Posted on July 25, 2012 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
On July 28th, 2012 CSR Biologists Kelly Tindall and Kent Fothergill will be hosting MOTH NIGHT at the City of Rocks National Reserve. This event is open to the public and will be at campsite 17 in the Smokey Mountain Campground after dark. See you there!
Why moths? With more than 10,000 species in North America alone, moths offer endless options for study, education, photography, and fun. Moths can be found everywhere from inner cities and suburban backyards, to the most wild and remote places. The diversity of moths is simply astounding. Their colors and patterns range from bright and dazzling, to so cryptic that they define camouflage. Moth shapes and sizes span the gamut, with some as small as a pinhead and others as large as a hand. Most moths are nocturnal and need to be sought at night to be seen, but others fly like butterflies during the day. Finding moths can be as simple as leaving a porch light on and checking it after dark. Serious moth aficionados use special lights and baits to attract them. Popular interest in moths is rapidly growing, as noted by recent publications and web-based resources. The new Peterson Field Guide to the Moths by David Beadle and Seabrooke Leckie, moth caterpillar guides by David Wagner, and a vast number of moth-oriented Internet resources such as the “Moth Photographers Group” and “BugGuide” are just some examples of moth’s growing popularity. Moths are also featured widely in literature and art providing a different angle for enjoyment and study. “Moth Nights”are often held by nature groups, and provide an opportunity for either an introduction to the creatures, or a venue for more serious pursuits.
National Moth Week brings together everyone interested in moths to celebrate these amazing insects. This summer, groups and individuals from all the across the country will spend some time during National Moth Week looking for moths and sharing what they’ve found. Getting involved during National Moth Week is easy: attend a National Moth Night event, start an event, join friends and neighbors to check porch lights from time to time, set up a light and see what is in your own backyard, or read literature about moths, etc. nationalmothweek.org
Filed under: Biology, Discovery | Tagged: moth | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 22, 2011 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Snowberry clearwing, Hemaris diffinis (Boisduval, 1836)
Identification: Adults are quite variable in appearance; Bumblebee mimic. The thorax is golden or olive-golden in color, abdomen is black dorsally with 1-2 segments just prior to terminal end being yellow to various extent, while black ventrally. H. diffinis is the only eastern species to exhibit blue abdominal tufts on the first black segment in some freshly emerged specimens. Wings mostly clear with reddish brown terminal borders and dark scaling along veins. While wing maculation is too variable to be 100% diagnostic, diffinis typically has very thin terminal borders and the discal cell is elongate and without scales. However, diffinis can always be distinguished from gracilis and thysbe by two diagnostic characteristics: 1) the black band that crosses the eye and travels down the lateral side of the thorax; 2) diffinis always has black legs.
Life History: Adults fly swiftly during the day. Caterpillars pupate in cocoons spun in leaf litter on the ground.
Wing Span: 1 1/4 – 2 inches (3.2 – 5 cm).
Caterpillar Hosts: Snowberry (Symphoricarpos), honeysuckle (Lonicera), dogbane (Apocynum), and dwarf bush honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera).
Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including lantana, dwarf bush honeysuckle, snowberry, orange hawkweed, thistles, lilac, and Canada violet.
Habitat:A wide variety of open habitats, streamsides, fields, gardens, and suburbs.
Range: Northwest Territories and British Columbia south to southern California and Baja California Norte; east through most of the United States to Maine and Florida.
Source: Butterflies and Moths of North America
Filed under: Discovery, education | Tagged: moth | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 28, 2010 by Conservation Seeding & Restoration INC
Hemileuca hera is a silkmoth that feeds exclusively on Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata). It overwinters as eggs and then young caterpillars feed in groups, as the photo above shows. They are protected by stinging hairs, so be sure not to pick these little guys up! As they only eat Big Sage, their presence is an indicator of a healthy Big Sage community. *Fully-grown caterpillars overwinter in loose cocoons in the leaf litter or in burrows in soft soil. Adults emerge from July-September, but at high elevations and northern latitudes, the cocoons overwinter and adults emerge in the spring.
*Butterflies and Moths of North America
Filed under: Biology, education | Tagged: moth | Leave a Comment »