Saturday, July 10, 2010

I give up! Three partially-identified beasties.

It's definitely moth season. They're everywhere. A few minutes ago, I even noticed a tiny Indian meal moth trying to crawl into the hinge of my laptop. I found this plume moth in the bathroom sink:

Plume moth, Pterophoridae

Last year, we saw bigger plume moths about; they had tightly rolled-up wings, and slept in a rigid T shape, with 4 legs forming a neat X beneath. The last two legs were hidden.

This one is smaller, more relaxed, leggy, and feathery. I checked BugGuide for an ID, but gave up soon; there are 624 photos there! And too many look alike. I'll have to bother them with my photos, I guess.

The wings of plume moths are split, into two parts (plumes), as here, or three.

Tortricid. Tufted moth, unidentified.

This little critter was resting on the laundry that I had hung out to dry. It's just one cm. long, less than half an inch. These moths wear two or three tufts of feathers on the upper back.

As above, I gave up on the photos on BugGuide, but not until I'd put in an hour squinting at 24,000 photos. I quit when I got to the 100th page and realized that there were still 69 left to go! I am once again amazed at the incredible diversity of our tiny neighbours.

And Jumpy, here, is getting fat on moths:

Jumping spider. High up on a wall, so I could barely see his headlight eyes.

Jumping spiders are easy to recognize. At least, to that level; jumpers. As to the genus and maybe species, that's hard work. BugGuide has 303 pages of them, 24 photos to a page. Seven thousand, two hundred and seventy two photos of jumping spiders!

I think that's a job for another day.


  1. Ohmigosh - I had no idea there were so many kinds of moths and jumping spiders! I see them about, but have never thought of even trying to find out what they are!

    Bless you for trying!

  2. I read recently a quote from someone who was asked 'how would you describe God"

    'A peculiar fondness for bugs' was the reply.

    Way too may of the micro moths and beetles to get clear and quick idenities

  3. I'm pretty sure the plume moth in these pictures is Emmelina monodactyla ( like the earlier one in your blog from 2008. This is quite a variable species but with a distinctive character of the inner spurs on the hind legs being about twice as long as the outer.


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