National Moth Week Gathering

Last week was National Moth Week – its inaugural year.   It was started by some folks on the east coast who hope to get more people interested in looking at and learning about moths.

I normally put up my lights to attract moths a few times a week, but I do it by myself.  This time I invited a bunch of mostly non-mothing friends to join me.

Nettie brought along a beautiful moth that had gotten trapped in her barn.  It’s a Pandoras Sphinx – one of the largest sphinx moths found around here.

Here we are inspecting it.


The rest of the moths we saw were ones that came to the lights.  This is the light set up that I use.  (To see more about how I attract and photograph moths, click HERE.)

It’s two shop light fixtures, with UV light bulbs, shining on a white sheet that’s taped to the garage door.  I leave the outdoor garage lights on because that seems to attract moths from farther away.  The moths come toward the light, and then sit on the sheet.  They get mesmerized by the lights, and once they settle down, they’re pretty tolerant of people looking and photographing.

We turned on the lights at about 8:30pm, but the moths didn’t really start coming out until it was quite dark – about 9:30.

Here are some pictures of the scene.



I tried to take photos of all the moths that came.  I got pictures of 45 different species – a pretty good moth night!   We saw some that I’d never seen before, and several that are quite unusual.  Here they all are.  I’ve done my best to identify them, but there are still a few unknowns.  (Other insects are attracted to lights too.  I’ve got photos of some of the ones we saw at the end.)

You can click on a photo to see a larger version.


Thanks for coming, everyone.  It was fun to share my passion,