Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Tufted moth

with 21 comments

Tufted Moth on Grass Seed Head 8871

Click for better clarity.

Near the end of my December 18th walk in the Upper Bull Creek Greenbelt I noticed this tufted moth on a grass seed head. Wouldn’t you like to have antennae like those?

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 22, 2014 at 5:55 AM

21 Responses

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  1. That hairdo blends in perfectly.

    Jim in IA

    January 22, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    • And it’s one that I can relate to.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 22, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      • My imagination is taking this vision into amusing places. 🙂

        Jim in IA

        January 22, 2014 at 9:50 AM

        • Your mention of imagination reminds me that Linnaeus chose the term imago to represent the final stage in the development of an insect, that stage that in some sense is the idealized “image” of the species.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 22, 2014 at 10:23 AM

          • That’s what we typically see.

            Jim in IA

            January 22, 2014 at 10:42 AM

            • There are so many insect species that lots of variation exists. In butterflies and moths, for example, we notice the adults—which fly and are often colorful—more easily than the caterpillars, which don’t fly and may be partly hidden on plants. In contrast, there are species in which the final stage is brief, sometimes only a day or two, whereas earlier stages can last for months.

              Steve Schwartzman

              January 23, 2014 at 6:51 AM

              • What if your whole adult experience was to have sex, lay eggs, and die all in one day?

                Jim in IA

                January 23, 2014 at 7:23 AM

                • If I can add a negative to Hamlet: ’tis a consummation devoutly not to be wish’d.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  January 23, 2014 at 7:39 AM

  2. I’ve been interested in getting images of these moths due to the atypical antennas. You caught that so well.

  3. Amazing – well caught


    January 22, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    • The moth had caught on to the grass and held it firmly, so I acted in kind and did some photographic catching.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 22, 2014 at 4:58 PM

  4. wonderful foto.


    January 22, 2014 at 10:16 PM

  5. Whether the moth intended to use the grass for camouflage, it looks like a perfect landing spot for that purpose. The composition really highlights the similarities between the grass seeds and the moth’s “do”.

    As for wishing for such antennae – some have given it a try.


    January 24, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    • I hadn’t thought about camouflage, probably because I did notice the moth rather than pass it by unknowingly. If I remember right, I originally saw it from the back or side, then moved around and took pictures from various angles. I settled on this one for the post because it gives a good view of the moth’s “face.”

      As for the picture in your link, you’ve made an inspired connection to the moth’s antennae.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 24, 2014 at 1:12 PM

  6. I’m digging the antennae but I think my favorite is its “cape” with its white feathery collar! Very clear picture. I always wonder what such creatures think when we come upon them with our giant objects. Looks like it’s putting on its best warrior pose.



    January 25, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    • This moth had gripped the grass tightly and was intent on staying put in spite of my presence and the nearness of the camera’s lens. I’m usually not so fortunate, and it’s common for an insect to fly away before I have a chance to take good pictures of it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 25, 2014 at 11:11 AM

      • Maybe it was more of an attention loving insect than most! If they don’t fly away then the problem is getting your camera set and ready and then be able to find them again!


        January 26, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        • I’ve occasionally lost sight of something interesting, but usually I walk around looking for things to photograph with my camera at the ready, as it was in this case, so there was no chance of “misplacing” the moth.

          Steve Schwartzman

          January 26, 2014 at 11:18 AM

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