Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Rest of the Moths from Davidson Mill Pond Park

As I mentioned in my post on the Imperial Moth, I saw at least eight species of moths in Davidson Mill Pond Park last Thursday evening. This post will cover the rest of them. The first one I saw was a Snowberry Clearwing, a species similar to the Hummingbird Clearwing I posted yesterday. I will try to get a better photo of one this summer so I can post one here.

The moth at top is a Green Cloverworm Moth (Hypena scabra), a very common species. This individual is more lightly marked than many of the reference photos I have seen, but the basic pattern is still evident. I have already seen one of these this year. As the name suggests, larvae feed on clover, as well as raspberries, strawberries, and other meadow plants.

The second moth is my favorite one of this group, but also the most difficult to identify. The problem is that many of the scales have worn off the upperside of the wings, and a lot of the markings have disappeared with them. With that caveat, I think this may be an example of Hesperumia latipennis. If you think this is something else, feel free to suggest an alternate identification in the comments.

Like the moth above, the third moth is a tricky Geometer. I think this one is a Gray Spring Moth (Lomographa glomeraria). All three of the first three moths (along with the Imperial Moth) were attracted to the flood lights around the park's education building. Many other insects, including a few tiny micromoths, were attracted to the lights as well. This made me wonder if the lights produced light in the UV spectrum or if the insects were drawn simply because the lights were so bright.

I saw the rest of the moths earlier in the evening when there was still daylight. This is a Garden Webworm Moth (Achyra rantalis), a member of the Crambidae family. This is a common moth around vegetable gardens, where their larvae can feed on low plants. I saw two individuals within a short distance of each other that night.

The next is a Lucerne Moth (Nomophila nearctica), a species I have seen before. Like the previous moth, this is a Crambid. This is a very lightly marked individual, but it still shows the characteristic dark splotches along the leading edges of the forewings.

The last moth for this post is a Common Idia (Idia aemula). This species certainly lives up to its common name in my area. I have already seen multiple examples of it this season. This individual seems more lightly marked than some of the other Idias, like this one.

Seeing so many moths in such a short period made me wonder what one could find with a sheet and mercury vapor lamp at that location. It would be interesting to find out.