Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Spruce Carpet? Least Black Arches

Sorry for the poor photos. Does anyone have any tips about getting some of the Carpets to lay their wings flat rather than hold them over? I've tried the fridge, dark, light.

I'm thinking the first is a Spruce Caret, the second a worn Least Black Arches.

Mark Griffiths, Garsington, Oxford


  1. I'd agree with Spruce Carpet and Least Black Arches, Mark. Can't really help with tips on getting carpets to lay their wings flat other than to provide them with a flat surface on which to do so - they usually will eventually, but don't seem to like the curved sides of pots.

  2. thanks Dave. I've noticed some Carpets and Pugs like to rest on a vertical surface.

  3. Indeed they do, which can make photography a challenge sometimes. Generally speaking I need the moth to rest horizontally for my preferred "plain background" pictures (not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but then I'm usually aiming to illustrate the moth and not a staged shot of it supposedly resting on a handy leaf or bit of bark which often looks completely fake!). Sometimes I have to tap geometers out of the pot onto a vertical surface which I then slowly lower to the horizontal - it is surprising how often that works.

  4. I photograph moths the same as Dave and Carpets/Pugs can be difficult! Dave's technique for Carpets is almost identical to mine but I do something a little different with Pugs. I transfer them from a round pot to between the lid of a square one (that jon clifton sells) and a white piece of card underneath. Pugs normally want to settle upside down on the underside of the lid. When they do this I invert pot lid and card and give them a tap so they then settle on the card which is now upside down. Wait for a little while for the moth to settle and you can normally turn it over again, if you go gently, and it will stay settled on the card. Remove lid and shoot!

    I've never had any success in putting moths in the fridge, by the time they're out and set up for the camera they're ready to go again.

  5. Hi Nigel,

    I find putting moths in Fridge doesn't help with micros or some smaller macros like pugs but does help with most macros. I guess it is dependent on how much wing muscle mass needs to warm up.

    I have a lovely short video of 2 eyed hawk moths "warming up" their flight muscles by flapping their wings before take off.



Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.