There are three contributions today; click all photos to enlarge.
First, from reader Dom, a plume moth (a species new to me). His notes and photo:
You may like this plume moth – Pterophoridae – photographed on a curtain in daylight. It was hard to get it all in focus & not disturb it. This is Amblyptilia acanthadactyla. It is found across Europe. Plume moths are so bizarre – some have really diaphanous wings like feathers.
Identifying moths & indeed any insects is not easy from even a very good book: there are 2717 species of moths & butterflies listed on the UK moths website.
What a strange creature! I wonder why its wings are so narrow.
Reader John in Ethiopia sent some photos of wild primates. This species is endemic to one small area:
I attach a couple of other photos, this time of a family of Gelada monkeys [Theropithecus gelada] in Ethiopia’s Simien [JAC:!!] Mountains. I particularly like this because of the way it seems to show neoteny in action. The Gelada were originally called “baboons”, because of the doglike snout, but the baby could easily be a chimp, and is not so different in appearance from some human infants I have seen!
It’s called a “monkey” instead of a baboon because it’s in its own genus that differs from Papio, the genus of baboons. But it’s a close relative, and some workers do classify this species as a baboon. That is a semantic decision, even if Papio and Theropithecus are sister groups (each other’s closest relatives).
From an article in Smithsonian on geladas:
Male geladas are the size of large dogs, weighing 50 to 60 pounds. Females are about half as big. Both sexes have a bald, hourglass-shaped patch of skin on their chests that telegraphs a male’s social status and a female’s reproductive stage. Depending on hormone levels, the color ranges from meek eraser pink to fiery red. Males’ patches are brightest during their sexual prime, Beehner and her husband, University of Michigan biologist Thore Bergman, have found, and females’ chest patches blister when they are in estrus. (They are also called “bleeding-heart baboons,” though they are actually monkeys.)
[JAC: Baboons are monkeys! This is a mistake on the part of the authors. “Monkeys” comprise all primates in the suborder Haplorrhini and infraorder Simiiformes (simians) excluding the lower category of the superfamily Hominoidea (the apes), which itself includes ourselves, orangs, chimps, gorillas, bonobos, gibbons, and siamangs. Monkeys are found in both the New and Old Worlds, while apes, all tailless, are found only in the Old World. Baboons are not in the Hominodea and have tails, albeit short ones, ergo they’re monkeys. Note that, contrary to what many people think, humans are almost always classified as apes, though some people create their own grouping for them.]
Groups of sullen-looking bachelor monkeys lurk outside the herds. These juveniles are similar to adolescent street gangs, and Chadden Hunter, an Australian researcher who began studying geladas in the late 1990s, dubbed two such groups the “Sharks” and the “Jets,” à la West Side Story. Fiona Rogers took such a liking to the bachelors’ hangdog looks that her partner says he felt a stab of jealousy. “I was a little worried,” Shah says.. . . geladas are very social. Herds can be enormous—up to 1,200 individuals. But most interactions occur within a harem, composed of a leader male, two to a dozen females and their young. The females are related to each other, and they sometimes turn on the leader if he is grooming them insufficiently, not protecting them or otherwise shirking his duties.
Finally, an absolutely gorgeous Idaho sunset contributed by reader Stephen Barnard: