The Middle Eastern Moth that Swooped in

Unknown Moth, photographed by Jeff Zablow in Society for the Protection of Nature Hermon, Israel

Hours into working the trails of SPNI Hermon, at the slope of Mt. Hermon, I was giddy, with so many butterflies flying, and untold wildflowers that were new to me. It was March 2015, and 2015’s winter was a wet one, insuring that March in Israel would produce a bounty of botany. Abundant wildflowers attract and nurture healthy numbers of butterflies, bees, flies and all of the rest of the flying nectarers.

It was that time when earnest naturalists begin thinking, Should I quit now, or push myself. Into that decision mix I added the clincher. Once the morning sun gets too high overhead, it bleaches images, and renders them less than fab.

Just then, I passed a rocky outcrop on my right, and, this moth shot out from somewhere and Huh? It landed, just 2 feet from me. I don’t seek moths, but they are winged beauties, and I am a curious type. Decision was made. Approach, and shoot out. Remember I use a Macro-lens (2.8, 100mm, Cannon). I liked this moth. It must be a type of hawkmoth, and it was fresh and I noted those blue bands on its abdomen. A pretty baby blue, that I liked.

What moth is it? I do not know. I do know that we will soon learn its ID from someone who know Middle Eastern moths.

Good. An exotic moth, who flew to me and posed. Happily, I was there, 7,000 miles from home, on this rocky outcrop, surrounded by a palette of wildflower beauty.