Tuesday 15 September 2015

Sept moths and 300 up

Heavy rain has once again prevented me from putting the light trap out a great deal but I did get a very nice October Thorn (Synaxis jubararia) on the 13th Sept.  I have only recorded this moth once before in Sept 2008 and that specimen was quite worn so I am very happy with this sighting.  Other moths include an Ashen Brindle moth (Lithomoia germana) and Alberta Lutestrin (Ceranemota albertae).  The latter moth was a fairly worn specimen but I’ve included the photographs as they are good enough for an ID. 

The 300th backyard macro moth turned out to be a Frigid Owlet Moth (Nycteola frigidana) that I recorded on the 10th June.  Not a spectacular looking moth or specimen but as a new species I’m quite happy with it.  Hopefully the October Thorn will supply the colour in this blog entry.

The moths since my last blog (excluding the Frigid Owlet Moth) were:

Alberta Lutestrin (Ceranemota albertae)
October Thorn (Synaxis jubararia)
Ashen Brindle moth (Lithomoia germana)
Nameless Pinion Moth (Lithophane innominata)
Battered Sallow Moth (Sunira verberata)

OTAB1 (1)NPBSAL1AL8975 Frigid Owlet Moth (Nycteola frigidana)

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Very low moth numbers but a new backyard moth.

With the recent rain and cool temperatures there has been very little moth activity in my backyard so I am working on a few ID’s.  The first one turned out to be a dark form of a moth that I see most years, a Kidney-spotted Rustic (Helotropha reniformis).   I spent several hours trying to ID this moth and without Gary Anweiler’s help I’d probably still be searching!  The second moth is a new backyard moth, Mountain Girdle Moth (Enypia griseata).  Thanks again to Gary for the ID confirmation and the additional info’.  Another moth which was new to my backyard in August was, I believe, an Old Man Dart Moth (Agrotis vetusta). 

With the addition of the Girdle Moth (Enypia griseata) my backyard macro moth list is now 299.  Hopefully, I will find 1 more species before the mothing season is over…

9453 Kidney-spotted Rustic melanic (Helotropha reniformis)7006 Mountain Girdle Moth (Enypia griseata) 10641 Old Man Dart Moth (Agrotis vetusta)

Thursday 3 September 2015

First night of no moths

Well, the title is a slight exaggeration because I did find one Olive Arches on the siding by the back door.  However, it was the first non rainy night since spring that both the light and bait traps were completely empty.  The temperature must have dropped very quickly.

Just to add, I have started to update the “Moths of Calgary and Southern Alberta” gallery on my website at http://www.albertanaturephotography.com/mothsofcalgary.

I’ve added some new species and have started to replace a few of the photographs with what are, hopefully, slightly better images.

Wednesday 2 September 2015

Blog for 12th August to 2nd Sept

My backyard moth numbers and been fairly low since the middle of August averaging approximately 12 species of Macro Moths each night.  This can probably be attributed to some wet weather and a gradual drop in overnight temperatures.  I have added one new backyard species since my last blog, Abagrotis hermina (actually seen on the 1st August).  Thanks again to Gary Anweiler for confirming my ID. 

I’ve included photographs of some of the August backyard species.  Most of the images are “stacked”.  That is, they are comprised of one or more photographs which use slightly different focus points.  In general I only 2 photographs but the Alfalfa Looper is made up of 4 photographs.

Looking at trends, it appears that the Large Yellow Underwing is more common this year. So far I have recorded almost double the number (43) when compared to any previous year.  This is an introduced species which is probably still expanding its range.

The new moths since my last blog are as follows:

White Underwing (Catocala relicta)
Neumogen's Quaker (Oligia egens)
Kidney-spotted Rustic (Helotropha reniformis)
Cow Parsnip Borer Moth (Papaipema harrisi)
Pale Enargia (Enargia decolor)
Mouse Moth (Amphipyra tragopoginis)
Bicolored Sallow Moth (Sunira bicolorago)
Puta Sallow Moth (Anathix puta)
Venerable Dart (Dusky Cutworm) (Agrotis venerabilis)
Euxoa auxiliaris
Collard Dart (Agnorisma bugrai)
Abagrotis hermina – New backyard Moth.

Neumogen's Quaker (Oligia egens) is quite a small moth but is one of the more colourful Noctuidae.

Untitled_Panorama1D11030.1 Abagrotis herminaUntitled_PanoramaCal (1k) (1)CPBCPB1APEEOAUntitled_Panorama1DE (2)OB

Untitled_PanoramaCal (1k) (2)

Thursday 13 August 2015

Moth Blog from the 22nd July to 12th August

I’ve been a bit of a slacker recently and there’s been a fairly large gap since my last blog.   In my own defense, this was at least in part due to vacations and some very nasty thunderstorms.  Anyway, here’s a quick summary of how the backyard mothing has been going.  I’ve been getting between 16 and 26 macro moth species overnight.  The actual number is somewhat higher as I do not include unidentified or unidentifiable (without dissection) species.

During this period (22nd July-12th Aug) there were 2 are new macro moth species and another 18 that were new for the year.  Thanks to Gary Anweiler for confirming the identification of the Colorful Zale Moth (Zale minerea), which apparently, is quite a late sighting (it was in my bait trap on the 24th July).
Here’s the list.  New species have an * against them.  The others are just new for this year.

