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hawkmoths
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tai haku



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 472

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 13 11:18 am    Post subject: hawkmoths  Reply with quote    

took up moth trapping this august in an effort to see what moths I have in the garden. I'm pushing 60 species already but the undoubted highlights have been the hawkmoths:

Pine Hawkmoth




Poplar Hawkmoth




then this morning I awoke to an absolute shock. The 11th individual found on the island, the UK's largest native moth but a rather rare migrant and the star of Silence of the Lambs.....










Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11541

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 13 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Is that the deaths head hawkmoth? I don't go in for moths much, but we have had humming bird hawkmoths in the garden some years. Really odd the way they move.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 42016
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 13 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Cool. We've had some hummingbird hawk moths round here this year, I think they're probably my favourite insect.

Went



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 6968

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 13 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Great photographs.

tai haku



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 472

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 13 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
Is that the deaths head hawkmoth? I don't go in for moths much, but we have had humming bird hawkmoths in the garden some years. Really odd the way they move.


Yep - Death's Head.

I've had a couple of hummingbird hawkmoths over the last few years but never seem to have a camera on hand.

Went



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 6968

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 13 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tai haku wrote:
Mistress Rose wrote:
Is that the deaths head hawkmoth? I don't go in for moths much, but we have had humming bird hawkmoths in the garden some years. Really odd the way they move.


Yep - Death's Head.

I've had a couple of hummingbird hawkmoths over the last few years but never seem to have a camera on hand.


What kit do you use?

tai haku



Joined: 17 Apr 2011
Posts: 472

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 13 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I use a rigid moth trap I got from Watkins & Doncaster - not the best by any means but seems very effective. Camera-wise I have a nikon d300s with a sigma macro lens but I tend to use a little fuji handicam for most moths.

frewen



Joined: 08 Sep 2005
Posts: 11405

PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 13 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh how beautiful. What lovely, lovely pictures I am very jealous of the death's head hawkmoth especially!

My moth trap is the bathroom window being left open. All very low tech coupled with a 1950's moth ID book boasting one or two colour plates which the children and I pore over trying to work out what has flown in.

You've inspired me to up my game in this area

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 11541

PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 13 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

In our case until this week, it has been the bedroom window, and I wish they would go out again and not flutter round us. A medium sized moth attacking you just as you are going to sleep is rather unnerving.

Humming bird hawk moths aren't very easy to take photos of either. They move so fast you end up chasing them all over the garden.

1000seeds



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 76
Location: Garden of England
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 13 7:00 pm    Post subject: Hawkmoths & Book Guides Reply with quote    

In about September 2003 I was on the beach at Botany Bay (Margate, Kent) when I saw something flapping about in the surf. Thinking it was a fish I walked over to it. There was this huge flying insect drowning. I picked it up, just as I remembered the recent story about the giant wasps that had been flying over here from France.

It was a Deathshead Hawkmoth fortunately. I didn't know at the time, I drew a sketch, sent it off to English Nature who told me what it was. The Hawkmoths were everywhere on the sand dunes, mating. EN didn't realise this was a mating area for these moths. What I remember most though is the strength in the legs when it gripped my finger.

As for Hummingbird Hawkmoths, I cannot post the pix I was going to, because they are 2.99MB to 3.13MB and I don't know how to resize/reduce them. I've tried before and I don't seem to be able to get the hang of it. Dagnabit.....


As to Book Guides. Wildguides.co.uk have books on British flora and fauna, as well as around the world. In about two weeks time they are issuing Day Flying Moths of Great Britain, 155 species. It's about a third cheaper if you by through Amazon though.

I love your pix.

buzzy



Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 3608
Location: In a small wood on the edge of the Huntingdonshire Wolds
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 13 11:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Hawkmoths & Book Guides Reply with quote    

1000seeds wrote:
......................................................................................

As for Hummingbird Hawkmoths, I cannot post the pix I was going to, because they are 2.99MB to 3.13MB and I don't know how to resize/reduce them. I've tried before and I don't seem to be able to get the hang of it. Dagnabit.....


.................................................


I think the site software does the resizing for you (always seems to for me).

Henry

robkb



Joined: 29 May 2009
Posts: 4205
Location: SE London
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 13 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Fantastic photographs

1000seeds



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 76
Location: Garden of England
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 13 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hi buzzy, thanks for replying.

it won't resize the pix for me. I have done a search on DS to see if anyone has asked this before, but cannot find any posts. So, I'm going to look online.

To be honest, the pix aren't brilliant, but now I want to figure out how to do it!.

1000seeds



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 76
Location: Garden of England
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 13 3:32 pm    Post subject: Hummingbird Hawkmoth Reply with quote    

Just tried again in AVS Converter. Resized to 640 x 480. It won't accept my pix. Just keeps coming up green message, error.

Oh well.

1000seeds



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 76
Location: Garden of England
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 13 4:29 pm    Post subject: I'm an Idiot Reply with quote    

I have just realised I did manage to resize my pix with AVS image Converter. I was just trying to upload the same original large pix instead of the new 640x480 reduced size ones - which were in a different folder.

I don't know if you can see the proboscis in these reduced quality pix, but when it unfurls it to the plant, it must be as long as the moth itself and then some!






Click to see full size image



Click to see full size image




Click to see full size image




Click to see full size image

They don't hang around for long when they are disturbed, but you can usually get a few pix before they shoot up into the air and are gone.

They do seem creatures of habit though. If they are visiting Buddhleia in one spot, they tend to rotate from plant to plant in that area at regular intervals.

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