Nationl Moth Week is here!

The third annual National Moth Week is here.  Last night the first of my moth nights was held at Middle Bear Picnic Area on Mt. Lemmon in Coronado National Forest.  It was a beautiful night in the cool, pine-scented air at about 5,000 feet elevation.  The moths did not disappoint.

Among the highlights were a couple Bertholdia trigona, a beautiful brownish moth with red highlights, a silver spot bordered in yellow on the forewings, and a pinkish-red abdomen.  This species is a tiger moth, a largely colorful group of moth in the family Erebidae (subfamily Arctiinae).

Another tiger moth to pay a visit was a single Gardinia anopla, a big, metallic blue moth whose caterpillars feed on algae growing on trees.  This moth looks very much like a spider wasp to me.  We did not see this thing fly in, but just as I was getting ready to take the light down, it crawled out from behind the light and dazzled us with its striking coloration.

One of my personal favorites was Callistege intercalaris, a member of the Noctuidae with a unique combination of grayish-brown wing stripes that enclose impossibly black patches.  A remarkable moth that is one of three species in it’s genus in North America.

A late arrival was Phaeoura perfidia, an exceptionally large geometer (Geometeridae).  When it showed up I initially thought that it was a sphinx moth or possibly a silk moth.  It is about three times the size of most other geometers.  The shape though is that of a typical geometer.

We also had White-lined Sphinx moths, many scarab beetles, mantisflies, and many, many other moths.  It was a great night with some truly fantastic insects!  Thanks to all who came out!  CallistegeincalarisMiddleBear20vii14GardinaanoplaMiddleBear20vii14





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