Monday, 12 August 2019

July-August SW Calgary backyard mothing update

My backyard moth numbers had, for the most part, been somewhat low compared to previous years but began to pick up towards the end of July and early August.  With the current period of wet weather the numbers are inevitably falling again.  Still, I have had some new backyard species including a few micro's and 4 macro moths.  The following are those which I have ID'd with a reasonable level of confidence.  Of course, I'm always open to other suggestions...

I'm quite pleased with the Narrow-winged Midget moth photograph as I was, for once, able to get quite a large image of this relatively small moth (forewing length  approx 13mm).  The image below is scaled down for the blog. This moth is one of the, so-called, Bird-dropping Moths.  A bird dropping mimic.

Another moth of interest for me was the Toadflax Brocade.  I understand that this moth was introduced into North America as a biocontrol agent for Toadflax (linaria spp.).  It has been noted a few times in Alberta but I wonder if an Alberta population is becoming more established now?  It was certainly the first time I have encountered this moth.

I hope you enjoy the photographs.

New backyard species:

1515 Shy Cosmet Moth (Limnaecia phragmitella)
6726 Obtuse Euchlaena (Euchlaena obtusaria)
9111 Narrow-winged Midget Moth (Tarache augustipennis)
9814.1 Cosmia elisae
10177 Toadflax Brocade Moth (Calophasia lunula)

Other species:

9385.1 Double Lobed Moth (Apamea ophiogramma)
9417 Neumogen's Quaker (Oligia egens)

1515 Shy Cosmet Moth (Limnaecia phragmitella)

6726 Obtuse Euchlaena (Euchlaena obtusaria)

9111 Narrow-winged Midget Moth (Tarache augustipennis)
10177 Toadflax Brocade Moth (Calophasia lunula)
9814.1 – Cosmia elisae

9385.1 Double Lobed Moth (Apamea ophiogramma)

9417 Neumogen's Quaker (Oligia egens)



Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Some July Moths

Due to overnight weather and early morning birding, last night was the first time I've had the light trap out for a while.  There were approx 40 macro moths of 20 species in the trap this morning.

Here are a few photographs.  I always have trouble with the Barred Yellow which often sits with its wings folded.  This is a slightly better photo than previously.

7199 Barred Yellow (Eulithis propulsata)

9440 Brown-streaked-Rustic (Hypocoena rufostrigata)

8914 Alfalfa Looper (Autographa californica)



Tuesday, 9 April 2019

First moths of 2019

With the dramatic and worrying drop in flying insect numbers throughout the world my first moth sightings of 2019 seem to have added poignancy.

3 moths of 1 species in my light trap this morning.  Great to see them returning, may it long continue!

Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci)


Friday, 1 March 2019

Calgary backyard Moth photos from May 23rd to July 20th 2018

While the winter freeze persists in Alberta, I thought it might be nice to see a few moths from last year.

Nearly all the photos are stacked images.  That is, the product  of one or more photographs with slight different focus points combined.  The photos are, for the most part, somewhat downsized for quicker loading.  I intend to add 1 or 2 additional blog entries for last year in the near future.

My 2 new Calgary backyard species during this period were, American Barred Umber Moth (Plagodis pulveraria) and Tissue Moth (Triphosa haesitata). Ulolonche disticha was also a new moth for me but was seen in Lethbridge.  With regards to the Clover Looper Moth (Caenurgina crassiuscula), I always find separating Caenurgina erechtea and c.crassiuscula a little tricky but am leaning towards crassiuscula in this case.

Here’s a list of the photographs.
6237 Tufted Thyatirid (Pseudothyatira cymatophoroides)
6304E Split-lined Angle Moth (Speranza bitactata)
6820 Dark Metanema (Metanema determinata)
6836 American Barred Umber Moth (Plagodis pulveraria)
6842 Straight-lined Plagodis Moth (Plagodis phlogosaria)
7285 Tissue Moth (Triphosa haesitata)
8007 Unicorn Caterpillar Moth (Schizura unicornis)
8186 Williams' Tiger (Grammia williamsii)
8738 Clover Looper Moth (Caenurgina crassiuscula)
8901 Delphinium Leaftier (Polychrysia esmeralda)
9212 Gray Dagger (Acronicta grisea)
9359 Apamea commoda (ssp_ parcata)
9360 Southern Quaker (Apamea impulsa)
9431 Mottled Quaker (Parastichtis suspecta)
9525 Cattail Borer Moth (Bellura obliqua)
9545 American Angle Shades (Euplexia benesimilis)
10062 Brown Sallow (Sympistis stabilis)
10194 Intermediate Falconer (Cucullia intermedia)
10514 Western Woodling (Egira rubrica)
10530 Anhimella contrahens
10573 Ulolonche disticha

