Rarely, if ever, have I caught so many neat moths in one blow-out session! So it was to be on Wednesday night around the home of Mary Gartshore and Peter Carson down in the steamy depths of South Walsingham. We had been keeping an eye on the weather and decided this would be the night - how right we were. We being Mike King, Bob Yukich and me.
We set up three bucket traps and a couple of MV bulbs in front of sheets, as well as gooping a few trees. The goop produced little other than a couple of White and Yellow-banded Underwings. The sheets also were a little disappointing and we called it a night earlier than I expected. All the goodies were in the traps the next morning...
The nicest-looking moth of the night appears above - a lovely Pink-washed Looper Moth. As I write I have no idea as to the status of this moth in Ontario. I can find no mention of it in the literature so it may be new - fingers crossed! We caught another noctuid that may be new but I'm awaiting an expert opinion on that one.
Less spectacular but very rare in the province was this Beet Armyworm Moth. I had caught several of this diminuative migrant Spodoptera in UK last autumn so I immediately recognised this one! I was quite excited by this stage to say the least. In Uk this moth is called the Small Mottled Willow.
Just after jarring the SMW above I noticed this moth hiding within one of the egg cartons, I jarred it quickly and came back to it later. It proved to be a rare migrant I'd wanted to see for many a long year - an Orbed Narrow-wing no less! In spite of not looking like most of the pictures I'd seen of this species the shape was totally distinctive. This mainly tropical species rarely makes it up to these parts so I was well pleased.
One of the reasons for making this trip was to catch some borer moths in the genus Papaipema. All are lovely in their own ways. We trapped four species on this occasion with P. cerina above being the most spectacular - not least because none of us had seen it before! We caught three individuals out of which this was the largest and brightest.
When MK said "Hmmm, there's a nice-looking pyralid" I was totally amazed to look down and see the striking Mimoschinia rufofascialis. I'd caught this once before in my back yard in Toronto many years ago, also in September. It was years before I was finally able identify it so I was grateful for a second chance to obtain better photos. Fantastic-looking creature. I'm not totally sure of it's status in the province but it is possible that my two records are all there is.
This is the distinctive-looking geometrid called the Juniper Geometer. We caught two of these. In September 2004 I caught one of these at the same site so it's nice to be able to confirm that it does actually live here! It is possible that this is the only site in Ontario, but this needs confirmation.
Finally, and yet another great surprise was this brilliant geometrid called Packard's Wave. Again we caught two crispy fresh individuals. Yet another new moth for me and totally unexpected - what a night! Out of interest, this moth closely resembles a migrant species in UK called Blair's Mocha - the resemblance is uncanny - check it out.
So, a fantastic night of mothing. There was more...and I'll post some more photos when I have time.