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Colorful cutworm moth (now ID'd as Hecatera dysodea)

 
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17426
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 11:27 pm    Post subject: Colorful cutworm moth (now ID'd as Hecatera dysodea) Reply with quote

This moth came to me as a pupa found near our garden. I assumed from the pupa that it was an ordinary cutworm moth, but when it emerged its coloration was like nothing I can recall seeing before. At this point I have no idea what the ID is. I have inquiries posted to some experts that hopefully can tell me.

This is a live subject in its daylight resting pose.

Full frame:


This was also the first stack done with my new Nikon D800E camera. Shot as raw, processed through Lightroom with sharpness and noise reduction adjusted to taste before exporting to Zerene Stacker. 65 frames at 1.14X using a reversed 50 mm f/2.8 Schneider-Kreuznach Componon S set on the half-stop between f/5.6 and f/8 (effective f/14.5 at 1.14X). ISO 100, 1/8 second in mirror up mode. StackShot at 0.2 mm driven by CamRanger through an Samsung Nexus 10 tablet. No post-processing except for slight levels adjustment for brightness, and colorspace conversion from ProPhoto to sRGB for posting. Illuminated by two Ikea Jansjö lamps diffused with single layer of Kleenex tissue, white-balanced from a separate exposure of a standard gray card.

Here is a sample of the image quality, 100% actual pixels crop, processed with DMap to be sure I didn't get any contrast enhancement or noise accumulation:



A full resolution uncropped version can be seen HERE (11 MB). Be aware that Firefox claims there's an error in the file. Apparently it has trouble with the image size (7360x4912 pixels). Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari all handle it OK.

--Rik

Edit: adjust title to include the scientific name, after expert identification.
Edit: fix spelling of scientific name.


Last edited by rjlittlefield on Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:59 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Pau
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Joined: 20 Jan 2010
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Location: Valencia, Spain

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2014 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice detail, I also like the wood texture in the right image side, it's worth to see the full image (Firefox has not problem with it on my Win7 computer)
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17426
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Pau. The wood is a chunk of tree root that was kicked up by a stump grinder a couple of years ago and has been lying around on the surface turning gray ever since. It seemed like a nice background for the moth, so I put it in the moth's container and got lucky enough that it climbed up and sat there. Then after the critter seemed well set at rest, I pulled out the wood and set it open on a table for photographing. This often works OK but it's not completely foolproof. In this case my first two attempts were messed up by slight movement of the moth midway through the stack. The third one worked OK, and that's what we see here.

--Rik
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rjlittlefield
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2014 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, we have an ID on this beast. It is Hecatera dysodea, the "Small Ranunculus Moth", a recently introduced species that is expanding its range. On the linked page at the Pacific NorthWest Moths site, it is written that:
Quote:
Hecatera dysodea was accidentally introduced into North America on the east side of the Cascades in Oregon around 2003. It now occurs in several contiguous counties in the southern Columbia Basin in Washington and northern Oregon. It will probably spread widely throughout much of the Pacific Northwest in disturbed habitats during future years.

Many thanks to Merrill Peterson and Lars Crabo for the ID.

--Rik

Edit: to fix spelling of scientific name


Last edited by rjlittlefield on Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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RobertOToole



Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 155
Location: United States

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful species Rik. Love the colors and textures in the crop.

Wow so you picked up a D800E! After owning one for a couple of years it still surprises me with the fine details in can resolve and dynamic range is amazing. Hope you enjoy it.

Make sure you update to the latest Nikon firmware that came out a couple of days ago. It supposedly fixes a frustrating bug in the CLS flash system.

Robert
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DQE



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 1653
Location: near Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful and technically interesting photo!

I'm really looking forward to more photos and tests showing the advantages of so many pixels!

BTW, I use Firefox 14.0.1, and I had no trouble viewing your full-size photo. Some time ago I decided to stay with an older version of Firefox in order to avoid being a daily beta tester for their very frequent releases...
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Planapo



Joined: 07 Nov 2006
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Location: Germany, in the United States of Europe

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that full resolution version really shows what the camera and componon are capable of. So obviously you got a lens that has not been maltreated before.

And I appreciate the background info on the beastie.

(Same here: No problems in viewing the large version with Firefox 29.0.1 and Win 8.1).

--Betty
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's that particular Componon specimen, you struck lucky Rik, congratulations! I tried a small number a while ago now, which showed quite a variability at a mere 12MP.
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rjlittlefield
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the kind words and comments, everybody!

Robert, yes, I'm loving the fine details and large sensor on the D800E. There are downsides, though. It has a tendency to slosh coffee and pin nearby seismographs with vibration from mirror and shutter action, and the live view is just awful compared to what I'm used to with Canon. It sure would be nice to get those same sensor specs plus EFSC and good live view. Tradeoffs, tradeoffs...

Phil, I have to confess that I bought the D800E primarily as an instrumentation tool. More about that over the next couple of days...

Betty, I thought you might be intrigued by the biology. In the last few years here in Richland, I have been witness to colonization by at least three new species: Polistes dominula, Noctua pronuba, and now this Hecatera dysodea. I wonder what next!

Chris & Betty, I had great hopes for that Componon because it was being sold off by its original owner, in box with all paperwork. So I was pleased to see that in fact it performs very well, much better at low magnification than my EL Nikkor 50 mm f/2.8.

About my problem with Firefox and the large image, that turned out to be some transient issue possibly associated with an over-busy browser and/or operating system. After a reboot, it worked fine, even on the same version of Firefox.

--Rik
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