Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Syneda Moth / Syneda Divergens (Family Noctuidae, Nocturnal Moths)

The Syneda Moth, like other Noctuids or nocturnal moths, can see in the dark. When our eyes cannon penetrate the black shadow, this beautiful little moth flutters through the mysterious night with perfect ease, detecting other moths of its own kind and swirling with them in a ghostly dance rarely seen by the eyes of man. But other eyes do see the moths dancing, eyes in which the irises can spread as wide as if curtains were pulled back from a window until every tiny atom of light can enter. Squart poor-wills, birds that appear like the dead leaves of the forest floor, crouch to the ground watching the approaching moths. They are the tigers of the moth world. Suddenly one poor-will launches itself in the air, its wide and hair-lined mouth gaping wide like a great trap, its movement silent as a springing panther. Into that wide cavern three or four moths fall and are trapped with a single snap of the beak. Others, frightened by the fierce attack, drop quickly into the brush, hiding their bright hind wings by folding over them the duller front ones.

By day these moths lie hidden on the bark of trees and bushes that have the same design as the design of their own fore-wings. Many times, if you have gone on a hike in the west where this moth is found, you have gazed at these camouflaged children of the forest and field and not seen them. Probably, only if you put your finger right on one, would it leap into the air.

Moths: A Complete Guide to Biology and Behavior


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