Tuesday, November 08, 2011

National Moth Week 2012

For over a decade, British moth enthusiasts have participated in National Moth Night, an annual event. In recent years, the event has become increasingly popular. Most observers record moths in their backyards, but some prominent institutions have set up moth traps as well. Next year, the United States will have a new mothing event, National Moth Week, which will be July 23-29, 2012. Here is Dave Moskowitz of the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission on the purpose of the event:
Why moths? With more than 10,000 species in North America alone, moths offer endless options for study, education, photography and fun. Moths can be found everywhere from inner cities, to suburban backyards and the most wild and remote places. The diversity of moths is simply astounding. Their colors and patterns are often dazzling or so cryptic that they define camoflauge. Shapes and sizes span the gamut with some as small as a pinhead and others as large as a hand.

Most moths are nocturnal creatures of the night, and need to be sought to see – others fly like butterflies during the day. Finding moths is easy and can be as simple as leaving a porch light on and checking it after dark. Serious moth aficionados use special lights and baits to attract them. Moths are also featured widely in literature and art providing a different angle for enjoyment and study.

Moth Nights are often held by nature groups and allow an easy opportunity for an introduction or for more serious pursuits. National Moth Week brings together everyone interested in moths to celebrate these amazing insects. It is hoped that groups and individuals from all across the country will spend some time during National Moth Week looking for moths and sharing what they’ve found.

During National Moth Week, attend a Moth Night event, start one, get some friends and neighbors together and check the porch lights from time to time, set up a light and see what is in your own backyard, read literature about moths. But no matter what, participate; the richness of moths is sure to fascinate. National Moth Week: Exploring Nighttime Nature.
I have been to several moth nights in East Brunswick where I met Dave and other local moth enthusiasts. The events are fun to attend. On a good night in favorable habitat, there are plenty of moths to look at and opportunities to talk to people with similar interests. It is easy to find moths in your own backyard by leaving a porch light on or setting up a moth trap. Organizations also run moth nights easily as long as they have a good spot to set up a sheet and a UV light. For more information on participating, see the National Moth Week website.