Twitter Generator Creates New Digital Moth Species

Katie Rose Pipkin
Katie Rose Pipkin / Katie Rose Pipkin

There is a new bot on Twitter called @mothgenerator, and as the names suggests, it generates new digital moths that it shares on its feed. 

While moths may not have the same glamorous reputation as butterflies, they are considerably more varied, with more than 160,000 different species. This diversity offers a treasure trove of opportunity when attempting to create even more winged insects. 

The Moth Generator (or lepidoptera automata) was created by artists Katie Rose Pipkin and Loren Schmidt. The two are well versed in code and created the bot with Javascript. 

“Each of these component parts follows a series of different rulesets that allows variation of process inside of their structures," Pipkin explained of the program she and Schmidt created. "Although the individual pieces do inform each other’s generation, much of the individuality of each moth rises from the incredible amount of possibility contained in each anatomical part, and in their combination.” 

Each computer-created moth comes with a generated name. The genera are often real followed by Latin-sounding words for the species. While not all the moths look like they can appear in nature, the collection as a whole doesn't seem entirely unrealistic. 

Right now, the Twitter account is just churning out new moths, but the creators are considering adding extra features. One option could be tweeting out moth facts or letting fans "seed" their own moths by tweeting text at the bot to create them.

[h/t: Motherboard, Co.Design]