Mad About Moths – National Moth Week!

My name is Dino J. Martins, I am a Kenyan entomologist and I love insects. The Kiswahili word for insect is dudu and if you didn’t know already, insects rule the world! Thanks to the amazing efforts of the ‘little things that run the world’ I was humbled to be selected as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. This blog is a virtual dudu safari through the fascinating world of bugs. Enjoy, leave a comment and send any questions or comments to me through: insects.eanhs@gmail.com

 

Mad About Moths!

Have you ever wondered about what to do on hot summer night?

Well, if you are free and in the woods this week, you might want to take part in the National Moth Week that runs all this week.

 

Convolvulus Hawkmoth approaching a Datura flower with its long tongue unfurled…

 

Moths are just one group of the planet’s incredible insect diversity. With over 160,000 species described, there are many different kinds of moths that range in size from minute clothes moths and meal moths that damage stored clothes and foodstuffs to gargantuan and gaudy emperor moths who colorful wings bear striking eye-spots.

Some moths are well known as pests, devouring large fields of crops as in the case of the African armyworm moth, and sometimes even entire forests in the United States where the gypsy moth occurs.

 

A Nephele hawkmoth investigates some Carissa flowers

 

Moths are also incredibly useful, as the global silk industry can attest having exploited the silk moth (Bombyx mori) for many centuries. Some moths are important pollinators, especially hawkmoths or sphinx moths (Sphingidae) that pollinate papaya trees and many orchids too.

Many moths are still waiting to be described and even species that are known can be better studied through watching and photographing them. If you want to get involved, please take a look at the National Moth Week website: http://nationalmothweek.org

I am currently in Turkana in northern Kenya and plan on spending a couple of evenings in the company of the local moths myself!

 

A day-flying moth from Turkana…

More from the world of moths and other insects soon!

(All photos by Dino Martins.)

Wildlife

Meet the Author
My name is Dino J. Martins, I am a Kenyan entomologist and I love insects. The Kiswahili word for insect is dudu and if you didn't know already, insects rule the world! Thanks to the amazing efforts of the 'little things that run the world' I was humbled to be selected as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. This blog is a virtual dudu safari through the fascinating world of bugs. Enjoy, leave a comment and send any questions or comments to me through: insects.eanhs@gmail.com