Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mothing and circles of death

Be a piece of cake, this mothing lark. Toss a sheet over a light, wait an hour or so, and take a few pictures of the catch.

Invited to join the realm of mothers (that doesn't look right: mothos? mothwatchers? perhaps mothing is best), I set out last night to do my darndest for the group. And found moths are hard to pin down in my steamy-warm night world.

That's because predators are only too easy to fix upon. Asian House Geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus) and a variety of frogs rule the walls, windows and ceilings, and the cane toad rules the ground.

No sooner does a moth - or anything else that flies - alight than the stalking begins. Wall space in the caravan park indoor/outdoor kitchen carries up to 10 frogs and 4-5 geckos to the square metre.

So, the mothing didn't take off. But the evening wasn't a dead loss, except for one victim of events. One other player in my little night out did throw a hissy fit. But that's what Rhinoceros Beetles do when upset: all hiss and wind!

And the night's victim? Don't look down if you're squeamish.

These two geckos began their duel to the death locked in a curious Yin and Yang pattern, an almost circle of sinous curves, sinister intent and subtle feints.

I missed the critical strike after racing off for a camera. Came back to find the geckos shifted from tactical circle to death round.

As the Eastern mystics say: a good big guy will always beat a good little guy.


Duncan said...

Lizards fighting to the death, that's a new one on me Tony. What chance would a poor moth have.

Tyto Tony said...

None at all, Duncan. But one or two littlies seem to escape attack. I'll persist!

Denis Wilson said...

Fascinating Tony.
Fancy all those creatures, Frogs, Toads and Geckoes all lining up to eat a moth. They must be tasty!
Does anything dare to tackle the Rhino Beetle?
Seems odd that two similar-sized Geckoes would kill and presumably eat each other.

Tyto Tony said...

Protein's the go, Denis. And lots of fat at times (bogongs, for example).

Posted a few weeks back on Great Bowerbird tackling a Rhino.

There's actually quite a size diff between the geckos.

Gaye said...

Fabulous photos Tony!

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