When I was around 13-years-old I was stretched out comfortably in a friend's bedroom watching television with the lights off, when out of the darkness, a moth the size of a human fist flew in from an open window and landed on my face.

The memory of its fur on my lips is one that decades of therapy wouldn't shift. The ensuing battle - me armed with a can of Lynx Africa deodorant and a tennis racket, it armed with terrible eyes and the zig-zag swoop-swooping of an insect driven by insanity - lasted the best part of one tortuous hour.

And so this morning when the work of 'Moth Man' Warren Krupsaw landed across my desk, you'll forgive me a momentary flash of panic and bead or two of cold sweat.

moth A Rosey Maple moth: the face of true evil?


Krupsaw, a man from Virginia, has photographed 100 different species of the insect using the kind of close up normally reserved for scientific experimentation or exposing the stretch marks of D-list celebrities.

The 69-year-old actually lures them in by choice, waiting until it gets dark before turning on a garden light. Then he gets them to perch on his finger, ready for their portrait.

"I usually go outside about 10pm and 11pm at night and shoot for a couple of hours at a time," the Moth Man told REX.

"They take a while to get used to you - when I first go out they don't tend to 'play' straight away but after a while they get more confident.

"Most people look at a moth's wing pattern rather than face, so a surprising revelation occurs when you're made aware of the unusual character and variety of these common critters".

moth2


According to Warren, summer nights yield the best results for his insect portraiture, which he has dubbed 'mothography'.

"Although there is always some moth activity, they are most seen in June, July and August.

"There's a positive correlation between rising temperatures and moth numbers, they tend to taper off as winter approaches".

And with an estimated 160,000 different species of moth, Warren is unlikely to run out of subjects for his photos.

"I would be interested in going to a different location, or even country, simply because of the possibility of encountering new subjects," he said.

And so here they are, the Moth Man's terrifying close ups of the world's most dreadful creature. Enjoy looking at them: but please don't mind if I pass.

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