Literate Bugs


I’ve had this welcome sign hanging outside on the house for a little over a year now.  Lately it seems to be attracting some interesting little creatures.  I tried for a little while to identify them, but it proved to be more difficult than I expected.  I know there are moth people out there, so if you recognize one of these guys, let me know.


If they can’t read then it might be the smell of linseed oil that attracts them, or maybe it’s the southern exposure.


This one with the tail coming right at you really struck me because of the way it positioned itself, with the dark line situated right along the border of the letter.  Probably just a coincidence.


One last one, a real beauty, and I even know what it is — a yellow mayfly.  He’s a good distance from a stream.  He hung out there for a couple hours and then was off.  If I had been a trout…


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14 Responses to Literate Bugs

  1. Larry Boyer says:

    One looks like hexagenia the mayfly…how close are you to a freshwater source? BTW …they are a good sign of a clean fresh water ecosystem. Larry Boyer


  2. jefski says:

    Loved the sign when you posted it a year ago and it looks even better now. What tool do you use for the leaves? I’ve never managed to get them to look nearly as good as yours.


    • Dave Fisher says:

      Thanks. For those leaves, I used my pocket knife, the pen blade. Curved cut from one side, then from the other. When carving leaves at a very small scale, I often use a little v tool made by Dockyard.


  3. Craig B says:

    Looks like a hickory tussock moth and a Plagodus moth.


  4. Kate says:

    Hi Dave,

    Moth woman here :).
    1st one is some kind of Borer moth (Papaipema) – maybe Ash tip borer moth.
    2nd – Geometrid moth (Antepione). Does not it have a sense of geometry?
    They certainly feel welcome.

    I am not really a moth woman, but always was interested in Entomology (an insect woman, then?) stemming from exploring nature with my Dad and older brother when I was little. is a great resource for identifying bugs. All depends on how much time you want to kill.

    I am greatly inspired by your wood carving skills and been following your blog for a while.
    Built myself a bowl horse and tried some spoons and bowls.
    I found your information on basic tools and techniques very helpful and encouraging. Thank you!

    Somehow, moths gave me courage to write…



  5. Dave Fisher says:

    Thanks, Kate! I appreciate the information and the link. I’m glad this post spurred you to write. Best wishes with your carving. I knew there were moth people out there.


  6. Jim says:


    That is a Spotted Tiger Moth.

    Really amazed at your work – So much talent in one person!

    Jim Blue Tell City, IN

    Liked by 1 person

  7. francedozois says:

    how neat to have visitors that fly in and out that are interesting to see and try to identify–sorry can’t help with IDs, don’t know my moths. When I was a kid moths were all over our screen door at our summer camp, attracted by the porch light. Wasn’t much interested in them then sorry to say. Some were huge and had big circles on their wings which looked like eyes. Anyway fun for you to have some new pals.


  8. Dave Fisher says:

    Thanks, Marie. If they were birds on the sign, though, you’d know every one of them.


  9. graemeu says:

    If you upload photos to inaturalist you’ll get professional quality identifications of just about anything that can be found in nature while making positive contribuitons to ‘citizen science’

    Liked by 1 person

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