Thursday, 30 May 2013

No light trap but one macro moth

Persistent rain and a storm stopped me from putting the light trap out last night.  However, I was surprised to find a moth in the bait trap.  Just a single macro moth but another first for the year, a Garden Arches (Lacanobia radix).  It has been a slow start to the year but until it stops raining it’s hard to say what the moth situation is really like.  I’ll be in Waterton again for the weekend so hopefully will pick up a few moths there.  Of course, once again, that will be dependant on the weather…Storm cloud

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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Still very few moths

I had just one moth in the light trap on the 28th.  However, it was a new species for the year.  This is a very difficult group of moths to identify from photographs but I’m guessing at Agrotis vancouverensis.  I didn’t put the light trap out last night because of the threat of rain.  This, of course, meant that it was dry overnight...!  Oh well. The weather for tonight looks a little iffy as well.  Because of the lack of photographs I’ve added a Calliope Hummingbird photograph that I took during the week.  This one put on quite an aerobatic display while defending it’s territory against another male hummingbird.

Agrotis vancouverensis

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Monday, 27 May 2013

2 new backyard moths

Just 3 moths of 3 species in the light trap last night but this included 2 new backyard moths!  One was only my second Heliothinae (flower moth), Darker Spotted Straw Moth (Heliothis phloxiphaga).  The other new species was a dagger moth, Fragile Dagger Moth (Acronicta fragilis).  That is, I’m reasonably confident it is Acronicta fragilis.

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Sunday, 26 May 2013

The rain stopped…

Unfortunately, no moths to report on but I did get my first Canadian Tiger Swallowtail of the year and the Gray Catbirds are singing again. My bait trap is out and tonight should be drier so hopefully there will be some moths to report on tomorrow.

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis)

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Friday, 24 May 2013

Rain and more rain

For the last few days rain has completely curtailed any moth trapping.  So for something completely different, here is a Black bear who was taking it easy during my stay in Waterton.

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

4 moths of 3 species

The moth count continues to be low with just 4 moths of 3 species in the light trap last night.  There was one, as yet, unidentified micro moth and one new macro species for the year, a Sutrina Moth (hada sutrina).

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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

A quiet moth night

Just 6 moths of 6 species last night.  The one new species for the year was a Tawny Eupithecia (Eupithecia ravocostaliata).

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Monday, 20 May 2013

A few Waterton area moths

Sorry for the lack of blog entries but I’ve been away for 6 days chasing bears in the Waterton Lakes National Park…  Due to the somewhat unpredictable weather and time constraints, the light trap was only out a couple of times but I did get at least 3 species that I have never seen before.  I was particularly pleased to get the Dogwood Thyatirid Moth (Euthyatira pudens) as I have seen the similar Peach Blossom Moth (Thyatira batis) in the UK.  The other new species were a Four-spotted Gluphisia Moth (Gluphisia avimacula) and  a Pleromelloida conserta.  I believe that the butterfly is a Western Pine Elfin (Callophrys eryphon).  Incidentally, in case anyone is interested, I will be adding some bear photographs to my flickr photostream and nature photography website.

Dogwood Thyatirid Moth (Euthyatira pudens) (1)Dogwood Thyatirid Moth (Euthyatira pudens) (2)Four-spotted Gluphisia Moth (Gluphisia avimacula) (2)Four-spotted Gluphisia Moth (Gluphisia avimacula)Gray Ethmia Moth (Euthyatira pudens)Pleromelloida conserta

Black-rimmed Prominent (Pheosia rimosa)

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Monday, 13 May 2013

11 moths of 5 species

Last night was the best night for moth numbers so far with 11 macro moths of 5 species in the light trap.  Just one new species for the year though, which was a rather beaten up Small Engrailed Moth (Ectropis crepuscularia).  I’ve included a photograph of this moth from last year.  Other moths recorded were:

Small Engrailed Moth (Ectropis crepuscularia)    x1
Lappet Moth (Phyllodesma americana)              x2
False Pinion Moth (Litholomia napaea)              x1
Orthosia segregata (Orthosia segregata)            x3
Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci)      x4


Off to Waterton now.  I think it may be too windy for a light trap tonight.

6597 Small Engrailed Moth (Ectropis crepuscularia) (3)Untitled_Panorama1

Sunday, 12 May 2013

8 moths of 4 species

There were 8 moths of 4 species in the light trap last night.  The one new species for the year was a Lappet Moth (Phyllodesma americana).  Other species seen are as follows:

Lappet Moth (Phyllodesma americana) x1
False Pinion Moth (Litholomia napaea) x1
Subdued Quaker (Orthosia revicta) x2
Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci) x4

I’m off to Waterton area for a few days so my blog entries may become a little intermittent until next weekend.  I will be taking my light trap with me so hopefully I will get some interesting moths.

