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Wednesday, August 10, 2005


As I was walking out to get the mail yesterday, I saw a splat of black, brown, yellow and white on the side of my house. "Oh great," I thought, "some bird crapped on the side of my house." But, it wasn't bird crap, it was too symmetric to be the work of a bird. I looked closer and thought it must be a slug of some kind, the things on the front looked a lot like antennae, and it was roughly slug-shaped. But when I got closer, I saw that it was only slug-shaped in two dimensions: it was slug length and slug height, but laterally, it was very thin. Hmm. I looked closer still and saw that it was covered with fuzz, like a moth, and that there were two little legs poking out from underneath. It was a moth. It was the ugliest moth I'd ever seen, in fact. It was a moth dressed like a gaudy slug or a splat of bird shit.

Here's what I saw on my porch:

Nikon D100, 105mm macro

I showed my wife, and she poked it. It flew down to the ground, where I poked it and it flew into the bushes. It landed with its wings spread, so that I could get this picture:

Nikon D100, 105mm macro

It's not quite so ugly like that, though its head still looks like bird crap.

Update: and after looking at hundreds of moth photos, I've identified this guy. It's a "Beautiful Wood Nymph Moth" Eudysas grata (#9301). Err... I guess moth people have a different concept of beauty. And, I can now say that this guy isn't the ugliest moth I've ever seen; there are some critters there that beat this one by a mile.

All images Copyright 2004-2005, cleek.