Moth observations by traveling friends

This journal entry is to draw attention to observations from a few friends who encountered some wonderful moths on recent travels to South America.

First, Steve Davis ( and a few other local birders I know went on a group birding trip to Ecuador in early March. At several of the eco lodges where they stayed the hosts had setup a white sheet and light overnight to lure in insects which would serve as a buffet to birds in the morning. This has become common practice at many such eco lodges that cater to birders. I'm conflicted on this practice, since it is surely detrimental to the insect numbers in the area. On the flip side, it is bringing some awareness of insect biodiversity to a group of people (birders) who are already naturally inclined to care. Maybe the awareness will lead to some positive changes to help insects. Some of these birders have become enamored with the late night insect show as much as the morning birding that it attracts. Steve took photos of some of the insects and has uploaded them to iNaturalist here:

(By the way, on the rare occasions that I leave my sheet setup and light on overnight, I am careful to get up early to check the sheet and shoo away the insects before the birds come for breakfast.)

Second, my friends Rosario ( and Mike Douglas went on an incredible 28-day cruise from Miami, down through the lesser Antilles, and then up the Amazon River to Manaus, Brasil. They are avid naturalists with keen interest in plants and birds. Mike has been giving nature talks on cruise ships for the past few years and was doing so on this cruise ship. While their cruise ship moved up the Amazon River within view of the forests on the river bank, many insects (mostly moths) were attracted to the lit walkways of the ship and landed on the walls and walkways. Mike and Rosario have been coming to moth nights with me for the past few years and were already inclined to pay attention. Mike started to show photos of the insects at his nature talks on the boat, especially to highlight the concept of biodiversity. After that, people started joining Mike and Rosario for their evening insect surveys. Perhaps others have made insect observations while floating down a river like this, but it seemed pretty novel to me, and a great way to do a transect of the Amazon Rainforest. "Moth Nights on the Amazon" really puts my local moth nights to shame! :)

Mike has added a page to his website with a narrative and photos of the insect activity and some of the fellow passengers who joined in the appreciation. He talks a little about photography, about mimicry, crypsis, and then breaks the moths down by families. There are some truly astounding and beautiful specimens. Please check it out here:

Meanwhile, Rosario has been posting the observations to iNaturalist and getting identifications. Here are their observations from the Amazon leg of the journey:

Who wants to sign up for a 28 day cruise with me!?! :)

הועלה ב-אפריל 1, 2024 04:01 אחה"צ על ידי zdufran zdufran


Thanks for sharing!

פורסם על-ידי pfau_tarleton לפני 4 חודשים


פורסם על-ידי gcwarbler לפני 4 חודשים

Thanks a bunch for tagging me on this one, Zach!

פורסם על-ידי jcochran706 לפני 4 חודשים

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