Friday, 8 September 2017

Confusion and Obfustication.... and Nature's digital art.

What does the Passenger want you to see...
Well, perhaps it is easier to say what it doesn't want you to see....
it, and all the other wonderfully patterned moths, don't want you to see a potential meal!!
Save those like the Tigers, the Cinnabar and other very brightly coloured insects...
they, apparently, are saying "Don't eat me, I'm yucky!"
No, I've not tried!!!
But these, whilst often seen in flight during the day, are few in number.

The vast majority of moths are resting at that time and only flying at night.
So they need to remain unseen...
the most well known of these was the Peppered Moth [Biston betularia]... often cited as "evolution in action"*...
where...int'Black Country and t'grime of t'far North'n cities with the mills and steelworks...
a dark form evolved... and thrived... because it couldn't be seen at rest.
And, now, with the "big clean up", it has become much rarer.

Everyone knows the Buff-Tip... which tries to make us think that it is a broken birch twig....

Here, it is actually on a broken willow branch....
so it isn't restricted in its choice of places to rest!


and the Lappet, in silhouette in the previous post, even has "leaf veins"!

The leaf veins are showing very well on the lower wing of this one.


But what is the Passenger trying to imitate?
As a moth, it is a very "flat-winged" one...

It is a very delta-winged moth.

but, by "posing" in a nose downward position, it is imitating a curled over, dead leaf.
A total optical illusion... but very effective... all the insect needs to do is keep its tail towards the sun...
et, voila...
it is a dead leaf.

Not one of my best pix....
but I had released it well before looking at it onscreen...
and spotting the illusion.

And it is all done with pixels...
nature invented digital art before computers were even a Greek dream!

And here are the pixels!!

*Personally, with the Peppered Moth, my take is that a dark form had always existed!
Many moths have dark forms... given the right conditions, they will be more successful...
simply because they are the least likely to be picked off as a tasty snack

3 comments:

John Lupton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheila said...

I've certainly gained a new appreciation of moths since you started this series...all of these are amazing. Still having a hard time getting my mind around the fact that the Passenger's rolled wing is just an illusion. As for the Bufftip, I just cannot figure what the twig would look like as wings unfurled. Thank you for posting these great photos.

Hope your willows had a good summer.

koi seo said...

Thank you for posting these great photos.


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