Saturday, May 25, 2024

Mothapalooza 2024: July 19 - 21

The quirky but infinitely fun and thoroughly educational Mothapalooza rolls around in less than two months and it's time to register. And register you should. This is a great event in one of the most scenic biological hotspots in Ohio, and Mothapalooza is populated by extremely knowledgeable connoisseurs of Nature and natural lore who love to share knowledge.

I only say that Mothapalooza is "quirky" because of the primary subject matter, and the hours of some of the field trips. It goes without saying that moths are the primary quarry and stars of the show. Butterflies have mostly always gotten the Lepidopteran limelight, and the creation of Mothapalooza, with the inaugural conference in 2013, showed that moths too could attract attention. And there are FAR more moths to ogle than butterflies. Something like 140 butterfly species have been recorded in Ohio. While no one knows anything close to an exact tally for moths, it's probably 20x higher, or more. Sure, the field trip hours tilt towards the late side, but it's well worth it. There will also be excellent diurnal field trips, and topnotch speakers each night at the historic Paxton Theater in nearby Bainbridge (home of the Dental Museum).

Mothapalooza was held at Shawnee State Park lodge in the early years, capitalizing on the adjacent 70,000-acre Shawnee State Forest and the nearby Edge of Appalachia Preserve. A few years ago, it shifted to the Highlands Nature Sanctuary in Highland County (Ohio), which is among numerous gems owned and managed by the Arc of Appalachia. This'll be the third Mothapalooza at this site, and the mothing is extraordinary.

Following are a few moth photos from events past, but first, to register for Mothapalooza, CLICK HERE. Hope to see you there!

Ornate Compacta Moth (Compacta capitalis), a rarity but we usually get some notable species such as this.

Harris's Three-spot (Harrisimemna trisignata), another oddity but one that we usually find in small numbers.

An Io Moth (Automeris io), one of the more frequent silk moths. The silk moths are always crowd-pleasers and we got lots of them, of many species.

Smaller Parasa (Parasa chloris). This is one of the slug moths, and they are some of the more interesting moths in appearance and coloration.

Yellow-based Tussock Moth (Dasychira basiflava). One element of mothing that is great fun is the photography of these creatures. Whether you use an iPhone or Canon R5 or Nikon Z8, it's easy to make interesting imagery of creatures that are seldom seen, thus seldom photographed. I and others are always glad to offer tips on technique.

No comments: