Friday, June 9, 2023

The Scale-winged Nocturnal

I have always been fascinated by the beauty of the moths - my own view is that they are much more attractive and prettier than the butterflies. Their wing patterns are so complex and exquisite - I love it!

Exquisite patterns and beautiful colors

I believe that the above moth is called Brahmaea wallichii, also known as the Owl Moth. It is a moth from the family Brahmaeidae, the Brahmin months - one of the largest species. They are found in both tropical as well as in temperate forests of Bhutan, China, India, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal and Taiwan.

This particular species is named after the botanist Nathaniel Wallich.

In February this year, the BBS reported that after almost a decade of study, a team of researchers from Bhutan’s Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Forest and Research Training, and the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Netherlands discovered almost 2,000 moth species in the country, 26 of which are said to be new to science.

A few months back a book titled "Moths of Bhutan" was released - authored by Cornelis (Cees) Gielis, Maurice Franseen, Frans Groenen and Karma Wangdi, a Khengpa working with the UWIFRT, Bumthang. Some of you may remember that Karma Wangdi rediscovered the Ludlow's Bhutan Swallowtail, our National Butterfly.

It is said that the global population of butterflies and months number a staggering 165,000 species, of which only 18,000 are said to be butterflies.

The above photograph of the moth was acquired by me on June 8, 2023 from Dangrena, Dechenchholing, Thimphu at 5:20PM.

Equipment used to photograph the moth:

     Camera Body                    :  Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III
     Lens                                    :  Carl Zeiss 50mm f/2 ZE Makro-Planer
     Shutter Cable Release           :  Canon RS-80N3
     Camera Tripod                    :  GITZO Carbon Fiber GT5541LS
     Tripod Head                    :  Really Right Stuff Ball head Model BH-55

Photographing butterflies is not easy - they are forever on the move and if they are not moving they are shivering. Moths, on the other hand, are simpler to photograph. Being nocturnal, they rest calmly during day - allowing them to be photographed with ease.

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