Monday 15 September 2014

Snow and a few more August moths

The snow of last week has cleared and temperatures should reach the low 20’s Celsius for most of this week.  However, after 15cm of snow, severe frosts, temperatures as low as –4 and untold tree and damage I was quite surprised to find any moths in my light and bait traps trap this morning.  There was a single macro moth in my light trap yesterday but 5 moths of 5 species this morning.  I will blog about todays moths in a later post but here are a few more moths from the balmy days of August…


Monday 8 September 2014

August – A good month for Underwings

With snow and temperatures barely above freezing, here in Calgary, the high temperatures of August already seem like a distant memory.  August was certainly my best month on record for Underwings.  On the 15th, 13 Underwings of 4 species in the bait trap was a record for my backyard.  I don’t think I’ve had any Underwings in the light trap this year but the bait trap has been very productive.  I’m not sure if it made a real difference but this was the first year that I used Pineapple.  Other ingredients were banana, grapes, a dash of maple syrup and any other fruit that came to hand… Actually, described like that it almost sounds like a nice desert recipe! Smile 

The following are the 5 species of Underwing that  I have seen in my backyard this year.  The moth that I believe is a Once-married Underwing Moth (Catocala unijuga) was definitely the largest Underwing that I have seen.


Wednesday 6 August 2014

August Moths

With no threat of storms, I finally managed to get the bait and light traps out last night.  The combined total this morning was approximately 110 macro moths of 30 species.  The bait trap paid off with a Charming Underwing Moth (Catocala blandula).  I’ve only had this species once before and didn’t manage a particularly good photograph previously so I was happy to get a second chance.  Other new backyard species for the year included  a Northwestern Phoenix (eulithis xylina) and a Dark-spotted Looper Moth (Diachrysia aereoides).  The Celery Looper (Anagrapha falcifera) photograph was the product of 6 stacked photographs while the Dark-spotted Looper  was the product of 5 stacked photographs.


Tuesday 22 July 2014

There were approximately 77 macro moths of 19 species in the light trap this morning.  44 of these were either Glassy Cutworms (Apamea devastator) or Thoughtful Apameas (Apamea cogitata).  There was one new species for the backyard, a geometrid, which I believe is a Spruce Cone Looper Moth (Eupithecia mutata).  I’m not 100% certain about the ID but will call it that for now.

The following is a selection of photographs taken this morning and include one of the more colourful noctuids, a Rosy Dart Moth (Xestia oblata).


Saturday 12 July 2014

A few more July moths

There were 61 moths of 23 species in the Light and bait traps on the 11th.  This included 7 new species for the year. There was a new backyard moth on the 8th July, a Scripted Arches (Mamestra curialis) and another new backyard moth on the 4th, a Black-rimmed Prominent (Pheosia rimosa).  I have seen the latter species during my trips south to the Waterton area but this is the first time I have seen a Black-rimmed Prominent in my Calgary backyard.  Last night was a little quieter with 41 moths of 16 species and just 1 new moth for the year, a Delphinium Leaftier (Polychrysia esmeralda). The following are a few photographs from the last few days.


Tuesday 8 July 2014

July Moths

Getting good numbers of moths now and no thunder storms last night…  Conservatively, there were 40 macro moths of 20 species in the light trap last night.  Due to the warm morning, several species escaped as soon as I opened the trap.  I didn't think there were any new backyard species but there were several that were new for the year.


Thursday 3 July 2014

Some mothing at last…

What with the overnight weather and recent trips, I haven’t done a lot of backyard mothing this year and it is already July!  Where has the time gone…?

Anyway, I did have 2 new backyard species yesterday (2nd July), an Atlantic Arches Moth (Lacanobia atlantica) and a new micro moth with the rather unfortunate name of “Destructive Pruneworm Moth” (Acrobasis tricolorella).  Presumably it was called this due to the fruit that the larvae feed on.  Larval feeding habits aside, it is quite a colourful micro moth.


Monday 9 June 2014

Calgary moths for the 7th-9th June

After being away for a couple of weeks I’ve finally managed to get the moth trap out for a few nights and am seeing some nice species.  This morning (9th) I had my first backyard Sphinx of the year, a White-lined Sphinx (Hyles lineata).  Other species over the last 3 nights were:

Vancouver Dart (Agrotis vancouverensis)
Intermediate Falconer (Cucullia intermedia)
Alfalfa Looper (Autographa californica)
White-lined Sphinx (Hyles lineata)
Friendly Probole (Probole amicaria)
Nevada Arches (Lacanobia nevadae
Sutrina Moth (hada sutrina)

There were also 2 species that I can only give tentative ID’s of Lobophora magnoliatoidata and Leucania dia.  In my location these are difficult to separate from Lobophora nivigerata and Leucania insueta respectively.  Thanks to Gary Anweiler for his help with these.

The numbers have been low and only the Vancouver Dart was a repeat species.  These were all in the light trap.  I must get the bait trap out soon…

IMG_65398kAUntitled_Panorama1KUntitled_Panorama1kaUntitled_Panorama1kbUntitled_Panorama8kALobophora magnoliatoidata

Wednesday 14 May 2014

A few moths at last…

There were just 4 moths of 3 species in the light trap last night.  3 were Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci) moths and one was a Gooseberry Stretchia (Stretchia muricina).  Gooseberry Stretchia is a medium sized noctuid that I usually see in spring.  The other photograph is of a Small Engrailed Moth (Ectropis crepuscularia) that I found while walking around the Weaselhead area of Glenmore reservoir.



Sunday 4 May 2014

Recent Moths

Not much to report from the last week.  On the 30th April there were 6 Speckled Green Fruitworm moths (Orthosia hibisci) and 1 new backyard species for the year, a Western Swordgrass (Xylena thoracica).   Other than that, on the 1st May there were 7 Speckled Green Fruitworm moths, 1 Dot-and-Dash Swordgrass Moth (Xylena curvimacula) and 1 False Pinion Moth (Litholomia napaea) in the light trap.  The latter was also a new species for the year but a rather worn specimen.  Now waiting for the weather to improve…


Wednesday 23 April 2014

Variations of the Speckled Green Fruitworm moth

Due to the weather I haven’t had the light trap out much recently.  However, on the 22nd April there were 9 Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci) moths in the trap.  The following are stacked images (two more images using different focus points combined) and show three variations of this moth.