Meet the beautiful moths that most people don't even know exist. About the size of an eyelash, the Philodoria are some the world's tiniest moths. To see their spectacular metallic wing patterns, a microscope or macro lens are needed.
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These micromoths are found only on the Hawaiian Islands, with most individual species eating only one species of Hawaiian plant. When a host plant is declared extinct, the moth species is assumed gone as well. In the "extinction capital of the world" the possibility of losing their only food source is a real threat.
Jumping into helicopters and setting off on multi-day excursions to remote corners of the Hawaiian Islands, National Geographic Young Explorer Chris A. Johns is searching for these elusive, and relatively unstudied micromoths. A comprehensive study of Philodoria has not been conducted since their original discovery nearly a century ago. There are an estimated 30 species known, and based on recent work, researchers think there may be 15 more. Reaching to the furthest edges of native Hawaiian forests to study these moths and their habitats, the researchers must also go to great lengths to minimize their footprints in the few pristine forests left.
To learn more about the Philodoria micromoths, read "These Moths Are the Size of Your Eyelash—And in Big Trouble": http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/11/micromoths-hawaii-plants-endangered/
Watch a more in-depth short documentary produced by Chris A. Johns: https://vimeo.com/180213992
PRODUCER/EDITOR: Gabriella Garcia-Pardo
CAMERA: Chris Johns, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo
ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE: Getty Images
SPECIAL THANKS: Geena Hill
These Tiny, Stunning Moths Are Only Found in One Place on Earth | National Geographic
Tagged under: Moths,tiny moths,insects,bugs,rare bug,rare moth,national geographic,nat geo,natgeo,animals,wildlife,science,explore,discover,survival,nature,documentary,planet,earth,butterfly,Philodoria,microscope,microscopic bug,PLivjPDlt6ApRiBHpsyXWG22G8RPNZ6jlb,PLivjPDlt6ApS5FeUq8c-I7WWPVx3W0blc,micromoths
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