Monday, April 30, 2012

Moth program results

Our moth program with field guide author Seabrooke Leckie was a great success! We were a bit worried about the cool weather, but Seabrooke explained that many moth species overwinter as adults (rather than eggs, caterpillars, or pupae/cocoons). These cold-hardy species will fly in temperatures cooler than we were experiencing (in the mid-50s).

Seabrooke arrived in late afternoon, and we set up several sheets with different types of light (black light, mercury vapor). Moths are attracted to the lights and land on the sheets.

One of the sheet/light set ups.

We also soaked some rope in a mixture of red wine and brown sugar, and hung them out to attract species that feed on nectar and sap (many adult moths, however, do not eat at all). This mix should really be allowed to ferment, so we didn't have luck with that.

Stinky, sticky wine rope hanging from wood shed.
Seabrooke started out with a short presentation focusing on moths in the environment.

Then our group of about 30 people made the rounds of the sheets and collected moths in clear pill bottles. These were brought back into the building where Seabrooke identified them.

Seabrooke also helped my husband Darrin identify some photographs he had taken the last few years.

Our friend Don Sherwood has been raising silkworm moths. He brought along this Luna Moth to show everybody. I think this is probably one of the most beautiful moths in the world!

Here is our list of moths that came to the lights, with links to the species or genus at BugGuide, a great online resource for insect identification. Some very tiny moths ("micromoths") were only identified to genus.
The Curve-toothed Geometer. We released
all the moths at the end of the night.
  1. Unicorn Prominent (Schizura unicornus)
  2. The Gem (Orthonama obstiptata)
  3. Celery Leaftier (Udea rubigalis)
  4. Palmerworm Moth (Dichomeris ligulella)
  5. Featherduster Agonopterix (Agonopterix pulvipennella)
  6. Confused Woodgrain (Morrisonia confusa)
  7. Acleris sp.
  8. Common Acleris (Acleris subnivana)
  9. The White-Speck/Armyworm (Mythimna unipuncta)
  10. Dusky Groundling (Condica vecors)
  11. Olive-and-black Carpet (Acasis viridata)
  12. Epinotia sp.
  13. Eupithica sp.
  14. Bent-line Carpet (Costaconvexa centrostrigaria)
  15. Curve-toothed Geometer (Eutrapela clemataria)
  16. Red-banded Leafroller (Argyrotaenia velutinana)
  17. Gray-banded Leafroller (Argyrotaenia mariana)
There were also a couple of "get-aways" and some that flew near the sheets that we didn't catch.

Thank you Seabrooke for an excellent evening!

Julie Craves and Seabrooke Leckie.

1 comment:

Cathy Carroll said...

It was a very nice program. I'm glad I went. I had to leave early secondary to an early morning departure for work. Now that I see the list of moths attracted, I wish I had been able to stay longer.