Sometimes known in Costa Rica as “night witch butterflies” the following photos show only a very tiny sampling of the moths in the area. The best way to find these guys is to put out a uv/blacklight at night. Within minutes, it will be crawling with moths and other night fliers who are attracted to its glow. Of course, they will go towards any bright light, and especially during rainy season anyone with outside lights will see plenty of moths.
The best moth to find, which I have yet to see, is the legendary “lanternfly” which some people call the “alligator head moth”. It’s called the lanternfly because it has a large, bulbous reptilian-looking head, and its original discovered found one that had a phosphorescent glow coming from it, possibly from fungus, so he thought it glowed. However, usually this moth doesn’t glow. Someone please send us a photo of one.
Camouflaged leaf-shaped moth. Even close-up this moth still looks like a leaf. 2 inch wingspan
A giant yellow moth with a very fat body. The wingspan was 5 or 6 inches.
Huge night moth, well camoflaged to sit hidden on tree bark.
Another giant night moth with purple on its wings.
Very large moth with an interesting wing shape.
Click/snap moth which is active during the day, usually in pairs on a single tree. They make a loud snapping/clicking sound when they flutter about, which is very distinctive.
The wookie moth. This weird furry guy was about 1.5 inches long.
A fuzzy moth about 1.5 inches long. It only had four legs and even from fairly close, it looked like just a piece of wood or a leaf.
Close-up of the Fuzzy Moth. It has amazing antennae.
A moth seen in Montezuma with a very high contrast design, useful for camoflage.
This brightly colored moth came out at dusk and was extremely fast. I was very lucky to be able to take a photo of it after I saw it land on a leaf. Its wings were narrow and it sat still only for a moment.
I have to admit that we caught this moth, which seemed near death, and put it on the flower for the photo.
A fuzzy spotted moth, about one inch wide, seen in Montezuma.
This was a remarkable moth, seen only at night feeding on these flowers. It was quite large and at first we thought it was a hummingbird. We could only tell what it was by looking at this flash photo. Known as a “Hawk Moth”, they feed on nectar at night, from large white flowers. Did you know that flowers that are white are colored that way so they can be pollinated at night, and thus more easily seen in low light?
Another wookie-like moth that reminded me of Chewbacca
A pretty golden-yellow moth with spots.
A lanternfly, also known as an alligator-head moth. This unusual species was mis-named because the first species found was dead, and had phosphorescent material glowing on its head. The person who found it mistakenly assumed that it was a glowing insect.
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