Two different species of the same genus of Nolid Moths (Chloephorinae, Nolidae) stand shoulder-to-shoulder at the MV (mercury vapour) night light.
Titulcia meterythra on the left and Titulcia confictella on the right.
If I had naming rights to this genus of moths, it would be Mirror Moths. The white scaled areas of the wings are highly reflective…..
Q: Where do all these moths come from and why the white background?
I use a 125W Mercury Vapour lamp for attracting night-flying insects. I used to set this up on my apartment rooftop or balcony with a white sheet and the surrounding tiled or painted walls as a base.
I found this fairly limiting due to often small numbers of attendees and usually the same species. So now I have invested in a gasoline generator and take my gear into the bush strapped to the back of my trusty electric bike.
The upside of this is an endless variety of species of all sizes, not only moths but from across the arthropod range; the downside is being totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of insect life to the point where getting settled on the sheet is difficult due to a constant barrage of disturbances, disrupted fields of view for a clean photograph, and predation (an army of predatory wasps and mantids require employing your peripheral vision to be aware of your prize model potentially becoming dinner). Of course, other subjects might alight near the sheet on the ground or surrounding vegetation and they can be photographed there.
(NB. I use the light only for photographing night-flying insects. I do not trap or collect specimens.)
Nolidae is a family of moths with about 1,400 described species worldwide. They are generally described as mostly small with dull colouration, the main distinguishing feature being tufts of raised scales on the forewings (the group is sometimes known as tuft moths), but the local Yunnan representatives are very diverse and strikingly colourful, as you can see.