Tufted Thyatirid (Pseudothyatira cymatophoroides)
Split-lined Angle Moth (Speranza bitactata)
Dark Metanema (Metanema determinata)
American Barred Umber Moth (Plagodis pulveraria)
Straight-lined Plagodis Moth (Plagodis phlogosaria)
Tissue Moth (Triphosa haesitata)

Unicorn Caterpillar Moth (Schizura unicornis)
Williams' Tiger (Grammia williamsii)
Williams' Tiger (Grammia williamsii)
Clover Looper Moth (Caenurgina crassiuscula)
Delphinium Leaftier (Polychrysia esmeralda)
Gray Dagger (Acronicta grisea)
Apamea commoda (ssp_ parcata)
Southern Quaker (Apamea impulsa)
Mottled Quaker (Parastichtis suspecta)
Cattail Borer Moth (Bellura obliqua)
American Angle Shades (Euplexia benesimilis)
Brown Sallow (Sympistis stabilis)
Intermediate Falconer (Cucullia intermedia)
Western Woodling (Egira rubrica)
Anhimella contrahens
 Ulolonche disticha



























Saturday, 28 April 2018

Backyard moth count for the 28th April

11 moths of 4 species in the light trap this morning.  6 of these were Dot-and-Dash Swordgrass (Xylena curvimacula).  The most I’ve had of this species in one night.  There were 3 Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci) and the new species for the year was, a not unexpected, Western Swordgrass Moth (Xylena thoracica).

Added a photo from a birding trip last week NE of Calgary.  Always nice to see the return of Long-billed Curlews.

Western-SwordgrassSpeckled-green-fruitworm

0Q8A4759

Friday, 27 April 2018

First backyard moths for 2018

Last night, I put my backyard light trap out for the first time this year and was pleased to find 5 macro moths of 5 species in the trap.  Nothing new but only my second Thaxter's Pinion .  I photographed 4 of them before they departed.  These are all stacked images i.e. multiple images of each moth that have been combined.

Great to get the mothing year started!

Thaxter's Pinion Moth (Lithophane thaxteri)
Gooseberry Stretchia (Stretchia muricina)
Dot-and-Dash Swordgrass (Xylena curvimacula)
False Pinion Moth (Litholomia napaea)
Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci)

Thaxter's-PinionGoosebury-StretchiaDot-and-Dash-SwordgrassFalse-Pinion

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Some new backyard species for 2017

I finally got around to looking through some more of last years moth photographs and have identified another 8 new species.  Not all were seen in my Calgary backyard.  I found 3 new species in one weekend while visiting relatives in Lethbridge.  In addition, I found 1 new species from 2016.

I’ll post some more photographs from last year in future blog entries.

Here’s the list and dates:

2017
6252 Two-lined Hooktip (Drepana bilineata)    5th July – Calgary
7169 Soft-lined Wave (Scopula inductata)    9th July – Calgary
9207 Unmarked Dagger Moth (Acronicta innotata)    9th July – Calgary
8359 Two-striped Owlet (Macrochilo bivittata)    9th July
7892 Leafy Spurge Hawk Moth (Hyles euphorbiae)    12th-13th Aug – Lethbridge
8806 Mother Underwing Moth (Catocala parta)    12th-13th Aug – Lethbridge
11013 Abagrotis erratica     12th-13th Aug – Lethbridge

2016
9391 Dock Rustic Moth (Resapamea passer)    1st Sept – Calgary

Leafy Spurge Hawk MothMother Underwing MothMother Underwing Moth (2)Untitled_Panorama1CTwo-lined Hooktip (2)Two-striped OwletAbagrotis erraticaUnmarked Dagger MothDock Rustic Moth (Resapamea passer) (2)Soft-lined Wave