Discovering the fascinating world of moths

On the evening of June 25, Long Point Basin Land Trust hosted a fun and
educational “mothing” night. More than 15 people of all ages came to learn all
about moths and their true beauty. The event was held at the Arthur Langford
Nature Reserve near Frogmore. This property is one of five nature reserves
managed by the Land Trust.

David Beadle, coauthor of the Peterson Field Guide: Moths of Northeastern
North America, and the creator of the Ontario Moths website, was the special guest of the evening. David brought some examples of different species of moths that he had captured nearby the night before. Those in attendance had a chance to get an up close look at these too often misunderstood night creatures.

As the sky grew darker, a bright light was shone onto a white sheet to attract
moths. Many different species appeared; some big and some small, some
brightly coloured and some very drab. All were very beautiful in their unique
ways. One of the younger participants eagerly tried her hand at capturing
moths, and carried around two bright yellow Io Moths she delightfully named
‘Puffy’ and ‘Dandelion’.

David Beedle shows a moth specimen captured earlier in the day.
Backlit moth sheet set up, participants taking pictures of moth specimens

Moths play an important role in the ecosystem as pollinators and as a food
source for birds, bats and amphibians. Moths have evolved many strategies to
avoid being eaten, with some species being drab hues of greys and browns to
hide in plain sight on tree trunks while other species are quite colourful with
bright eyespots that they flash to scare off predators. Beadle estimated that
Norfolk County alone could be home to almost 2000 different moth species
because of its wide array of plant diversity.

As the night came to an end, guests had observed, over 220 different moths,
include some very rare species. With his vast experience, David was able to
quickly recognize the different species and rhyme off their often bizarre names
such as Showy Emerald, Spotted Apatelodes, The Beggar, Achemon Sphinx,
and Pinkstriped Oakworm Moth.

Achemon Sphinx Moth, Mary Gartshore


With continued support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the
Government of Ontario, Long Point Basin Land Trust will be hosting similar
Nature in the Neighbourhood events at their other nature reserve properties
throughout the summer.

For more information, please contact: Kristyn Richardson, Projects Manager at
519 586 8309 or