Moth of the Day


Ghost moths

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Light trapping events

  • Christchurch – Public Event, July 20 or July 22, 6-7pm: Night light trapping at Riccarton Bush, Christchurch. Dates are subject to change based on weather! Riccarton Bush is the only area of podocarp forest remaining in Christchurch. Open to all. Contact Johnathon Ridden ( for more information. 
  • Owaka – Public Event, July 20th July, 5pm. Come along and see how to do some sugaring and set up a light trap for doing a moth survey in your own backyard. Earthlore Wildlife Gardens, 129 Hinahina Road, Owaka, The Catlins. Contact Gordon and Janine Thompson at or 027 385 3182.
  • Auckland – Public Event, July 22: Night light trapping session with the Auckland branch at Waiatarua Reserve. Meet for 5pm at Abbotts Way Carpark. Open to all. Contact Morgane Merien ( for more information. 
  • Wellington – Private Event, July 24: Night light trapping at Zealandia. Private event for members. Contact William Brockelsby ( for more information.  
  • West Coast – Public Event. 

iNaturalist project


Kid’s colouring comp

Moth Week poster

Moth Week poster

Moth Poetry

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall…
by Robert Hoare

Who could be greener, paler, finer
Than Nymphostola galactina?
We’ll see its equal just as soon
As moss is grown upon the moon
Or when they take a spinach dhal
And lightly coat the Taj Mahal—
Others have tried to imitate
And met a most invidious fate…

Desiring to be smooth as silk
Fair Cleopatra bathed in milk;
The olive-skinned Egyptian Queen
Soon turned a whiter shade of green;
Mark Antony was so impressed
He almost instantly undressed
(That sweet romantic Roman boy)
And joined her there in lactic joy.

’Twas war, alas, that came to blight
Their calcium-enriched delight—
The cream of asses, goats or cattle
May help in love, but not in battle—
And so the dashing bathtime teaser
Was beaten by Octavius Caesar,
And in a fit of wounded pride
Ran straight into a sword and died.

Poor Cleopatra was distressed:
She clasped a viper to her breast
(Knowing that those who do so tend
To earn an asp-assisted end).
They say that as she felt it bite,
She went a turquoise shade of white…
But still she wasn’t paler, greener
Than Nymphostola galactina.

Fred the Thread
by Robert Hoare

I have a friend (his name is Fred)
He’s thinner than a cotton thread
His colour is an orange-red
He doesn’t feed on jam or bread
But Sporadanthus stems instead.

Such narrow tunnels must he tread
He needs a hinge inside his head
To give his jaws the room to shred
The food that is his home and bed
And stop himself from dropping dead.

Now when our friend is fully fed
And knows the time has come to shed
His final skin, a sense of dread
begins to filter into Fred:
How fast, he thinks, the time has sped!
And what a sheltered life he’s led!
He hopes he’ll have some outdoor cred
And won’t be thought of as inbred.

He sloughs his skin from A to Zed
And there’s a pupa in his stead!
Three weeks have passed, and it’s incred-
ible to see the adult Fred,
A mothy person born and bred
To look like that on which he’s fed.

He shows an admirable ded-
ication to his art, his sed-
entary posture leaving ed-
ucated mothmen ruby-red,
The effort of locating Fred
Causing a rush of blood to head
Resulting in potential med-
ical emergency and bed
With cooling drink and favourite Ted
Until delirium has fled.

To summarise, he’s Fred the Thread,
He’s red and has a hing-ed head
His head is used to shred his bed,
His bed’s the food on which he’s fed,
His bed is red and I am led
To think the redness of the Fred
Reflects the bedness of the red
I mean the redness of the bed –
The bed he shreddeth with his head
Until the Fred is fully fed
And sheds the skin he has to shed
To flee the bed that must be fled
To lead the life that must be led
To woo the wife that must be wed
To father further Freds of Thread.
Then Fred can smile and drop down dead.

I’ve said the things I wanted said.

Orocrambus fugitivellis
by Lily Duval

A child of Punga
sits patiently at the tip
of a slender blade.
Her body is a dusty scroll
moving only as the tussock moves.
Legs strong, this moth,
snout between the mountains,
she sends herself
through the air
as a smell,
sexy and sweet.

Wind fills the basin
knowing he’ll come,

she waits.