Thursday 30 July 2020

The Osa Peninsula - Part 2


This summer I have been setting up my moth sheet and light nearly every evening and spending many hours figuring out the identifications the following day. As a result I have not been devoting much time to the blog. But indeed, I have tales to tell from our adventure in Costa Rica a few months ago. It's hard to believe that less than five months ago we were traipsing around the humid, forested lowlands of the Osa Peninsula!

My last post detailed our first 24 hours of exploration at the Bolita Hostel and its excellent network of trails that snake through primary forest near Corcovado National Park. When I left off, we had just finished an afternoon hike and were preparing for our first night hike. 

Unfortunately I had forgotten to bring my macro lens up to the hostel from the car, a realization I came to while prepping my gear for the night hike. Shoot! After setting up our moth sheet we began our hike, walking down the trail back towards Dos Brazos. We journeyed all the way to the river before we turned around and retraced our steps back to the hostel. 

Despite only herping for two hours or so we came across some nice finds. Snakes are always high on the priority list when Laura and I are night-hiking and this time we lucked out with several individuals. Below is a Northern Cat-eyed Snake (Leptodeira septentrionalis), one of two that we discovered during the evening. Our other snake of the evening was a Blunt-headed Treesnake (Imantodes cenchoa), a common and widespread species but one that is always nice to come across because of how ridiculous its proportions are. Most pencils have more girth than an average Blunt-headed Treesnake. 

Northern Cat-eyed Snake (Leptodeira septentrionalis) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Lizards were noted throughout the walk, especially when we hiked along a small creek. This is a Water Anole (Anolis aquaticus), a species that is almost always within a few feet of a flowing creek. At night they sleep on branches and rocks beside the watercourse. 

Water Anole (Anolis aquaticus) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

I think my favourite find of the night was this individual - a Granular Poison Frog (Oophaga granulifera)! This spectacular anuran was a new one for us, and one of my most wanted herps for the Osa Peninsula. 

Granular Poison Frog (Oophaga granulifera) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Unfortunately the moth sheet was a bit of a bust, no doubt due to the hundreds of ants that walked from a nearby tree onto the rope and then the sheet, attacking many of the moths that briefly landed on it. I had never seen that before! According to some of the other guests at the hostel there was a huge Fer-de-Lance that hung out in the grass under the sheet for part of the evening. Of course, it was long gone by the time that we had returned from our night hike. That's how it goes sometimes!

Due to the incredible success we had had with birds the previous day my target list was a lot smaller. Surprisingly, not a single "life bird" was added despite another incredible day of birding and herping along Bolita's trails. 

We hiked up the Big Banana Trail and took the Valle Frijol Trail again, the same route we had followed the previous day. Once we hit the Bonanza Trail and the primary forest we continued down this way, eventually making our way to a creek. It was a hot and muggy morning, much warmer than yesterday, and bird activity was much reduced. We enjoyed many of the same species from the previous day, as well as a few new ones such as Speckled Tanager, Blue Dacnis, Yellow-throated Vireo and Gartered Trogon. 

Gartered Trogon - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Shortly after merging onto the Bonanza Trail, a huge black serpent appeared on the leaf-strewn path. A Bird-eating Snake (Phrynonax poecilonotus)!

Bird-eating Snake (Phrynonax poecilonotus) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

This large and impressive species is widespread in the northern Neotropics, but it was one that neither of us had encountered before. This individual was on the larger size, probably measuring longer than 2 metres in length. The snake was quite docile and I very slowly and carefully picked it up. Most snakes are pretty relaxed if they are approached the right way and this one was no different. A gentle giant. 

Bird-eating Snake (Phrynonax poecilonotus) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Bird-eating Snake (Phrynonax poecilonotus) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

As indicated by its common name, this species often preys on birds and bird eggs but it will also take down small mammals. Following a brief photoshoot we let the beautiful serpent go on its way, and it slithered across the dry leaves and into a brushy thicket, out of sight. 

Bird-eating Snake (Phrynonax poecilonotus) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

We continued our walk to the waterfall, stopping periodically for birds. This next species was a new trip bird for us, and a lifer for Laura; the Golden-crowned Spadebill. 

Golden-crowned Spadebill - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

A few minutes later while relaxing at the creek I caught sight of an interesting woodcreeper which turned out to be a Brown-billed Scythebill. Another awesome species!!

Brown-billed Scythebill - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

We retraced our steps along the Bonanza Trail and took the Fila Quemada Trail back around. Bird activity had really slowed by this time and so we focused more on insects and herps. 

Heliconius doris - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Delicate Ameiva (Holcosus leptophrys) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Heliconius doris - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Mastigodryas melanolomus - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Some commotion in the trailside shrubbery at various points produced a few skulking species, including Black-hooded Antshrike and Dusky Antbird. 

Black-hooded Antshrike - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Dusky Antbird - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

I was thrilled to have a nice close encounter with a pair of Riverside Wrens, a species that had been one of my top targets in the Osa Peninsula and one which I had yet to photograph up to this point. 

