The unsuspecting tumblr user @spideymoth sent an ask to my non-nature blog:
Are you on iNaturalist as nanofishology as well? Are you at UW? If so, I’d love to hear about your experiences there and finding that Polyphemus moth!
Well you’re in for a treat!
To answer your first question, yes, I am most definitely nanofishology on iNaturalist [link]
And I most definitely created a project for tumblr people to get more familiar with iNaturalist [link to iNat project]. You can find some background for the project in my tagged posts [link to tumblr posts]. The project is still in its infancy, but we’re doing a great job already! I’ll be posting tutorials on using iNat soon. Let me know if you’d like to join us!
Your second question, regarding my association with the University of Washington in Seattle: I was at UW a few years back, and graduated with my chemical engineering degree in 2013. My experiences there, in general, are what you would expect from a stubborn/hyperfixated/overachieving post-bac engineering student [link]. I mean, somehow I ended up on the front page of the business section of the newspaper?
But since this is my nature blog, some UW nature! I recently posted about the joys of witnessing the Corpse Flower at the greenhouse bloom back in 2011 [link]. Besides that, there were lizards and herons:
Western Fence Lizard (Left) & Great Blue Heron (Right)
There were ducks swimming in puddles and geese pooping on the grass
Do I need to caption these? People know what Mallards and Canada Geese are, right?
And there was the best duckling ramp ever at the fountain every spring
But you want to know about the Polyphemus moth!
I found this dude in front of Benson Hall (the chemical engineering building), and thought it was a crazy big moth, like I didn’t even realize Washington HAD moths that big. I was impressed enough to take a photo! He was no longer living and fairly beat-up, so nothing too exciting to talk about there. But I moved to Texas in 2013. And guess what we have here? I’ll give you a clue:
Need some more clues?
Egg and caterpillar head capsule molts
We have lots of large moths in Texas. I’m currently raising my second batch of Polyphemus moth caterpillars from eggs, check the caterpillar livepost [link]. My first experience meeting a live Polyphemus moth is summarized in this post [link].
Anyway not sure if this is what you were expecting, but this is what you get. Let me know if you would like any assistance with iNat!
September 11, 2018
THIS IS AMAZING and Exactly what I was hoping for! Thank you!!
I actually have pretty good experience with iNat (I’m on there as Ravenlunatic) but I saw your moth and I just had to ask! I googled “nanofishology” and lo and behold, your blog came up!
I need more large moths in my life…… part of my huge conflict in coming years. Do I move away from Seattle for greener lepidopteran pastures or stick with my old faithful?
I gotta hear about some of the things you’re seeing in Texas – such an amazing place for wildlife!
Almost to 900 species (all lifeforms, but predominantly bugs) in my 0.10 acre yard in two years alone. The bulk of my 15,000+ observations on iNat have been in Texas since 2017.
And yes, Golden-cheeked Warblers! I’ve heard two and seen one (verified on iNat!), but I didn’t get a photo. James sure did, though! [link] If you like birds, no single better place to be in North America than central Texas. We get the east species and west species, plus their hybrids, and anything that migrates over land to Central/South America passes through. Also, lots of famous birders are here. Victor Emanuel photobombed a video I was taking of the Purple Martin roost 😂
If you’re accustomed to Seattle, you may struggle with being outside in Texas nine months of the year. Also: it’s LOUD. Regardless, it’s a great place to visit and there’s always something to see. Let me know if you’re ever in Austin, I can take you to the Secret Insect Locations.