<< Previous Next >>

Amphibiotic moth

Amphibiotic moth
Photo Information
Copyright: Michal Grabowski (cedryk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2003-05-30
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon Coolpix 5000, 28-105 mm, @ ISO 100
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 4 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-04-03 8:35
Viewed: 4613
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello TNers,
Have you ever heard about amphibiotic or even aquatic moths???
I bet that some of you haven't :-)

So here it is one of them. Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce you:

Cataclysta lemnata
- Small China-mark
Family: Crambidae

Caterpillars of this quite unique moth are aquatic, live submerged and feed on duckweed (Lemna spp.). They may be found in various type of stagnant waters: ponds, lakes etc. In the workshop 1 I uploaded a picture of the pond where I photographed both presented moths. Also, around a year ago I posted a picture of young caterpillar of this species (please see it here).

Now is time for the adult stages:

The adult moths are small (wingspan 18-24 mm). They fly between end of May and August, and often can be attracted to light.

The one on the upper picture is a male. It may occur in two colour forms, light and dark. This is the light form - cream-white with China-like markings on wings. The males fly all day (more often in the evening) among the bank vegetation (eg. reeds) and look for females.

The female (lower picture) is bigger, massive and definitely darker of some cream-coffee colour. The females are not very keen on flying, usually they sit on the vegetation until mating takes place.

Here you can see the female during a very interesting process of egg laying. She simply puts her abdomen into the water and stick the eggs to the underside of Lemna leaves. In the workshop 2 you may also see the eggs in late developmental stage (with caterpillars seen inside).

Small China-mark is quite a common moth occurring in most of Europe. It's also quite easy to keep and observe.
I assisted my friend and TNer, Krzysztof Pabis (cataclysta), while he sudied its life cycle for his MSc thesis. He successfully kept and bred them in a tank half-filled with pond water and with a layer of Lemna sp. on the surface. Observing the adults, developing eggs and caterpillars was a lot of fun....

Technical details:
1) upper picture (male)
exposure 1/172, f 4.8
2) lower picture (female)
exposure 1/1466, f 7,6
Both pictures taken with Nikon Coolpix 5000, handheld, under natural light.

phlr, horia, jaycee, uleko, Argus, fartash, Alex99, cicindela, ramthakur, saguzar, scottevers7, red45 has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ramthakur: Krzysztof away...cedryk 2 04-03 15:33
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-04-03 8:53]

Hi Michal

Another very interesting post from you!
Indeed, very few people heared of this type of moths...a very nice note and a good read.
The detatails are great in all the photos and i raelly like the way you integrated all the data and picture about this moth in the note. This way we have a superb habitat, a larva and also adults.
Speaking about the habitat...i'm sure, being a postglacial element, it contains all sorts of interesting fauna :)
Great macro and presentation!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-04-03 9:35]

Hi Michal,

No, I never knew that. Very interesting notes. This is a beautiful presentation with wonderful colors and details. It's nice to learn something new.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-04-03 9:39]

Hello Michal,
Many thanks for a brilliant illustrated lecture on this interesting moth species which I didn't know about. All pictures are very fine and I really like the male above with a beautiful pattern on his hind wings. Impressive work!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-04-03 10:27]

Hello Michal,
Excellent photos and notes teaching us about the Small China-mark moth. Knowing very little about micro-moths, I personally found this posting both instructive and pleasing to see, especially when you give us a look at the various stages of development and the habitat.
TFs and have a good week,

Hello Michal,

A nice observation!
There's a small pond in our town park that surrounds a small cafe, it's full of duckweed (and rubbish that people used to throw there), and during a certain period in early summer it's teeming with these moths... They are also readily attracted to artificial light.

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-04-03 11:52]

Hello Michal,
just a real TrekNature-contribution including excellent pictures of these small moths and an excellent note.
Best wishes, Peter

Hello Michal
What a wonderful work,
I don't know anything about them,
Great presentation and note,
Excellent lighting and colors,


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-04-03 12:14]

Hi Michal.
Thank you for your nice, informative and written with humor note as well as the beautiful illustrations for it. Both shot are great. Their subjects, sharpness, amazing colours and perfect composition testify to skillfulness of their author. Bravo. My best regards and TFS.

A set of immensely beautiful pictures of this acquatic moth, Michal.
Both images are very well captured and bring out the unique beauty of this attractive looking moth. I like the BG in the second picture.
Would you know why our friend Krzysztof is keeping away from TN these days?

hello Michal,
You´re right, I never seen or heard about acquatic moths, your photographic document is amazing and very useful to me. Excellent macro quality and note.
Best regards

Coz moge powiedziec o tej prezentacji. Dzieki workshopom, linkom, no i oczywiscie swietnym fotkom i profesjonalnej notce to jedna z ciekawszych i na pewno bardziej "totalnych" prezentacji w Twoim zbiorze na TN :)
Pozdrawiam serdecznie,

Hi Michal,
A new one for me! I find it extremely interesting. The two different POV's between male and female are very helpful. The photos are excellent, and the notes are very educational. This is what seperates this site from all others. Great work!

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2007-04-04 3:49]

Czesc Michal!

Ano slyszelismy ;-) Moj ulubiony temat, bez dwoch zdan. Bardzo ciekawe zlozenie zdjec samca/samicy, oba bardzo dobrej jakosci. Samiec ladniejszy ;-) Notka to juz oddzielna historia - mistrzostwo. Do tego workshopy. Tak powinien wygladac idealny post na TN!
No i wysmienita wiadomosc o naszych ludziach na Antarktydzie - zazdroszcze :-)

Piękna kompozycja. Jeśli masz więcej takich fotek - zapraszam do wrzucania ich na moją stronę Motyle Europy. Pozdrawiam


Calibration Check