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Amata phegea

Posted by
Johan Dierckx (Wijnegem, Belgium) on 22 July 2010 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

Amata phegea (Nine-spotted moth / Phegeavlinder of Melkdrupje) is a day-active moth in the family Arctiidae ("woolly bears"). The nine-spotted moth is chiefly found in southern Europe but there are a few areas in Belgium where this species can be found. In Belgium it is consedered rare and volnurable. It reaches a wing span of 35–40 millimetres. Its wings are blueish black with white spots. A further feature is the prominent yellow ring at the abdomen. I was looking for this species for several years now and last monday I finally could find it. Sun was almost completely down and light was very diffucult to work in. Flying period of this species is almost over so hopefully I can return next year to make some better images.

Image: Brasschaat (BE) - 19/07/2010

Canon EOS 400D 1/80 second F/4.0 ISO 200 150 mm

© Johan Dierckx

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All species are photographed in their natural habitat, without cutting or capturing them, and with maximal respect and the least possible disturbance to the environment.

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Julie from Le Cannet des Maures, France

très belle composition

22 Jul 2010 6:14am

@Julie: Thanks again, Julie. The light was very low at the time I found this moth. Because this species is mostly black, I had to include much of the flowers to get a minimum shutter-speed (I was working out of hand). So I'm realy glad you like the composition here.

♏arleen from Doesburg, Netherlands

Zeldzame vondst ,dus dat was boffen;-) Leuk om dit melkdrupje nu ook te zien:-)

22 Jul 2010 8:08am

@♏arleen: Inderdaad een zeldzaamheid in onze streken. Het heeft me dan ook heel wat moeite gekost om de juiste vliegplaats te vinden... maar nu ik hem weet ga ik volgend jaar iets vroeger om rupsen, poppen en koppeltjes te zoeken :-) Het is een behoorlijk elegant vlindertje dat me echt heeft weten te bekoren.

Veronique from Sarrouilles, France

Very nice flowers composition and I find your picture rather good !! Your patience was rewarded

22 Jul 2010 10:07am

@Veronique: I made lots of images, but most of them were rather unsharp due to limited light and working out of hand. With this image I'm happy, but I hope to make some better next year. I know now where to look for them.

Julie Brown from Indianapolis, United States

Congrats on finding this striking moth. The abdomen looks really thick!

22 Jul 2010 1:15pm

@Julie Brown: I found 5 death and 2 living specimens... Flying-period of this moth is nearly over. But at last I found the right place so I will return next year :-) I think the abdomen is not thicker than most other species of the family, but this one nearly almost has the wings lateral while resting or drinking so the abdomen is much more visible than usual. Maybe that is why it gives that impression.

Mascha from Kootstertille, Netherlands

Het is een prachtige vlinder, ik ben deze ook tegen gekomen in mijn vakantie, had ze nog nooit gezien. Er waren er tientallen op dat moment.
Ik heb veel foto's gemaakt en net als bij jou waren er veel niet goed, binnenkort kun je mijn foto aanschouwen op mijn blog.

24 Jul 2010 7:55pm

@Mascha: Het is een wonderlijk vlindertje idd. Ben benieuwd naar je foto op je blog binnenkort. Ik hou het in de gaten.

ELENA from Basauri, Spain


24 Jul 2010 9:23pm

@ELENA: Thank you very much, Elena.

Marie from FRESNES, France

superbe macro.

25 Jul 2010 9:00pm

@Marie: Thank you very much, Marie.

Dutçh from Chicagoland, United States

I look at the dates of your photos and posts and you must be out nearly daily catching these wonderful creatures. Wooly bear.. that is the name of a caterpillar here that I photographed a few months ago. I wonder if it is the same.

25 Jul 2010 9:36pm

@Dutçh: The Wooly bear (Isia isabella) is a different species, but belonging to the same family - so it's somehow related :-)
About the dates: First: Yes in this period of the year i'm nearly dayly out (when the weather is ok) to get into nature. I'm a music-teacher and in Belgium school holiday is from july 1st till august 31th. So plenty of time for me to "rest"... In Belgian orchid season (starting may 1st) I spend nearly every moment available (when not working). So 4 months a year I try to get the most out of nature as i can :-) The other 8 months i will spend cataloging my findings and images :-)

Monique from Koh Samui, Thailand

Die vliegen hier ook rond en ik vind ze zo schattig met hun imitatie van een wesp. Heeft dat jarenlange wachten eindelijk vruchten afgeworpen ;) Erg mooi zoals ze daar tussen de gele bloemetjes hangt.

27 Jul 2010 12:05pm

@Monique: He, leuk, ik wist niet dat deze soort zulk groot verspreidingsgebied had... Een wesp zie ik er niet meteen in, maar misschien zien de wespen er in Thailand dan ook weer wat anders uit dan de onze ... :-) Natuur blijft toch steeds boeiend en wondermooi ... voor wie er bewust naar wil kijken :-)

Canon EOS 400D
1/80 second
ISO 200
150 mm