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Saturday, 11 May 2013

5 moths of 4 species

There were 5 moths of 4 species in the traps last night.  A slightly damaged Large Grey Pinion (Lithophane georgii) was the only new backyard moth for the year.  The latter was also the only moth in my bait trap.  Other moths were as follows:

False Pinion Moth (Litholomia napaea)
Gooseberry Stretchia (Stretchia muricina) x2
Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci)

I’ve included a photograph of a Purple Sandpiper that was taken at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary in Calgary.  It was discovered by a birder, photographer, Eddy Matuod on Thursday.  I’m not sure if this is the first documented sighting of a Purple Sandpiper in Alberta but it is certainly an extreme rarity for our area.  I spent an hour photographing this very cooperative Sandpiper on Friday.

Large Grey Pinion (Lithophane georgii) (1)Large Grey Pinion (Lithophane georgii) (2)IMG_5262sig

Friday, 10 May 2013

6 moths of 6 species

There were 6 moths of 6 species in the traps last night.  5 macro moths in the light trap and one micro which was only 4mm in length!  I’ve asked for help with the micro ID.  The two new macro species for the year were American Swordgrass Moth (Xylena nupera) and Orthosia segregata (Orthosia segregata).  The Swordgrass was in the bait trap.

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Thursday, 9 May 2013

3 macro moths

Just 3 moths of 2 species in the light trap last night.  2x Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci) and 1 new backyard species for the year, a Willow Dart Moth (Cerastis salicarum). 

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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

3 macro moths

Just one each of 3 macro moth species in the light trap last night:

Nameless Pinion (Lithophane fagina)
Gooseberry Stretchia (Stretchia muricina)
Hoary Pinion (Lithophane fagina)

No new moth species for the year but I’m adding another photograph of the Hoary Pinion as it shows the white stripe along the costa more clearly.  I photographed two butterfly species at a local wood.  I haven’t identified many butterflies but I’m fairly confident that they are Brown Elfin (Callophrys augustinus) and Moss's Elfin (Callophrys mossii).

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Moss's Elfin (Callophrys mossii)Brown Elfin (Callophrys augustinus)

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A windy night

At 3am I heard some very gusty winds outside so I decided to empty the light trap and put it away.  Although I was half asleep, I managed to find 4 macro moths 2 of which where new backyard species for the year. The new species were a somewhat worn, Hoary Pinion (Lithophane fagina) and a Western Swordgrass Moth (Xylena thoracica).  The other species were:

Plush-naped Pinion (Lithophane pexata)
Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci)

While at Glenmore today I think I managed a better photograph of the Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon).

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Monday, 6 May 2013

A second new backyard moth species for the year

There were 5 moths in the light trap last night.  2 Speckled Green Fruitworms (Orthosia hibisci), 2 Subdued Quakers (Orthosia revicta) and a Variable Carpet Moth (Anticlea vasiliata) which is another new species for my backyard.  I also had a trip around Glenmore reservoir today and saw good numbers of Spring Azures (Celastrina ladon), Mourning Cloaks (Nymphalis antiopa) and Milbert's Tortoiseshells (Nymphalis milberti), plus one species that I still need to identify.  In addition to butterflies, I also came within a few feet of a juvenile Northern Goshawk with what looked like a freshly killed Snowshoe hare.
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Sunday, 5 May 2013

First new macro moth species of the year

As I had hoped it was a better night with 6 species in the light trap.  1 micro and 5 macro moths.  The new backyard species was Plush-naped Pinion (Lithophane pexata).  I will ask for help with regards to the micro moth ID.  Here’s the macro list and photographs.  The Subdued Quaker was quite a nice specimen.

Dot-and-Dash Swordgrass Moth - Xylena curvimacula
False Pinion Moth - Litholomia napaea
Nameless Pinion Moth - Lithophane innominata
Plush-naped Pinion - Lithophane pexata
Subdued Quaker - Orthosia revicta

10490 Subdued Quaker (Orthosia revicta)10490 Subdued Quaker (Orthosia revicta) (2)

9922 Plush-naped Pinion (Lithophane pexata)

9874 Dot-and-Dash Swordgrass (Xylena curvimacula) (3)

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Saturday, 4 May 2013

Just two moths…

Last night there was one Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci) in the light trap and one Nameless Pinion Moth (Lithophane innominata) in the bait trap.  The latter is a new backyard moth for the year.  Still very slow but after another warm day perhaps there will be more tomorrow?

Nameless Pinion Moth (Lithophane innominata)

Friday, 3 May 2013

A rainy night

In spite of the rain I did get the first moth of the year in my bait trap.  The light trap was empty.  I’m pretty sure this is a Three-Spotted Sallow (Eupsilia tristigmata).  I’ve only recorded this moth once before on the 1st Oct 2011.  It was a little bedraggled…

Three-Spotted Sallow (Eupsilia tristigmata)

Thursday, 2 May 2013

At last some more moths…

Two species in the light trap last night, Gooseberry Stretchia (Stretchia muricina) and False Pinion (Litholomia napaea).  Nothing in the bait trap yet.

False Pinion (Litholomia napaea) (2)Gooseberry Stretchia (Stretchia muricina) (2)