was proved right, with only a few scruffy brown moths coming to our lights. Then things got busier and we were astounded by the arrival of a ‘moon moth’, a large moth with long wavy tails rather like a kite. Although this particular moth is not rare, I have only ever seen it once before in the wild in over 7 years watching moths here. Just when I was recovering from that shock another moon moth arrived- a different species and this one was indeed a rarity, only having been recorded once before in Thailand. I am not of the opinion that being rare is in itself a quality but when you’re as beautiful as this the rarity does give added value. At first it played the prima donna, flapping around aimlessly and refusing to settle for a photo. Then, finally, it settled against a perfect background of dark leaves. I bent over to take that once in a lifetime picture and at the same moment my cap decided to dislodge itself from my head and drop clumsily on top of the unfortunate creature. That was the last we saw of it. Fortunately, I had managed to get a picture of it first; it was moving at the time so it is not as good as I would have liked but, anyway, here it is. Just another moth for most people but a never-to-be-forgotten moment for me.