16 July 2013 - An Extensive Family.

Our next new moth is the Mottled Beauty (Alcis repandata) which makes 280 on the species list. It is becoming quite a common sight in the moth-trap, and I've even managed to get shots of both male and female specimens. The male has feathery antennae that point outwards while the female's antennae are less decorated and are held back in the resting position.

Mottled Beauty (Alcis repandata) - male

Mottled Beauty (Alcis repandata) - female

The Mottled Beauty comes in a variety of forms all of them with gorgeous markings. It has taken a considerable amount of patience to get proper images of them. I spent three days trying to find one that would sit still long enough for me to get even one snapshot of it. This moth is extremely flighty and easily disturbed - sometimes as soon as I put my finger within a few inches of one it flew off. This I suppose is understandable since these moths are rather large and are prone to being eaten by birds. To get the first picture I had to catch the moth, refrigerate it for a short while to calm it down, and then place it in a good light to photograph, which it still wasn't too compliant about. The second moth just waited long enough for me to finish photographing before setting off as well.

Alcis is the daughter of the Greek Aegyptus and who had fifty brothers. Forty-nine of those brothers were killed by the forty-nine of the fifty daughters of Aegyptus' twin brother. Sounds like someone had some family problems. Repandus 'bent, sinuous' merely refers to the wiggly black line on the edge of the Mottled Beauty's hindwing.

- Post by Jane Wu