Too many moths!

One down-side of digital photography is that it is so easy to take too many photos. Its consequence, for me at least, is a lot of time spent sorting them and throwing out the not-so-good ones.

I can spend even more time trying to identify insects I have photographed, and moths are a particular problem: there are just so many of them! The introduction to CSIRO’s Australian Moths Online notes that, ‘There are about 22 000 species of Australian moths, of which only half have been described [i.e. scientifically identified] so far.’ For comparison, there are only about 320 species of dragonflies, 420 species of butterflies and about 800 species of birds, making any of them far easier for the average person to identify.

Over the last year I have been photographing moths whenever they came my way but rarely finding time to identify them. They ‘came my way’ in great numbers during the last Wet season, flying to the house lights every evening, and I was almost relieved when numbers dropped during the Dry. ‘At last,’ I thought, ‘time to sort them out!’

But I didn’t find the time, and now the Wet is approaching and the moths returning. Speiredonia mutabilis was special enough to go to some trouble for, but I can see myself getting further and further behind from now on. (If anyone wants a few dozen moth photos to sort, please apply here!) Three recent guests:

brown moth on fingertip
Fingertip moth
brown moth on window frame
Moth on window frame, about 20 mm
amber moth with 'W' markings
'W' moth, about 15 mm

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