Friday, June 5, 2009

Mating, Dating and Dead Moths

This is a much delayed posting because I had problems getting the ID. I'm back at the forest opposite Ngee Ann Poly again (last week) but this time at night, invited by Daniel as he wants to go frogging. It turned out to be much better than a day trip with lots of little creatures the most common being dragonflies and moths. But definitely not for those who detest flying insects since they flew pretty haphazardly, some onto our faces and even nostrils!

Its night-time with noone around. The perfect place to date.

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Creatonotos gangis
Noctuidae, Arctiinae, Arctiini

I was ecstatic to finally see a moth extending its scent organs. These organs can be eversible like in this case and serves to emit pheromones. The moth on top should be a male since it is typical for the male to extend and release its love mist in close proximity to the female while the latter secrete them in long range.

However, it is strange as some journals describe this species having coremata (name for this type of organ) longer than its body size. But it might be because the male is in the process of deflating the organ.

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After a while, the coremata was completely retracted and they might be getting ready to mate. But we did not stay behind to watch it. Anyway, it is easy to see why they are called Tiger Moths from their marked abdomens.

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Creatonotos transiens
Noctuidae, Arctiinae, Arctiini

Seems like love is in the air and we managed to find a few other pairs in the process of mating. Here was another closely related Tiger Moth. Even though they were in the spotlight from my flashing camera, their wings managed to cover up any embarrassing shots.

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Unfortunately, danger was lurking in the dark maze of grassland. Daniel actually spotted a Lynx Spider (Oxyopes sp.) which had captured the same species of moth. Just like the jumping spiders, these lynx spiders are active hunters that do not ambush using a web.

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But of course, many species do that and this unknown diamond backside spider caught one in its web. A poor dragonfly also accidentally got trapped onto it soon after.

For those who are curious since this should be a frogging trip, we did see some frogs but I may not put them up unless I can find all their IDs. :)

Thanks to Ryan for his IDs.

3 comments:

aki-chan said...

wow the scent organs are pretty interesting! how do they hide such such a big structure under their wings??

Siyang said...

In this case they are ejected from the abdomen. I am not sure if this applies to all, but some are known to be inflated by their blood.

I guess in a way it is the same way the male reproductive organ is erected. ;p

Dating said...

Brilliant shots in the post, thanks!

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