Perhaps I was wrong about spiders

Since I just noticed that this spider clearly has Cthulhu on it’s back. Hmm.

spider photo

Female Argiope aurantia; source Wikipedia

This actually is a harmless and common garden orb weaverArgiope aurantia. They are large, but are not a risk to humans.  When asked for comment about the decoration on her back, she said:

“Unglnu’nph k’lyeh hngilu’phth’n, l’yi? Rg’hlia k’gr ph’nglui mglw’nafh. F’nagn rg’hlia gr’rnua.”

Translation:  “I consume insect souls for a living, okay? It’s my job. Just shut up and let me do my job.”

Hat tip to FB for finding this!

National Moth Week 2013

It’s almost time.

moth week

July 20th to 28th, 2013
National Moth Week Events in the US

“Citizen scientists around the world will be setting up white sheets and lights in backyards, woods and fields July 20 through July 28 for the second annual National Moth Week, a global science project begun last year to encourage the public to observe and document one of nature’s most diverse creatures…

Through partnerships with major online biological data depositories, National Moth Week
participants can help map moth distribution and provide needed information on other life history aspects around the globe.”

Moth week has many partner organizations that are repositories for data and photos about moths. These include Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA), and BugGuide, among many others. Last year, these partner organizations received more than 3,500 submissions as a result of National Moth Week Moth spottings! You can participate too–just take photos of the moths you see, and upload them to one of the partner organizations with location and other data.

National-Moth-Week2013small

You don’t have to identify your moths–they have experts that will help.  The photo you upload with your observations lets a specialist confirm ID. Then that information is used to compile species checklists, and distribution maps. And that data, over time, becomes an invaluable record of species distribution. Science!

What happens at a moth night? It’s a lot of fun!  Basically, you put up a sheet and a light with a bunch of your friends, and sit around and wait for moths.  So, yes, YOU can do science by sitting around on a beautiful summer night; alcoholic libations may be consumed (although whether or not it is an essential part of mothing varies, depending on who you talk to).

Tips on Mothing

World Moth Week Locations