Blue Tiger Moth

Blue Tiger Moth - Dysphania palmyra
Blue Tiger Moth - Dysphania palmyra

Even though that evening was drizzling I was trying to photograph Black Drongos (Dicrurus macrocercus) which were busy catching insects during late evening. Light was fading but my new Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS lens was able to get many pictures albeit in slower speed. As I came back to my In-laws house I saw this day flying moth which flew and sat on the metal box outside their home.

Even though I was not able to reach the box which was sufficiently high I got my trusty rig of Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM on Canon EOS 5D mark II fitted with ExpoImaging Ray Flash Adapter on Canon Speedlite 580EXII Flash out to shoot this moth. The metal box where it was sitting was a rusty one. The biggest challenge was to reduce the reflection of the flash from the metal box. The ring flash adapter helped me by diffusing the light evenly to produce a pleasant lighting.

Blue Tiger Moth - Dysphania palmyra
Blue Tiger Moth - Dysphania palmyra

This is a very common moth we see around here. It is also one of the few day flying moths as most moths fly in the dark hours of night. It is called by various names as Blue Tiger moth, Four O’clock Moth, Peacock Jewel moth. This Dysphania palmyra species of moth belongs to the Family Geometridae. The inch worm caterpillar which I posted a year back belong to the same family of moths.

Many Geometrids have slender abdomens and broad wings which are usually held flat with the hindwings visible. As such they appear rather butterfly-like but in most respects they are typical moths: the majority fly at night, they possess a frenulum to link the wings and the antennae of the males are often feathered. They tend to blend in to the background, often with intricate, wavy patterns on their wings. In some species, females have reduced wings and are flightless (e.g. winter moth and fall cankerworm).

Most are of moderate size, about 3 cm across but a range of sizes occur. They have distinctive paired tympanal organs at the base of the abdomen (lacking in flightless females).

Blue Tiger Moth - Dysphania palmyra
Blue Tiger Moth - Dysphania palmyra

The name Geometer (earth-measurer) refers to the means of locomotion of the larvae or caterpillars, which lack most of the prolegs of other Lepidopteran caterpillars. Equipped with appendages at both ends of the body, a caterpillar will clasp with its front legs and draw up the hind end, then clasp with the hind end (prolegs) and reach out for a new front attachment – creating the impression that it is measuring its journey. The caterpillars are accordingly called loopers, spanworms, or inchworms. They tend to be green, grey, or brownish and hide from predators by fading into the background or resembling twigs. Some have humps or filaments (see Filament-bearer image). They are seldom hairy or gregarious. Typically they eat leaves. However, some eat lichen, flowers or pollen. Some, such as the Eupithecia, are even carnivorous.

Blue Tiger Moth - Dysphania palmyra
Blue Tiger Moth - Dysphania palmyra
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/14 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Taken : 13 June, 2010 | Flash fired : yes | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 200 | Location : 12° 55′ 20.02656″ N 74° 51′ 55.209240040174″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/14 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Taken : 13 June, 2010 | Flash fired : yes | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 200 | Location : 12° 55′ 20.02656″ N 74° 51′ 55.209240040174″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/14 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Taken : 13 June, 2010 | Flash fired : yes | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 200 | Location : 12° 55′ 20.02656″ N 74° 51′ 55.209240040174″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/14 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark II | Taken : 13 June, 2010 | Flash fired : yes | Focal length : 100mm | ISO : 200 | Location : 12° 55′ 20.02656″ N 74° 51′ 55.209240040174″ E | Shutter speed : 1/125s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.

3 thoughts on “Blue Tiger Moth

  1. never seen a moth with such dazzling variety of colors before. mostly they come with dull camouflage. don’t they ?

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