08.18.2020 American Idia

Not a spelling error, the American Idia-Idia americalis is a woodland litter moth.

I almost didn’t see this one as it blended so well with the black birch bark. I used some curves adjusting to make it stand out a bit better.

I love the green eyes. Looks to have a bit of attitude.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Insects, Lepidoptera, macro photography, Moths, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to 08.18.2020 American Idia

  1. Mike Powell says:

    Really cool shots, Steve. This moth is a perfect match for its environment. I love the final head-on shot with those beautiful green eyes that match that bit of moss in the foreground really well. It was a nice bit of focusing to get the eyes in focus, considering that you had a super shallow depth of field. Was the moth cooperative or are you simply super stealthy, Steve?

    Liked by 3 people

    • As a fan of alliteration, I’d opt for super stealthy and I am a rather simple guy. I was surprised that the moth allowed such a close approach. I guess certain moths are quite confident in the camouflage and sense their advantage in motionlessness over fleeing. Thanks, Mike!


      • Mike Powell says:

        In my experience, skittishness seems to vary from individual insect to insect. I have had cases when a particular dragonfly will let me get really close, while other members of the same species will fly away immediately as I approach.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. krikitarts says:

    A moth with attitude–now, there’s a kernel of an idea for a children’s book. The green eyes are really striking, as is its perfect camouflage on the birch. Yup, super-stealthy Steve strikes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The “Moth with an attitude” could be a follow up to “The very hungry caterpillar”. When I first saw the moth I thought it was part of the bark until I noticed the outline. I couldn’t really see the eyes until on the display while processing. A happy coincidence.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Todd Henson says:

    The moth was initially thinking, “if I ignore him he can’t see me…” But then you looked it right in the eyes! I’d never noticed color in the eyes like that, very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It never blinked either…but of course one need eyelids for that. I think it relied on its camouflage and motion would just give it away. A potential fatal assumption. I guess I am drawn to green eyes…which is good since Mary Beth’s eyes are green. 😀


  4. You and all previous commenters talked about the green eyes, so I won’t mention them, except I just did. And of course the camouflage on the tree bark is excellent. Your Idia moth reminds me of the Idea butterfly I saw in the Philippines last December:


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Camo reminds me of exactly how a whip-poor-will looks against the bark of a tree.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grouse are pretty well camouflaged on the forest floor in a similar way. There are many moths that know which bark to hang out on for their disguising. Finding them is often a great surprise as this was.


  6. Great images Steve! Enjoyed seeing them!


  7. Eliza Waters says:

    He looks a bit like Dobby. 😉 Great camouflage adaptation.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Here is looking at you, kid.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ms. Liz says:

    The continuity of the patterning across moth and bark is incredible, and you’ve even edited it to make the moth stand out more… pretty amazing! wow 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are clumps of moss on these black birch trees and that is what I initially thought I was seeing until I noticed the outline of the moth. My processing wasn’t terribly extreme but just enough to make the markings appealing.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. shoreacres says:

    In my post about the walk to the San Bernard oak, I have a photo of an Ilia species. When I saw Idia, I wondered if we’d found the same thing, but no: similar in appearance, but different genera. They certainly are hard to spot. I thought mine was an aberration in the bark pattern at first — what a surprise!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Moths are masters of camouflage. Sometimes when one takes flight it is a bit of a shock as they are almost invisible when motionless. Your Ilia Underwing certainly fits that description and I am impressed that you saw it.


  11. bluebrightly says:

    You and one other person in a million might see that one. 🙂 The second photo is really amazing – what an encounter you two had! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The wonders of camouflage. Great pics!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Fabulous photos, Steve. I especially like the bottom face on shot … those green eyes!


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