Friday, 1 September 2017

Spinning on a branch!!



Sometimes book illustrations get it so wrong...
whilst being "right and proper"....
moths are one example...
illustrations of the waterside plant Butterburr [Petasites hybridus] Chapeau-du-Diable being another.... it always has tiny holes in the leaves caused by the Strawberry Snail [Trichia striolata] that feeds under the leaves. Artists have always "cleaned" the leaves when they paint illustrations for books.

A Lobster Moth [Stauropus fagi] fr... on a rendered wall... in normal, and book, position.

All moths are portrayed heads-up or from the side....
to show the underwing, quite often the moth is pictured with one pair open....
usually the right... and so it should be, you need to be shown the characteristics...
but they are always a bit "museum"!
Possibly because museum specimens were used to do the drawings??
But, possibly also, because that is the "norm"!

But on websites, I have noticed that the photographs are also quite often corrected...
the moth doesn't actually adopt the position shown in the books... but the picture's editor....
possibly the photographer... possibly the website owner[s]...
have orientated the moth to the book position.
You don't actually find the moth in that position...
and the direction of light shows it has been rotated.

An "almost-silhouette" of a Lappet...
showing the leaf outline... not the right plant...
but it chose to fly off and settle there!!

Take the moth at the beginning of this post...
The Passenger
[Dysgonia algira] la Passagère...
a moth new to me... but a beautiful example of evolution.
I rotated the first picture to the "book" position.
BUT... this is how it was in the trap...




And a better picture taken later...



And this is the position it immediately adopted on release back to the wild...


... in both cases, as in the trap, head down.
But can you see why?
Let your eyes relax a little and look at those last few pictures...
can you see the optical illusion?
Remember that the moth is a flat-winged creature...
the illusion is created in "pixels"... each wing scale being a "pixel"....!!

I'll post later about what evolution "thinks" you should be seeing.

3 comments:

Susan said...

The trailing edges of the wings appear to roll back on themselves.

Sheila said...

In spite of scrolling up to the top and back down several times, I'm still puzzled by the "roll back" appearance. Eagerly awaiting further clarification. Beautiful moth.

koi seo said...

Beautiful month.


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