A few months ago I posted pictures on Facebook (scroll to the end to see), and video on Instagram of this peculiar looking moth. Perhaps it doesn’t look that strange in the grand scheme of natural things, because it actually looks like something very familiar: a leaf. Still though, it’s not often that one mistakes a moth for a torn leaf…. It’s not often that a moth’s proboscis looks like a dried, barky stem flowing from wings that mimic lush vegetation. So, as typical as leaves are, the moth is fascinating, and so I posted, and posted, and posted on it six months ago. I posted so many images of it that I felt obligated to announce that my last post was ‘my last post’ so that no-one would have to worry anymore about mothy news feeds. Unfortunately for moth haters though, the previous post is losing its title of ‘last’, as in ‘final’, because once more, I have moth news: an update!
Try as I did 6 months ago, I didn’t find out the name of the moth or any type of information on it. However, this morning I had a breakthrough moment. Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Cambridge, who specializes in butterflies and the like, Chris Jiggins, responded to my email where I asked him about the moth. He didn’t know exactly what species of moth it was, but he did know the family. He told me that it’s a type of snout moth of the Pyralidae family, and said it looked like an amazing little insect. He also linked me to some information on snout moths and I started reading a bit about them and searching to see if I could find the exact species of snout it was. I had no luck, but on another wonderful note, another zooologist from Cambridge, Dr. Henry Disney, responded to an email I had sent him concerning my moth problem. He told me that he specializes in flies though, and so couldn’t really help, but he suggested that I contact someone from the Natural History Museum in London to see if they could help me out. This brings me to the third email I sent out, to a Pyralidae family specialist of the Natural History Museum, but based in Denmark. He hasn’t yet responded, but I really hope that he does. It would be wonderful to finally be able to find out the name and the story of my (ka)leafy snout moth. 🙂
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