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Any Moth handling advice/tips

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Old Wednesday 27th May 2020, 10:35   #1
Overread
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Any Moth handling advice/tips

So the title mostly sums it up, has anyone got any general tips or tricks or things you've found that help when handling moths to aid moving them around whilst minimising the chances of harming them.


Most times simply turning the eggcup they are on upside down and giving the underside a flick with the finger tends to knock most off. When cooled from the early morning they are lazy enough to then sit still for a bit, or at least only open their wings a bit to buzz them up for heat (at least I assume that's what they are doing with the very short and quick wing flutters)


However some of the larger moths have a very impressive grip with their hooked feet (photo showing off one of those claws from a puss moth who was most certainly not playing dead as it clung on). Furthermore even a light blowing of wind behind them only makes them hunker down and hold on. This can make them tricky when sampling not just for getting them off the egg carton (or bedsheet on the ground) but also if they happen to grasp at two egg cartons at once in the trap.



Other things I've found is that blowing lightly on their facial area tends to make a good few "wake up" a bit and sometimes a very light nudge behind the wings will make them awaken/move (esp if they've had their legs curled up under them).
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Old Wednesday 27th May 2020, 10:47   #2
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It doesn't work with all species but some, if you want to pot them, hold the pot in front and just touch their rear end, they jump straight in.

If I have a big moth that won't let go, gentle prying with a pencil will usuall work or just push your fingers under from he head end, they will then usually just climb on to your finger. Chilling them in the fridge make them extremely docile, some go in to a state of torpor almost.
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Old Wednesday 27th May 2020, 16:36   #3
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I use a small paintbrush, you can usually coax them to clamber on board if you sort of roll the brush upwards while applying gentle pressure to the moth's front legs. This expertly drawn diagram may or may not explain what I mean!

Cheers
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Old Wednesday 27th May 2020, 18:11   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renopaul View Post
I use a small paintbrush, you can usually coax them to clamber on board if you sort of roll the brush upwards while applying gentle pressure to the moth's front legs. This expertly drawn diagram may or may not explain what I mean!

Cheers
Paul
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