This GOP is less of a challenge and more of a simple roundup of miserable stock photography. Alex Wild and others have long ago pointed out the massive failings of many stock photo sites – but here is a brief and painful lep roundup using Google.
Step 1: Image search “moth on flower”.
Step 2: Facepalm.
Here is a caption of the first page of results. Excluding the photos that have no moths and are “moth flowers” (= Phalaenopsis orchids) – only 4 out of 18 images are correct! I might give you 6/18 if you count two obviously staged photos… but here is my list of reasons starting with 1= top left and 26 = bottom right. (list below)
1) OK, good start! This looks like a Manduca species (Sphingidae) feeding on a Datura flower. I’ve seen this myself in the wild – great capture!
3) Downhill we go. Obviously a butterfly – Phoebis species (Pieridae).
4) Lycaenidae butterfly – Callophrys species.
5) Hesperiidae – skipper butterfly.
6) Another moth! Looks like an Autographa species (Noctuidae).
7) Certainly a moth, however something I’m unfamiliar with.
8 ) Hyles sphinx moth nectaring. Blurry, but a moth!
9) Another skipper. Just because it’s brown doesn’t mean it’s a moth.
11) Luna moth on flower. OK, yes it’s a moth – but I’m sorry, a pretty obviously staged photograph. Actias luna does not have mouthparts – you’d never find one willingly sitting on a flower.
12) Yet another skipper butterfly.
14) Vanessa butterfly! I thought the Painted Lady was about as obvious of a butterfly as possible.
17) Pieridae butterfly on a flower.
19) Cisseps moth (Arctiinae) – our last real moth photograph. The webpage has it identified as Pyromorpha dimidiata (Zygaenidae), however the antennae are wrong and this is most likely a tiger moth in the Ctenuchinae.
20) Oh come on, butterfly! Polygonia species.
21) Moth – but, staged… I’ve never come across a Sphingidae resting on a flower like this. While this family readily nectars at flowers, they don’t tend to sit on them like idiots.
24) Butterfly, Phyciodes species.
25) Worst staged photograph ever. It’s a spread specimen that may or may not have been photoshopped onto the flower (it looks wonky). Broken antennae, torn up wings… You can also see the shadow from the camera strap on the moth’s left forewing. Yet somehow it won a medal from some group on Flickr.
26) Same butterfly as 24, in color.
Phew, horrible exercise over.