<< Previous Next >>

Micro moths

Micro moths
Photo Information
Copyright: kapil koltharkar (kapildk) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 181 W: 32 N: 502] (3197)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-12-03
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon coolpix L110
Exposure: f/4.5
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-09-18 10:36
Viewed: 2522
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Microlepidoptera (micromoths) is an artificial (i.e., unranked and not monophyletic) grouping of moth families, commonly known as the 'smaller moths' (Micro, lepidoptera). These generally have a wingspan of under 20 mm, and are thus harder to identify by external phenotypic markings than macrolepidoptera. They present some life styles larger lepidoptera do not have, but this is not an identifying mark. Efforts to stabilize the term have usually proven inadequate. Vernacular usage divides the lepidoptera simply into smaller and larger or into more-primitive and less-primitive groups: Microlepidoptera and Macrolepidoptera respectively. Intuitively, the "micros" are any lepidopteran not currently placed in the Macrolepidoptera. This paraphyletic assemblage however includes also the superfamilies Zygaenoidea, Sesioidea and Cossoidea that would in common parlance normally be lumped with the "macros". Sometimes what may be referred to is a more restricted group, the non-ditrysian moths, but not even all of these are small. For example, the Hepialidae or "swift moths" (up to 25 cm. wingspan) fall quite basally in the lepidopteran "tree of life". The recently discovered primitive superfamily Andesianoidea is another case in point: lurking within the Cossidae until 2001, these moths have up to an order of magnitude greater wingspan (5.5. cm.) than most previously known monotrysian "micros". Whilst the smaller moths are usually also more seldom noticed, a more expansive "non-macrolepidopteran" concept of the Microlepidoptera would include about 37 out of the approximately 47 superfamilies. Whilst usually less popular, micros are thus more important in the sense that they include a much wider span of the Tree of Life (i.e., phylogenetic diversity). Whereas they include no butterflies, micros do also include a surprising number of dayflying groups, and the advent of online identification resources in many countries (e.g. "UK moths") combined with the widespread use of digital macrophotography is making them much easier to identify.

Life style: Microlepidoptera can be found in a broad variety of habitats and ecological niches worldwide, both terrestrial and freshwater aquatic (e.g. Acentropinae). They have a wide variety of feeding habits in both larval and adult life stages. Caterpillars feed a wide variety of plant tissue and across a wide spectrum of plant groups from liverworts to angiosperms. They are either external feeders ("exophagous") or more usually feed internally ("endophagous"), typically as miners or tunnellers, but some feed on fungi, scavenge on dead animals, even live snails (Hyposmocoma molluscivora) are parasitoids usually of other insects (some Zygaenoidea) or are detritivores. Adult moths feed with mandibles on spores and pollen (Micropterigidae) on dew (e.g. Eriocraniidae), with their proboscises on nectar (many groups e.g. Choreutidae) or are simply non-feeding with mouthparts reduced or absent. Many smaller moths are considered economic pests, causing damage to plants as well as fabrics and other man-made goods. Commonly noticed "micros" include the plume moth and the clothes moth.

pegos, maaciejka, marius-secan, maurydv has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2011-09-18 11:10]

Hello Kapil,
beautiful image of this interesting pair of butterflies with good light and detail, excellent POV and composition, very nice colors.
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-09-18 12:03]

Hello Kapil.
Wonderful close up.Sharpness of this mating moths,details,POV,colors,DOF,framing and composition are very good.TFS.Best regards Siggi

THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL! peeping tom's that we are!! LOL love the angle of the two on the leaf, symmetry and softness of the flowers..this is amazing

Nice composition from a good point of view. Good detail. Interesting moths. regards yiannis

Hi Kapil,
another nice and interesting photo. Great point of view. Nice colours.
Have a nice week,

Hello Kapil,
Great image with such impressive colors and details.
Wonderful composition and perfect focus.

Hallo Kapil,
a beautiful macro shot of these tiny moths, splendid colours, excellent point of view, very well composed
Best regards

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2011-09-21 19:56]

Hello Kapil.
another lovely moths well shown in good moment and details.
The mating time is well presented here. Though such a small moth, you managed to present it nicely.


Calibration Check