On many occasions I’ve mentioned the difficulty in identifying insects. More than 80% of all known species are insects. They vastly outnumber plants and animals combined to a degree most people can’t fathom.
For example, more than 900,000 species of insects have been identified, while slightly more than 4,000 species of mammals have been identified—humans among them.
Truth be told, scientists believe more insect species have yet to be identified and named than already have been categorized. That’s a stunning realization in that it means this single type of living creature is far more numerous than all other living things. By orders of magnitude beyond comprehension, mind you.
The current estimate is that there are up to 30 million insect species in the world. All other life combined would scarcely represent a tiny fraction of that, and it demonstrates a ration of 200 million insects for every individual human.
Consider that there are more species of dragonflies alone than there are of mammals.
So is it any doubt that identifying them can be tremendously difficult?
With that said, allow me to introduce to you a moth I encountered on January 20.
Perched atop a common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), it seemed dwarfed by a small flower that otherwise would pass unnoticed for most people. Not me, however.
This winged mystery remained absolutely motionless while I invaded its personal space trying to take presentable photographs. Not once did it flinch; not once did it bat a wing.
Perfectly still, perfectly small, it lay on a golden bed while I stooped and leaned and clicked.
The angle of light and camera washed its markings away in a sea of dazzling reflection. Nevertheless, the scale of the thing can be seen in this version of the same picture.
When I placed myself betwixt the moth and sun, a different view came into focus.
I still can’t offer a positive identification. Regrettably, none of the photographs I took that day proffer a sound image with “This is me!” plastered all over it.
That failure notwithstanding, however, I can guess it’s a Eudonia moth (no common name; Eudonia heterosalis) by its coloration and markings.
But I could be wrong.
Too many moths fit this description, look like this in other pics.
So I ask: Who are you?