Happy mothing! Hope you’re all off to a good start this week, finding anything interesting?? :)
The first moth I got was a lifer, but I was not actively mothing but rather just finished lunch with friends.
Setting up a sheet on my balcony tonight.
Is this an American thing? It seems it didn’t make it up here to Canada.
I did get my first Cabera erythemaria, AKA the yellow-dusted cream moth this morning. I hope that counts.
National Moth Week , 12th annual, July 22-30, 2023 https://nationalmothweek.org/
I saw a few moths hiking earlier, so I guess I’ve started? I will set up the UV lamp in an hour if it’s not too windy.
Thanks for the link.
You have so many cool moths down there. It is amazing that there are so many moth species in such a hot and dry place.
Hmmm. I don’t see anything like that anywhere but I’m in BC and time always seems to get here last.
Edited to add: I did join the project thanks to you and @egordon88 though. I’m having fun looking through all the obs.
A good portion of the state is neither hot nor dry. New Mexico contains approximately nine million acres (~3.5 million hectares) of national forest. This includes 8 operating ski areas and several alpine peaks above 4,000 meters. The highest moth diversity here is likely in the Gila National Forest (over three million acres of forested hills) near the borders of Arizona and Mexico.
Estimated moth diversity here is 3-4,000 species thanks to our variety of flora and topography.
I guess hot and dry is in the eye of the beholder, be they human or moth. It got up to 23C today (about 73F for you guys). Everyone is looking for shade and hoping nobody throws a cigarette butt in the bush. The moths don’t seem to mind though. I am seeing more species that prefer non-conifer feed which has me wondering if the past five years of summer drought favors those species.
Its a global event. There is a 2023 project where any moth observations added during the National Moth Week period is automatically added. You can also register a private/public event at the website https://nationalmothweek.org/
Some of my favorites I found are Virginia Ctenucha Moth, Painted Lichen Moth, Spiny Oak-slug Moth, large lace border moth, and Mint-loving Pyrausta Moth.
Below is my pic of a spiny oak slug moth! I love it :-)
Here is one of my best pics of a moth:
And here is a really cute one:
I’m lucky: almost everything is new to me. :)
Last night I attracted my first Hieroglyphic Moth (as well as a bunch of other new moths) and that was really a fascinating moth.
Hieroglyphic Moth Observation
Set up a lightsheet which attracted the Hieroglyphic Moth and some wine/sugar rags attracted some other moths. Nothing big and flashy but all of them were new to me so that was great.
What are those?
I saw some examples on YouTube and ended up just creating my own. What they are:
I took a bottle of cheap, sweet local wine and simmered it with a bunch of sugar until it was syrupy. Then I took some old rags (some folks use ropes) and soaked them in the syrup.
Using clothespins, I hung the rags near my lightsheet. Almost as soon as I hung up the rags, I had moths (mostly genus Spodoptera – or at least I think that’s the right genus) coming to the rags. I’d never seen such an immediate response from moths before, so I think the rags were helpful in attracting them. Of course, they also attracted big black ants, but since I outdoors and not around the house or cement, that was okay. I wouldn’t have wanted the rags to drip on cement or immediately around my house, however, because they would probably stain or attract ants to the house.
Anyway, it was an interesting experiment. I’ve never run a lightsheet before or tried anything like the rags, but the combination seemed to work fairly well for me, at least last night.
I should note that it was warm/hot and humid (around 77 F) and we’d had rain about an hour before I set my stuff up. That’s why the sheet has droplets of water on it: from the rain. It was humid/misty all night.
Spiny oak-slug moth
I recently found my first one too and it made my night! I love the thick-bodied fuzzy moths or any green ones, so it was love at first sight for me!
Thank you. I’m going to try that. I have lots of space around my house and more than a few dead trees I can tack rags to.
New tiger moth tonight. Have to get the photos off the camera. Also more lovely mountain mahogany moths (genus Ethmia) and a few others that need identification. Non moths include two genera of nocturnal male wasps and a male dark firefly.
We know its NMW right now, but let’s not disregard the other insect orders that come to the lights. I myself am in the company of a lot of small beetles!
I haven’t had much luck with numbers around my apartments unfortunately, darn maintenance mowed right before the week started! I did find a lifer though, leafy spurge hawkmoth. Super exciting! I’ll probably go out again tonight.