December 8, 2009
3 moths from Bellavista, Ecuador. Western slope about 2000 m.
I think these are very difficult, but hopefully still possible to identify.
Bellavista Lodge, Ecuador
Thanks for sending your photos, but now we are filled with curiosity. Were these moths photographed on December 8, 2009? Just how big were they? Were they attracted to a light? Insect collectors are taught to provide as much information as possible on those tiny labels, and the same should be true of photographs. Information will assist in proper identification. In our amateur opinion, these are in the family Geometridae.
We are also fascinated by the peripheral insects surrounding one of your specimens, and perhaps one of our readers wants to take a crack at identifying the Lepidoptera and Diptera that are surrounding the larger moth in the middle. Sadly, just one of these identifications may take hours and hours of research, and a definitive answer just may not be possible. We just had a nice telephone conversation with Lila Higgins at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles about the possibility of finding species new to science in the middle of an urban setting being just as probable as scouring the rain forests of South America for an undescribed species. That gnat-like creature in the upper left corner may be new to science, and should you choose to pursue the taxonomy, it might one day bear your name. Alas, when we began this posting, and we started to format your images for the web, we didn’t have a clear picture of where our response was going, so the numbering appears out of sync in reverse order. We are numbering your images and we hope that you will provide additional information in a comment and that you will refer to the numbers attached to the moths. We also hope that our readership may provide additional information, and now that the photos are numbered, clarity will be maintained.
Thank you for your reply and comment.
Maybe this is too much, but it’s the only serious forum I have found so far.
As an amateur it’s very difficult to give all the correct information. All my moths from Bellavista are photographed on October 19th 2009. They were all attracted to outside lights around some of the buildings at Bellavista Lodge. Sitting on fence posts and the main gate, well actually everywhere. They were really swarming like crazy. Must have been thousands. Heaven for a moth expert I would think. Even for a birder like me!
I’m sorry, but this is really all the additional information I’m able to give. I could, however, try to estimate size. Maybe small, medium and big is too vague?!
The additional information is great Leif. We are amateurs ourselves, and we are not even certain if the three moths are the same species. Sexual dimorphism and individual variation within a species can make some identifications very difficult. Would you estimate that the three moths were the same size?