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The Great Southern BioBlitz moth night

On October 28th, Ferox Australis and Rossi from the Bee Hub collaborated on a moth night to celebrate the beginning of the Great Southern BioBlitz. The Great Southern BioBlitz is a citizen science event that engages the public from across the Southern Hemisphere in making observations of nature on iNaturalist. The event aims to highlight the incredible biodiversity of the Southern Hemisphere. This year it ran from the 28th-31st of October. A moth night is an excellent way to celebrate this biodiversity, as there is a surprising and incredible diversity of moths to appreciate in South Australia. At the time of writing, 784 species of moths have been observed on iNaturalist in South Australia. Participants, young and old, came along to the moth night to discover some of these moths for themselves.

Photo: Stephen sharing the basics of iNaturalist with the group

The evening began with mingling over a picnic box dinner including delicious homemade salad, pizza, and local cheese and honey. Followed by some talks about citizen science, first, the group heard from Stephen from Ferox Australis, who gave everyone a run down on the basics of the iNaturalist app and how to make an observation. Next, Rosalie from the citizen science project Wild Orchid Watch spoke about the Wild Orchid Watch app. Wild Orchid Watch is a national citizen science project which collects information about native Australian orchids. The Wild Orchid Watch app is important as it asks specific questions that are useful for orchid researchers and feeds its data into iNaturalist.

While the sun was setting, the group took a walk to see what species were at Brown Hill Creek, they heard some frog calls and saw a cute koala. Then it was time to head back and find out what the UV lights had attracted.

Photos: (1) Exploring Brownhill Creek, (2) Checking for moths, (3) and a sleepy koala captured by Camille

There were some beautiful moths, such as the Dark-patch Carpet Moth. There were also some other insects, including large ants and beetles, including some June Beetles buzzing around, which were popular with the kids. The kids also enjoyed taking a closer look at the insects using special magnifying glasses.

Photos: (1) A beautiful Dark-patch Carpet Moth captured by Stephen, (2) Participants photographing a beetle, (3) The June Beetle, photographed by Rosalie, (4) Searching for other nocturnal creatures

By the end of the evening, the group had made 110 observations which contributed to the Great Southern BioBlitz and the Brownhill Creek project on iNaturalist. You can see the moths and other species we discovered during the evening here.

Keep an eye on the GAIN Bioblitz Facebook page for the next moth night and other upcoming events.

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