Subject: Moth picture collection
Location: Salta, Argentina
December 15, 2015 4:36 am
I have hundreds of pictures of moths from Salta, Argentina waiting for identification as I am not able to do it. Any advice? Would you be interested? I have pics classified by colour and all with a ruler in cm for scale. If interested we could collaborate or perhaps you know people that are interested?
Many thanks and kind regards.
Julio de Castro
That is quite some task you have on your hands and we can’t help but to wonder why you would have so many unidentified moth images from such a specific location. Please provide us some information regarding the origin of this collection of images. Are they your images? Why were they taken? Are they part of a bigger collection that includes identified species? We try, often unsuccessfully, to post at least five new submissions each day, and if your collection numbers 200 moth images, it would take us well over a month to post them all, and that would mean ignoring all our other submissions. Winter is rapidly approaching us in the northern hemisphere, and each year we experience a significant drop in identification requests with January and February marking our slowest months, though we also experience an increase in submissions from Australia, South Africa and other southern hemisphere locations at that time. We cannot promise you that we can identify all your images, but we are quite curious if you send them one moth at a time, using our standard submission form each time, and provide any relevant information on the specimen while it was alive. Our readership especially likes to see images of colorful and exotic species, and plain brown moths are often very difficult for us to identify as we have no formal training in taxonomy. Also be aware that we will be away from the office for the holidays between December 21 and January 2, and at that time we will not be responding to any emails during that time.
Now that we have stated all that, we are pleased that we have identified your diurnal Wasp Moth in the tribe Euchromiini as the Red Spot Wasp Mimic Moth, Cosmosoma teuthras, by first matching an image on the Lepidopteres de Pitangui au Minas Gerais site and then double checking that ID on the Moths of the Amazon and Andes site where it states: “Cosmosoma teuthras is found from Mexico to Venezuela, and throughout Amazonia and the eastern Andes as far south as Bolivia. … This is a cloudforest species found at elevations between about 500-2000m.” We see on Google Maps that Salta is just south of the Bolivia border, and we are well aware that insects do not respect international borders, so the Moths of the Amazon and Andes site should revise their range on the Red Spot Wasp Mimic Moth.
Many thanks for your kind and fast reply. Many thanks for identifying the moth for me. I only included it because the form would not let me advance without an image!!! in any case it is an interesting wasp that I only saw last year in Salta and I thought it wasa kind of a moth!.
Regarding the reason for the picture collection, I bought a small farm in the Yungas area of Salta province. The area is known as “El Gallinato” and there is still quite a bit of wildlife around, including butterflies and moths. For security reasons we leave a neon light on in our verandah and I noted that every morning there were many moths, beetles and other insects. Being a (former?) scientist and nature lover, I started to photograph them every morning! At the beginning it was hard work as there were many “new” species. As time went by, things became easier as repetitions started to occur and now my job is much easier as I probably find 1-2 a day.
As I commute from Zimbabwe and Salta (to avoid the winters), I can only find the moths that hatch let’s say between December and June of each year so I am not able to detect those appearing during the winter although I guess that there are fewer.
Regarding the type of moths, there are all sorts and what I have done in my complete ignorance and with the purpose of saving myself some work, was to group them by colour and by whether they fold the wings or not! Yes, I know, a very amateur way of doing things but I do not like taxonomy!!!
All pictures I have from Salta are from my farm with a few exceptions of some I may have collected on the entry road but these are mainly butterflies (maybe moths that look like butterflies? or wasps?).
I take your offer and will start posting you moths when I can and then see if you find them interesting. I believe that it is but I will lea ve the final decision to you. In any case, it will keep u busy during your winter “diapause”!!! I will send you another one now and wait for your reply before I flood you with pictures, if u think this is OK.
Thanks again and kind regards.