Saturday, June 14, 2014

TINY mothies: apparently I've been DYING to see them & I DID!!!

I've REALLY wanted to see 
a really small moth ever since I learned about them
from Chris Grinter (@skepticalmoth).

Last night I DID spy tiny moths & got some photos.
Dark thing in lower left corner is a small ant, for scale...

Nectaring on a gaillardia...

Same moth, with flash... sparkly!
Only took a few shots w/automatic flash--seemed to upset the poor creature.
Paparazzi--SO gauche.

Here's a different (slightly larger) individual w/in (my) reach of the 1st.
That body plan confounds me.

Chris thinks these are probably plume moths, from the family Pterophoridae

He is ALL about these tiny little animals,
plus lots of other fabulous inverts, has a great blog,
and takes SUCH great photos, you may want to slap him.

Here's just one example of the
amazing images he shares of microleps
(what the pros call the TINY lepidopterans).

Meanwhile, back on the ranch...

The wings!!

Flying tiny apparently poses different challenges,
hence microleps are known for narrower, feathery wings
versus the big, dusty plates of their larger brethren.

Like feathery oars...

If I remember correctly, when you're REALLY small,
the air is relatively more viscous (thicker),
so different structures work better to move your tiny bod.

When they fly, you just see a wee blur,
drifting past, like plankton.
And you think, "What the heck was that?!?"

Legs, legs, legs.
So spiky.

I'm guessing all those spikes help them hang on,
and not get blown away by the tiniest breeze?
Although the other one's legs aren't nearly so spiky.

Can you tell I'm fascinated?

So, didn't get to sleep until LATE (for me) 'cause I was SO pumped about this. =)

I've been SO richly rewarded for the pollinator-attracting seed mix I planted years ago.
I HIGHLY recommend it. Best part of summer, IMHO.

Well, that and perfectly ripe peaches.


xoxoxoxo bb

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