Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Three Elegant Moths

Diachrysia balluca Geyer, 1832 the Large Brassy Plusia or Green-patched Looper
In the Alberta summer one has to take their enjoyment of nature when they can amongst all of the rains, hail, lightening and strong winds. So far, it has rained two out of every three days in June and July and over 10 inches of rain have fallen in the Home Bug Garden (and much of that has flowed through the basement). However, Saturday night at Gopher Hill from midnight until 1:30 am the rains let up and the black light went out to see what might be roaming around the cloudy darkness.
Malacosoma disstria Hubner, 1820 adult of the Forest Tent Caterpillar
As usual when the black light works its magic here, the response of the nocturnal Lepidoptera overwhelmed all other insects. That's probably an Alberta thing too, at least compared to Queensland and other warmer lands in which I've gone night-lighting - where beetles, wasps, flies and bugs were often almost as diverse as the moths.
Sicya macularia (Harris, 1850) the Sharp-lined Yellow
So, here's a short tribute to just a few of the hardy moths that braved the cool, damp night to flutter around a black-light.

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