Sunday, February 27, 2011

Back from the Dead

I know exactly what you are thinking. A Moth Blog post in February, are you crazy!? Well, I took the time to identify some moths from last fall, and thought I would share them with the world. Of course, a lot of these moths look similar to other moths, so these identifications could be totally wrong.
Choristoneura obsoletana
This dashing individual is Cyclophora nanaria
Aethes seriatana- A species species group including Aethes baloghi and Aethes patricia. Only by examining their genitalia can these species be told apart. I personally don't want to examine moth genitalia. 
Choristoneura rosaceana
With the 2011 moth season just around the corner, I will be adding to my arsenal in order to attract every moth I can. Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you want to think about it), I will be spending mid-May to mid-July in the Yukon Delta. Thus, mothing will have to take a break during this time.

Monday, October 4, 2010

More Moths

Well, it has been a while. I haven't been keeping up with my moth pictures, and took some time off from really focusing on identifications, but I made a few recently. Being that it is now October, not many moths are flying, but the ones that are could be interesting. Since it is supposed to be quite warm this week, I plan to go out at least once or twice to see what I can attract with my light.

This cool little guy is Julia's Dicymolomia Moth or Dicymolomia julianalis. Kalkaska County
Gerdana caritella
Obscure Pondweed Moth- Paraponyx obscuralis
Dull Reddish Dart- Xestia dilucida
Enjoy the pictures. Hopefully I can work through some of my hundreds of pictures soon.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Moth Identifications

Finally got some time to clinch some ID's on a few moths. Thought you might enjoy.

Sitochroa palealis- This species was recently introduced to NA and only known from Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan. This was in Kalkaska County.

Scalloped Sallow- Eucirroedia pampina. Taken in Kalkaska County.

American Idia- Idia americalis. Taken in Kalkaska County.

This one is a little more tough. Id bet on Bicolored Sallow- Sunira bicolorago. May also be Battered Sallow Moth- Sunira verberata, but range may be wrong.

So there you have it. Just a few more moths from my collection of hundreds of pictures. I still have a ton to identify. The diversity is truly amazing.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mothing Setup

Well it has been a while since my last post. I have still been looking at moths, but the cold, clear nights make mothing tough. Hopefully we still get a few more warm nights, but I'm not counting on it.

I have had a request to post about my mothing setup. I'll remind you, I am still very new at this and my setup may not be the best/most efficient, but it works.

My light is a DC 12v 15w blacklight from BioQuip. It is the first one listed on this page:
I have found it to be bright enough, and have had some great nights with it. Would be nice to have a couple more to set up multiple trapping areas.

It is important to make the setup mobile. The light is supposed to plug into a cigarette lighter, but that restricts you to your car. I bought the DC pigtail adaptors which allows me to connect the blacklight to an external battery. The product can be found here:

Choice of battery is very important. I did a lot of research before purchasing a battery. I thought a car battery would work well since that is what BioQuip said the blacklight can run on, but I was quickly turned away by the bulkiness and cost of a car battery. They also do not last as long and don't handle continuous use as well. I purchased a 9Ah sealed led acid battery from Gander Mountain for $25. The recharger was also $25, but I have had no problems with it, and the battery is very light. From what I hear, every a 9Ah battery is rated for 9 hours of use, a 7Ah battery at 7 hours of use, ect. More than enough for what I need, and I don't recharge every night.

I bought a white bed sheet from Walmart for $6. You want 100% cotton sheet because the blacklight glows better off it, shining more light for moths to see. My bed sheet is only 85% cotton though, and still works well.

To put it all together, I string up a rope between two trees, two pieces of wood, or basically anything a respectable distance apart and vertical enough to hang a sheet from. I then use clothes pins to hang the sheet to the string. To hang the blacklight, I use a bungee cord knotted up to hang partially down the sheet. Ideally, the blacklight would be further away from the sheet to shine more, but it's all I have to work with for now.

If you've actually read this far, I'm sure you are sick of the text, so on with the pictures.

Above is a picture of the battery with DC pigtail adapter connected to the blacklight. The thing in bubble wrap is the ballast for the blacklight which is included in your purchase and is already connected. I wrapped it in bubble wrap for protection.

This is at the Fit Strip in Marquette. These two wooden poles are a perfect length away from each other. You can see I just knotted a rope up and hung the sheet with clothes pins. Try to hang your setup in an open area to cast more light and so more bugs can see it.

No, this was not taken during the day. This was taken in Rapid City, Michigan at my Grandpas house during the night, with a flash. So far, it has been the highest number of moths I have got in one night. Some other little bugs are there too.

As a side note, I don't receive any benefit referencing BioQuip and Gander Mountain... but it would be nice if I did.

Now get out there and find some moths!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Recent Moths

Recently, the mothing has been excellent. With the very warm days and nights, I have spent the past few evenings setting up the moth sheet trap to see what comes in. After visiting the Fit Strip in Marquette for my Ecology of the Northern Forest class, I knew I had to try it for moths. It is a nice mix of deciduous and coniferous forest, so I though diversity could be high. Looks like I was right. So far, it has been the best mothing I have had. Zach Gayk joined me last night (Aug 30, 2010) to see what it was all about. Here are some pictures of moths I have identified recently. 

Common Idia- Idia aemula
Common Pug- Eupithecia miserulata
False Hemlock Looper- Nepytia canosaria
Oblique-banded Leafroller Moth- Choristoneura rosaceana
Caloptilia violacella
Ectoedemia sericopeza
Large Yellow Underwing- Noctua pronuba
Green Cloverworm Moth- Hypena scabra
Meadow-Rue Borer- Papaipema unimoda
Corn Earworm Moth- Helicoverpa zea
Ipsilon Dart- Agrotis ipsilon

Water Veneer- Acentria ephemerella
Hop Vine Moth- Hypena humuli
This is related to the Green Cloverworm Moth, but is apparently much more uncommon. Notice this species lacks the thin black line midway along the inner margin. 
Hopefully I can identify some more of the dozens of other species I have yet to figure out.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More Identified Moths

Looking through my pictures of moths and comparing them to pictures on and Moth Photographers Group, I managed to identify some moths from the past few weeks. It also made me realize how many moths I still haven't identified, and maybe never will.

Gold-striped Leaftier- Machimia tentoriferella
Celery Leaftier- Udea rubigalis
Lucerne Moth- Nomophila nearctica
White-striped Black- Trichodezia albovittata
This stunning little micro-moth came to the light trap.  Monopis spilotella

Hopefully more ID's to come!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Moths before Classes

Last night (Aug 22), the night before classes started back up, was clear and warm. Cloudy skies are better for moths, but as I returned home from work at 10:30pm I saw quite a few moths congregating around the light outside my apartment. I decided to hit Harlow Pathway from 11pm-12:30am, and I'm glad I did. The light attracted a handful of moths, mostly all new ones! And I've even been able to identify most of them.
Feltia tricosa? Could also be subgothica or even jaculifera. What is expected around here?
Hemlock Looper- Lambdina fiscellaria
Larch Tolype- Tolype laricis (2 came to the light, really cool moth!)
Maple Spanworm Moth- Ennomos magnaria
Crambus sp.
Haven't looked this guy up yet
This was at the light outside my apartment. Unknown for now...
Also had another Lesser Maple Spanworm Moth. Hopefully I get out mothing again tonight. I may try a new location.