Riverside Wren - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

We were pretty tired and thirsty and picked up the pace on our way back to the hostel, with visions of cold water dancing in our heads. Luckily, I was still paying attention to unusual sounds and heard what might have been a primate way up a tree just off of the trail. Something about it sounded strange - there was less persistent crashing through the branches that monkeys usually cause. Eventually I mustered up the energy to bushwhack off the trail to an area where the canopy was more visible.

I was pretty shocked to see a Northern Tamandua way up the tree, and so I frantically called Laura over. Together we enjoyed awesome views of the anteater, it periodically checking us out as well. This was only the second time I can recall seeing a Northern Tamandua, and it was a new one for Laura. We were pretty excited!

Northern Tamandua - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Following a short siesta we hit the trails again. This time, our plan was to hike the entrance road during daylight hours, pick up my macro lens at the car and then after dark, night-hike back to the lodge. 

Central American Spider Monkey - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Morpho menelaus - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Lesson's Motmot - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Near a small creek crossing we found this sharp male Red-capped Manakin, having a bath in the flowing water. 

Red-capped Manakin - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Red-capped Manakin - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Eventually we made it to the river and completed the crossing. 

River crossing - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

The scrubby roadside habitats near where my car was parked provided a huge boost to our day list and we quickly went from around 80 species to over 100 for the day. 

Scarlet-rumped Tanager - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Black-striped Sparrow - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Since it was still daylight we met up with a friend for a couple of drinks - Zeph, a Frenchman who lives in Dos Brazos. Following a great visit with him, we hit the trails with hopes of snakes and other nocturnal delights. 

Laura spotted the first snake, and a venemous one at that - a Fer-de-Lance or Terciopelo (Bothrops asper) coiled up on the side of the path. This one was just a baby. 

Terciopelo (Bothrops asper) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Terciopelo (Bothrops asper) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Taeniotes scalatus - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Copiphora cultricornis - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Our next snake encounter occurred along the banks of the river that we had crossed earlier. Watercourses are excellent locations to find snakes in the tropics and this river came through in the form of a Northern Cat-eyed Snake (Leptodeira septentrionalis). 

Northern Cat-eyed Snake (Leptodeira septentrionalis) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

This photo may look posed but this is exactly how we found the snake, right beside a Fitzinger's Robber Frog. Perhaps we had interrupted the snake's meal plans?

Northern Cat-eyed Snake (Leptodeira septentrionalis) and Fitzinger's Robber Frog (Craugastor fitzingeri) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

We noted several more herps along the river including various frogs and a few Common Basilisks (Basiliscus basiliscus).

Common Basilisk (Basiliscus basiliscus) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Smilax sordida - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Craugastor sp. - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Laura was on fire tonight and she found her third snake of the night just past the river as we initiated our walk back to the hostel. And this one was easily the coolest snake of the night - a Forest Flame Snake (Oxyrhopus petolarius). This coral snake mimic is not dangerous to humans, but it is rear-fanged with venom that is toxic to anoles. Forest Flame Snakes are quite variable in colour but usually have some combination of black and red cross-bands. We had seen one previously, a stunner that I had found at the Narupa Reserve in Ecuador back in November. 

Forest Flame Snake (Oxyrhopus petolarius) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Forest Flame Snake (Oxyrhopus petolarius) - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

While not quite as exciting as the snake, this caterpillar was certainly an interesting one! 

Automeris sp. - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Automeris sp. - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

I believe it is in the genus Automeris, which includes the familiar Io Moth that is widespread in North America. There are many species of Automeris in the tropics, and I am not sure which one this caterpillar is. A nice way to close out a successful night hike!

Automeris sp. - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

The following morning was our last one in the Osa Peninsula, sadly. I still had one main target bird species that was missing from my list - the diminutive and difficult to find White-crested Coquette. Shortly after dawn I tried the Cacique Trail which is located very close to the hostel. Mark Dorriesfield, a friend of mine from Ontario, had visited Bolita on a few occasions and suggested the Cacique Trail as the most reliable for the coquette.

Early on the coquette was a no-show but there were a ton of other bird species to keep me occupied as I walked along the trail which followed the rim of a valley. I finally had my photo-op with the endemic Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager, a species that I had seen and heard on a few occasions in the preceding days but never very well. A great start to another beautiful day!

Black-cheeked Ant-Tanager - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

This Band-tailed Barbthroat provided incredible views as well. 

Band-tailed Barbthroat - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Laura eventually joined me and we birded the ridge, picking up more and more species. At one point a tiny hummingbird flit among some white flowers just above the trail. It was initially elusive but I finally got it in my binoculars. A female White-crested Coquette! A few seconds later and it was gone (sans photos). A huge thrill, and a great way to close out our time at Bolita!

Squirrel Cuckoo - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

We packed up our bags, said goodbye to the staff and hit the trail. I must say it was a noticeably easier hike out, namely because we had less food in our packs and because it was mostly downhill. 

