Monday 30 March 2015

My First Backyard Macro Moth of 2015!

We’ve had a lot of warm weather recently but my light trap had remained stubbornly empty until last night when 2 Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci) moths turned up.  This is my earliest ever record of a macro moth since I started mothing in 2007.  My previous early record was a Dot-and-Dash Swordgrass (Xylena curvimacula) on the 1st April 2013.  Hopefully, this is the start of an interesting mothing year.

Orthosia hibisci

Thursday 26 March 2015

Summary of my Calgary Backyard Moth Species for 2014

As the 2015 mothing season appears to be just around the corner, he says hopefully, I thought it was about time that I did an end of year summary for 2014…

The macro moth numbers were considerably down when compared to previous years but that is as much due to the number of times that I had the light and bait traps out as to anything else.  With vacations and bad weather I only had the light trap out 3 times in June!

Still the year was not a complete loss. I did record 133 species of macro moths, 7 of which were new records for my backyard.  As usual, these figures do not include a handful of species that I have not yet identified and some micro moths.

The new backyard species were:

Black-rimmed Prominent (Pheosia rimosa)
Leucania insueta
Brother Moth (Raphia frater)
Atlantic Arches Moth (Lacanobia atlantica)
Scripted Arches (Mamestra curialis)
Spruce Cone Looper Moth (Eupithecia mutata)
Spotted Grass Moth (Rivula propinqualis)

This brings my backyard macro moth list to 280.

The following is a summary of my most frequently record backyard moths.  No real surprises here:

Backyard Moths where the numbers counted were greater than 50
Common Name Latin Name Number
Glassy Cutworm Apamea devastator 395
Thoughtful Apamea Apamea cogitata 308
Bristly Cutworm Moth Lacinipolia renigera 160
Olive Arches Lacinipolia olivacea 109
Civil Rustic Moth Platyperigea montana 83
Morrison's Sooty Dart Pseudohermonassa tenuicula 71
Lesser Wainscot Mythimna oxygala 65
Bronzed Cutworm Moth Nephelodes minians 56
Mottled Rustic  Caradrina morpheus 53
Setaceous Hebrew Character Xestia c-nigrum 53

Once again, a special thanks to Gary Anweiler and anyone else who helped with the ID’s.

The following photographs were taken in the Okanagan, although, I have seen these Sphinx moths in Alberta.