Dr Robert Hoare, of Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, talks about why he loves moths – a fascinating story of how an entomologist grew to love these night-time fliers.
Points of interest
Personal interests often influence the types of scientific investigations a person pursues. This happens both in the scientific research community and with citizen scientists. Read about how Jacqui Knight, a citizen scientist, became interested in monarch butterflies.
DR ROBERT HOARE
My interest in moths really goes back to my father who used to collect butterflies as a hobby. He would go out and collect a female butterfly and then get her to lay eggs, and try and rear the caterpillars all the way through the life cycle, and he would only pin out the ones that he'd reared and then he'd let most go. So that is a really good way to make a collection without, you know, harming the population. The fascination with moths is partly that they are things that you don't really see very much. Not many people are out at night with butterfly nets, and not many people sort of really take a great deal of interest in what is attracted to their bathroom window. But look at the amazing range of colour and variety that is in moths – often they are just as colourful or more colourful than butterflies.
Michael E. Talbot