Day flying moths

Guy Van de Poel Guy_VdP at
Fri Aug 27 15:52:54 EDT 1999

The only ones I ever disturbed were Pieridae, on cold and rainy days. Their
first reaction was to keep hold of whatever they were holding on to, and the
second just to drop (may have been trying to fly, but due to the cold ...).
I also remember one distelvlinder (Cynthia cardui), who flew just two meters
and hid directly in the bushes again.
Talking about C. cardui, their - rather belated - migration finally seems to
be happening, I've seen several worn specimens the last couple of times I
was out.
(Bart, are you listening ?)
However, there was not a single one with that characteristic directional
Again, I have to note that this year was not a good one for the Nymphalini
around here (Germany, Heidelberg area).

Sunshine, almost no wind, and a steady hand (as well for the camera as for
the net) for all of you,


-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Walker <MWalker at>
To: 'jhimmel at CONNIX.COM' <jhimmel at CONNIX.COM>; leps-l at
<leps-l at>
Date: vrijdag 27 augustus 1999 16:13
Subject: RE: Day flying moths

>Are we talking numbers of species, or shear numbers?  I would think the
>former is definitely a yes, and when you consider micros (which are mostly
>ignored by net swingers) the latter is probably also true.  Nevertheless,
>perception from the field is that I am at least twice as likely to
>a butterfly than I am a day flying moth.
>Many of the moths that are encountered during the day are not really "day
>flying" moths, but are rather resting night flying moths that have been
>On a slightly different note, we've seen posts recently documenting
>butterfly species that have been attracted by light traps.  Has anyone ever
>disturbed a resting butterfly into taking flight at night (flight here
>probably be short and erratic)?  I have never personally witnessed this
>phenomenon at night, and rarely have seen it during my trekking on overcast
>days.  I've heard from other butterfly enthusiasts who occasionally perform
>their studies on rainy and overcast days - and are consistently able to
>locate resting butterflies and even get them to take flight.  I would
>the same could be done at night, though as I've said I've never witnessed
>Mark Walker.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: jhimmel at CONNIX.COM [mailto:jhimmel at CONNIX.COM]
>> Sent: Friday, August 27, 1999 9:37 AM
>> To: leps-l at
>> Subject: Day flying moths
>> 'O Learned Throng -
>> I was asked a very interesting question - that I couldn't
>> answer.  Are there
>> more day-flying moths on the wing in North America than there
>> are butterflies on
>> a typical day?
>> Any thoughts?
>> John
>> <><><><><><><><><>
>> John Himmelman
>> Killingworth, CT USA
>> jhimmel at
>> <><><><><><><><><>

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