Once again it’s National Moth Week, a celebration of those often inconspicuous creatures that pollinate many flowers, defoliate trees and shrubs, are agricultural pests and feed the bats and birds that grace forests and fields.
For two years we've kept a light on outside the house on warm spring, summer and fall evenings, the moths that gather have been collected, ensconced in the refrigerator for the night and photographed in the morning. After three years the moths that are most abundant here have been photographed.
But there are still new species to find – especially since the changing climate is impacting the number, distribution and abundance of moths. Some scientists are concerned about a worldwide collapse of insect populations. If insect numbers are plummeting we should all be worried since the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicates that somewhere around 35% of the world’s food plants are insect-pollinated.
Here are some of the species photographed at our house in northcentral Pennsylvania in 2020 –