Sunday, July 18, 2010

A moth that happened to cross my way

Butterflies and moths can be distinguished by a number of ways. One of them is their flight patterns. Butterflies fly in a straightforward way, while the trajectory of a moth is more perturbed and random.

When I was young, I chased butterflies in the field. One of my more important cognitive task was to distinguish between butterflies and moths. Most of the time the distinction was clear enough. At other times, you had to make some cognitive efforts to finally make a judgment whether the airborne insect in front of you is a butterfly or a moth.

I was quite earnest in my entomological pursuit. I could tell virtually any butterfly species living in Japan. Not so for the moths. Except for a few conspicuous species, moth classification was something beyond my power and interest. I could not care less about the tiny living creature in front of me, if that was a moth.

This unjustified discrimination was a natural thing for a boy, but nowadays I regret it. I should have studied the moths in more earnest, as they are part of the ecological system after all. In ecology, every species counts. There are no important and unimportant entities. Every creature is important. I realize the truth of this equality now.

If I have time, I would like to invest my time in studying moths as well as butterflies.

Here's a picture of a moth that happened to cross my way recently. I admire its beauty. I have no idea what it's called, or what it's life history is like.

My deficiency in moths knowledge is a good example of how much you are going to miss if you have a unfounded prejudice.


nutty naughty said...

Hi Dr. Mogi

Beautiful picture and essay! I enjoyed your blog in this morning, too.
After I read your blog and found the name of your moth.

yuzu said...

I like today's essay very much too.
Because my friend tease and say to me"You are a not
like a butter fry, you are like a moth. A moth fries to the lighting. I don't know that your way some times" Recently I was understood it by the movie Gaia symphony. It says that "ife is what happens to you, while you are making other plans.

Tsumabenicho said...

"This unjustified discrimination was a natural thing for a boy,but nowadays I regret."

I was afraid of moths because of their quiet color and fleshy wings.Children are set in a kind of context that moths are inferior in beauty to butterflies.I spent much time on breaking such unfounded prejudices.