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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My cute neighbourly Friends!- moths

What is this?

Well even toddlers know what it is... but what's so special about it?
It's the contents!!! I know that won't get you remotely excited but my box of staplers contain not only staplers but something else!

My extended family of friends decided to establish a cosy abode in one of my stapler boxes! My my, Of all places!

The photos are taken thru a magnifying glass to show you the details you might miss in your attempt to sweep them away. They measure less than 1mm across!!! Compare that to the ruler that you have..

I selected this photo because the amount of detail it shows. The red arrow points at a egg sac most probably before the pupae stage( where the ant baby takes the from of well... an ant) At this current stage it has already undergone organogenesis where some parts are formed... notice the black spot?

Well... being the good neighbour that I am I shoo shoo-ed them away from my box onto a part of my floor where they rush off to create another cosy home...

Then came another curious visitor...

Dead in the night, with my poor eyesight
I spot the tiny bug, hiding beside my rug
"Ah poor you," I said, "misled into my shed",
"by the bright bright lights",
"human dwellings leave throughout the night"

Ah... the shade of light casts a mysterious glow...

Haha... I am making this shot as though it's a superhero's entrance!
"Deng Deng Deng Deng!!!"

Ok! enough of the theatricals! Here's the cute bug in full view

Here's the iridescent glow of the wings... accentuated by my flash. Lucky it is not one to shy away from the limelight!

Truth be told, it's the first time in my life I stumbled across such an unique specimen! Well, by 'in my life' I mean the countless hours and days staring into the undergrowth looking for little bugs that scurry across my line of sight all through my younger years. It's the first time I've seen this type of moth.

I mean look at the antennae! Isn't it cool? Here's a magnified shot of it! Well I know larger moths have such elaborate antennae to pick up minute pheromones of the opposite sex, but it's a first for me to see such in a tiny specimen! And the angle of the antennae and the position of the front legs point towards the moth attempting to look like something/ look like nothing interesting at all to passer-by predators.

Well... It's my luck really...
I mean, I live on the 13th floor of a condominium...
sometimes going into to jungle I end up not spotting anything interesting...
Here I am living in Cheras, KL, in a high rise apartment with minimal adjacent vegetation and in comes this once in a lifetime rendezvous.

What happens next? I gently ushered him into a box and then 'forced' him to fly out of the window... haha

The next visitor... Well...
what can I say but...
Fear factor made REAL

Yup that's a wasp. And not just any tiny wasp. This is a huge wasp that measures.....

nearly 60mm long...... That's like 4 times the size of your average bee!
So there I was thinking what to do about it then the proverbial light bulb above the head brightened!

I took a pringles container, opened the lid and tried and tried and tried to make it go inside before turning the chute of the container outside my window and let it fly away... brilliant! isn't it?

Now the difference between bees and wasps is that bees are always gregarious and live in a colony; the bees we come across are worker bees serving a queen bee in the nest who is an egg-making-machine. Worker bees can only sting once, because their intestines will be ejected out of their body along with the stinging barb and they die. So don't think that bees enjoy stinging you. They do so to protect their nest and they trade-in with their LIVES. Please respect them..

Wasps on the other hand, are normally solitary, with the exceptions of the potter wasp(clay makers),the paper wasp and other gregarious wasps. Most wasps live a lonely life, taking nectar only as adults. When they're prepared to give birth they start to hunt for smaller insects to lay eggs on.

Wasps, have stings doubling up as ovipositors,( egg-planting appendages) and they can use them multiple times for self-preservation and for hunting purposes.

One Wasp you should know about is the tarantula wasp... As it's namesake.... It hunts, TARANTULAS!!! Well, who wins? Normally its a 50-50 situation where either one can end up on the dinner plate.

Back to my brilliant idea just now...So, turning the pringles around, I urged the critter to fly... but no, it had other ideas! It wants to take a stroll!!!!SO it doubled back on the pringles can.... and I don't have the guts to shake it off...
(anaphylactoid patients come into mind... coupled with the fact that they DO STING MULTIPLE TIMES)


No kidding... don't blame me for the quality of the latter shots, I have a wasp on my arm for crying out loud!!!!

As I attempted to take close ups of it..(on my arm, nonetheless) it started darting all around my upper arm.. boy was that scary... I thought I agitated it... but then slowly it turned to look at my face and then dropped off my arm.

Then I couldn't find it! I searched and searched but It wasn't there any more...
It disappeared as mysteriously as it came.. and I'm pretty sure he didn't fly out of my narrow window...

So... what can I do but to thank him for the visit and dispelling the myth that wasps are pugnacious, agressive beings out to sting people for fun. They are magnificient creatures in their own right, and learning to share our living space with them, is what we can do.

Finally, I thank the wasp for declaring me as


p.s.-Please don't use insecticide on every other insect that comes inside your home.
You harm your health in the process. Insects fly in because your lights attract them, because where your house stands... is once their home and they have right to be where they are by natural right.

Almost all of them are friendly, and tame -not to the extent of being cuddly, I know- but they don't bite for the fun of it.

If you think it is dangerous, just give it space, on your porch lights, off the lights in your house and keep your door open.

For butterflies and less imposing creatures, gently guide them out of your house and let them have the chance to live. If you're squemish... use Pringle tins,(although after the above accident I doubt anyone would try the approach) long poles, boxes, cartons whatever to usher them in and put the carton outside, open , and let them fly gently into the night.

which brings me to the next topic... "The light pollution"

p.p.s- I am the runner up of FEAR FACTOR MALAYSIA. The CHAMPION award goes to ruhui's dad who catches centipedes with his bare hands using nothing more than a piece of thin paper and then puts them outside the house.

p.p.p.s- The above pictures are taken with a year 2003 4 megapixel camera.. Pathetic, but my photos turn out better than I expected... with a little help of the magnifying glass.... not to worry.... I have this one in my sights....

p.p.p.p.s- All images are enlarge-able!

p.p.p.p.p.s- Please let me know if you are able to identify the wasp and moth featured above. Please drop your comment and I'll appreciate it very very much!


  1. Walao....
    I scare mothss...
    U hv really fun with insects...hehe
    Pump urself a macro lens but the it is expensive, a decent but not excellent one, still cost u about RM1800 i think
    There is a much much cheaper way to make a macro lens
    Use a 50mm f1.8 and reserve it with adaptor...well...u nid manual focus...about RM500 in total....
    Keep in touch!

  2. next time i kill any kacuak i send to u for identification a :D



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