Moths in Tucson Mountain Park

Last night, Julie Strom and I hosted a Nature Nights: Bats and Bugs event at Ironwood Picnic Area in Tucson Mountain Park.  Julie handled the bat portion of the program and I took care of the bugs.  We had a good turnout of people, bats, and bugs!

Julie started things off with a presentation on the diversity and biology of bats.  Once the bats awoke, Julie used a bat detector to help participants appreciate the activity of these remarkable animals.

Insect activity picked up at about the same time as the bats got going.  We had antlions, stinkbugs, a few wasps, and, of course, beetles and moths.  The most popular was the White-lined Sphinx Moth (Hyles lineata).  I am sure the large size and pink hindwings had something to do with their popularity.

Another popular moth was Euscirrhopterus cosyra. the staghorn cholla moth.  This beauty has broad white stripes on brownish forewings and bright orange hindwings.  This species is somewhat unusual in feeding on the stems of cholla cacti as a caterpillar.  It’s colors are so bright that one of the participants thought it was a butterfly!

Eye-catchingly snow white with black spots, Doa ampla is a member of the Doidae.  This family is sometimes known as the Euphorbia moths because of their caterpillar foodplants.  D. ampla is a striking moth to say the least.

Thanks to all who attended!  It was a beautiful night made better by good people and outstanding animals!DoaAmploaIronwoodPicnicArea25vii14EuscirrhopterusCosyraIronwoodPicnicArea25vii14






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