*Colorful Zale Moth (Zale minerea)
*Old Man Dart Moth (Agrotis vetusta)
Sulphur Wave (Hesperumia sulphuraria)   
White Underwing (Catocala relicta)   
Semirelict Underwing Moth (Catocala semirelicta)
Charming Underwing Moth (Catocala blandula)
Two-spotted Looper (Autographa bimaculata)
White-streaked Looper (Plusia venusta)
Narrow-winged Borer (Photedes defecta)
Brachylomia populi
Thinker Moth (Lacinipolia meditata)
Brown Arches Moth (Lacinipolia stricta)
Bronzed Cutworm Moth (Nephelodes minians)
Euxoa tristicula
Sordid Dart (Euxoa adumbrata)
Euxoa ochrogaster
Obelisk Dart (Euxoa obeliscoides)
Black Army Cutworm (Actebia fennica)
Green Arches (Anaplectoides prasina)
Two-spot Dart (Protolampra rufipectus)

My total for identified backyard macro moth species in 2015 is now 136 which is already 3 better than last year, although, in 2012 I had 201 species!  My all-time backyard list is now at 297.  Maybe I will get to 300 this year??

The two part golden stigma on the Two-spotted Looper (Autographa bimaculata) were very impressive.  I hope the photograph does it justice.  I plan to include a few more photographs from the above period in future blogs.


Tuesday 21 July 2015

Blog entry for 15th-21st July

The moth numbers during this period have continued to be quite high, although, probably no higher than in other years. On average there have been approx. 24 species of 100+ macro moths.

Two notable records were a Southern Quaker (Apamea impulsa), which I’ve only recorded once before in 2008 and my second record of a Green-patched Looper Moth (Diachrysia balluca).  The latter moth, probably because of the iridescent green patch that changes colour as it reflects the light, is also know as a Hologram moth.  Unfortunately, the Green-patched Looper (Hologram Moth) was a little worn but still a nice looking moth. 

From the 15th-21st there were 22 new backyard species for the year:

Pink-bordered Yellow (Two-pronged Looper) (Sicya macularia)
Single-lined Emerald (Nemoria unitaria)
Northwestern Phoenix Moth (Eulithis xylina)
Scallop Shell (Rheumaptera undulata)
Dark-spotted Looper (Diachrysia aereoides)
Green-patched Looper Moth (Diachrysia balluca)
Southern Quaker (Apamea impulsa)
Apamea scoparia
Lined Quaker (Apamea inficita)
Double Lobed (Apamea ophiogramma)
American Ear Moth (Amphipoea americana)
Smoked Sallow (Enargia infumata)
Hyppa contrasta
Polia Moth (Polia piniae)
Purple Arches (Polia purpurissata)
Anhimella contrahens
Dingy Cutworm (Feltia jaculifera)
Master's Dart (Feltia herilis)
Euxoa comosa
Western brown Dart (Euxoa basalis)
Great Gray Dart (Great Brochade) (Eurois occulta)
Smith's Dart (Xestia smithii)


Friday 10 July 2015

Blog for 8th, 9th and 10th July

There were 89 macro moths of 18 species on the 8th July, 87 of 28 on the 9th and 128 of 23 on the 10th.  As can be seen the numbers are quite high which is to be expected during this warm and fairly dry spell.

During this period there were 7 new species for the year.  1 of these was a new moth for my backyard, a Brown-lined Sallow Moth (Sympistis badistriga).  The other new species for the year were:

Johnson's Euchlaena (Euchlaena johnsonaria)
Pale beauty (Campaea perlata)
Parthenice Tiger Moth (Grammia parthenice)
Canadian Fan-foot (Zanclognatha lutalba)
Wavy Chestnut Y (Autographa mappa)
Anhimella contrahens

It’s always nice to get your first tiger moth of the year and the Wavy Chestnut Y (Autographa mappa) is certainly a colourful species.

wavy1 (1)wavyJEPTBJSPB

Thursday 9 July 2015

Blog entry for 6th July

There were 65 macro moths of 19 species on the 6th.  4 were new for the year:

Split-lined Angle Moth (Speranza bitactata)
Neoligia subjuncta
Stormy Arches (Polia nimbosa)
Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)


Blog entry for 3rd July

This was the best night of the year so far with 107 macro moths of 27 species in the light trap.  5 of these were new for the year and 1 was a macro moth that I haven’t recorded before, a Northern Pine Tussock Moth (Dasychira plagiata).  I haven’t seen many Tussock moths so this was a very nice addition to the list.  The other new moths for the year were:

The Scribe (Lettered Habrosyne) (Habrosyne scripta)
Little White Lichen Moth (Clemensia albata)
Brown-streaked Rustic (Hypocoena rufostrigata)
Disparaged Arches (Orthodes detracta)
Trichordestra dodii


Tuesday 7 July 2015

Blog entry for 2nd July

Due to the weather, my light trap has only been out intermittently over the last week or so.  I did have 64 macro moths of 24 species on the 2nd with 3 new species for the year.

False Bruce Spanworm (Speranza loricaria)
White-banded Toothed Carpet (Euphyia intermediata)
Rusty Holomelina (Virbia ferruginosa)

It’s always nice to be able photograph a couple of Geometrids as they tend to be a lot more active than the Noctuids.  This was only my second record of the Rusty Holomelina (Virbia ferruginosa), although, I think I could quite easily overlook this small moth.  The Garden Arches (Lacanobia radix) is a common backyard moth.