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.


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.