Moth hunting at Pukemokemoke

The depths of winter may not seem the ideal time to hunt for moths, but those who turned up for the Moth Week event at Pukemokemoke on Friday night managed to find a few of their quarry despite the chilly conditions.

Waikato University plant ecology student Angela Simpson organised the evening, which is part of a worldwide event intended to promote awareness of the more than 150,000 species of this ecologically important group of animals.

While those participating in the Northern Hemisphere summer probably found more moths, it is still worthwhile searching in the winter because some moths only fly in the chilly season.

Number 8 Network’s chief moth hunter David Riddell put on his woolly hat and headlamp and went for a look.

Moth Week 001

Sheets laid out on the ground with spotlights to bring in the moths.

Moth Week 009

A black lyre leaf miner – you only see these guys in the winter, says Angela.

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There were caterpillars to be found too – this one was on a mahoe leaf.

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Other critters included cave wetas…

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And spiders – this one was chewing on a cockroach.

Round two of Moth Week at Pukemokemoke kicks off on Saturday 26 July at 5pm.

“Bring warm clothes, maybe something to sit on as the ground may be damp, a torch, and camera.”

Meet in the car park at 5pm, then Angela will set up for moth watching along the stream or at the log hauler clearing site.

Here are some of Angela and boyfriend Bryce’s photographs from previous trips around the Waikato –

Hebe plume moth Photo: Bryce McQuillan
Hebe plume moth Photo: Bryce McQuillan
Lichen moth Photo: Bryce McQuillan
Lichen moth Photo: Bryce McQuillan

And this little sweetie –

Macarostola miniella Photo:  Bryce McQuillan
Macarostola miniella Photo: Bryce McQuillan

If you would like any further information, email Angela.

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

4 thoughts on “Moth hunting at Pukemokemoke

  • July 22, 2014 at 9:42 am

    brilliant photos and a very good new event for Pukemokemoke to host,

  • July 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    I joined Angela and Bryce and team later in the evening and was intrigued by the diversity of invertebrates so accessible. Thanks for inviting us, We are thinking of a bat, moth , glow worm evening in the spring

    • July 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      That sounds a great idea, Warwick. Look forward to it!

  • Pingback: Bats and hot chocolate at Pukemokemoke - Number 8 Network

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