The Emperor returns

I have a pheromone lure to attract the male of the lepidopteral species Saturnia pavonia, also known as the Emperor moth. It’s a beautiful creature. The male flies during the day drawn to the sex attractant exuded by the night-flying and less brightly coloured female. I’ve photographed them on the wing in the garden previously and also on a stage with a macro lens, as regular Sciencebase readers will know.

I only put the lure out for a few moments once a week or so, but it never fails. A couple of males turned up today within 20 minutes of the pheromones being released. One of them ended up in the conservatory, frantically flapping on a curtain for a few moments, so I got some fast shutterspeed (1/4000s) shots of him before giving the curtain a bit of a gentle flick to send him on his way and putting the lure back in the freezer until next week. It’s wonderful to know that these beautiful creatures are going about their lives with no care for our human woes.

Author: 雷竞技官网

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.