This next species is a Scaly-throated Leaftosser. This skulky species is well-named since it searches for morsels underneath fallen leaves. This was by far the best view that I have ever had of this normally shy species.

Scaly-throated Leaftosser - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Scaly-throated Leaftosser - Bolita Rainforest Hostel, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

We were relieved to finally finish the hike and get back to the car, equipped with air conditioning. We made a stop for some cold drinks and hit the road. 

With a bit of free time on our hands, we checked out the Río Rincon bridge for a second visit. This time the Yellow-billed Cotingas were a little more cooperative with some great views of them in flight. I also found a surprise Mangrove Cuckoo right at the bridge, though I guess it should not have been a surprise since there were mangroves a short walk down the road. 

Mangrove Cuckoo - Puente Río Rincon, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Eventually I meandered down the pavement towards the mangroves since one of the Costa Rican endemic species prefers these environs -  the well-named Mangrove Hummingbird. Despite the hot temperatures and time of day there was a fair bit of bird activity and I added close to 20 bird species to my Costa Rica list in this short visit. Some highlights included a pair of Pale-billed Woodpeckers, Great Black Hawk, Plain-breasted Ground-Dove and Ruddy-breasted Seedeater. Meanwhile, the gravelly shoreline of the river produced Whimbrel, Willet, Greater Yellowlegs and Tricolored Heron among others. 

Pale-billed Woodpeckers - Puente Río Rincon, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Eventually I lucked out with a drab-looking Mangrove Hummingbird. Not the showiest of hummingbirds but one with a restricted range, so I was happy.

Mangrove Hummingbird - Puente Río Rincon, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

And with that, we hit the road and left the Osa Peninsula behind. Our time here had been incredible, with nearly all of my hoped-for bird species appearing, along with a nice diversity of herps, mammals and insects.  I can see why the Osa Peninsula is a top priority for many naturalists visiting Costa Rica!

Tuesday 14 July 2020

Mothing at St. William's Conservation Reserve, Norfolk County

As spring gave way to summer I began to shift my attention away from the birds and towards something else. Warm, early summer nights are ideal for searching for a different group of organisms. Those being, of course, moths!

Last summer I acquiring a portable "mothing light", and I had a blast in July and August setting it up in various natural locations. Of course, in September Laura and I left on our adventure to South America and grew addicted to the insane moths and other insects that we encountered in Ecuador, Colombia, and Costa Rica. Well, as you may have heard, a global pandemic has made international travel impossible and so we have been based in Ontario since March. I have been trying to make the most of a bad situation by getting out as often as possible to some local areas to search for moths. I find it an extremely rewarding activity since there is so much to learn and the species diversity is just so high!

Beautiful Wood-Nymph (Eudryas grata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Last week I began scheming with Baz Conlin to do some mothing down towards Long Point, an area he was super keen to explore for the first time. Baz is an avid "moth-er" as well and we were both intrigued with the possibility of unique moths that live in that part of Ontario. 

Grapeleaf Skeletonizer Moth (Harrisina americana) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

And so it was, that on Friday Baz bused to Cambridge and we drove down to the Walsingham area. The weather forecast was a bit touch-and-go with heavy thunderstorms sweeping across southwestern Ontario. As afternoon gave way to evening, we stopped in at the Timpf farm to hang out with Adam, his miniature horse Daisy, and his small herd of goats, turkeys and chickens. We listened to the thunder as a large system passed to the south of us. Soon dusk approached and so Baz and I made the short drive over to the Manester Tract, a part of the St. William's Conservation Reserve. 

The rain mostly skirted around us, other than some light showers that persisted for only half an hour just after dusk. We each set up our lights around 200 m from each other and waited for the party to begin!

Modest Sphinx (Pachysphinx modesta) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

We did not have to wait very long and interesting moths appeared at our sheets almost immediately. Below are some of the common species we noted throughout the night. 

Basswood Leafroller (Pantographa limata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Painted Lichen Moth (Hypoprepia fucosa) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Yellow-winged Oak Leafroller Moth (Argyrotaenia quercifoliana) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Red-fringed Emerald (Nemoria bistriaria) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Darker Diacme Moth (Diacme adipaloides) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Jack Pine Budworm Moth (Choristoneura pinus) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

There are two species of Halysidota that can be found here that look nearly identical - the Banded Tussock Moth (H. tessellaris) and the Sycamore Tussock Moth (H. harrisii). Dissection is required to identify them.

Halysidota sp. - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

One of the evening's common species was actually a new one for me - Macalla zelleri. You would not know that this was such a scarce species in Ontario if you saw how many we had on our sheets!

Macalla zelleri - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

One of our first "good" moths was this next one, called The Hebrew. Arguably one of the coolest looking Dagger Moths (Acronictinae), The Hebrew requires Black Gum trees to survive. The Long Point area is the only area I know of for this species in Ontario. We were pretty excited!

The Hebrew (Polygrammate hebraeicum) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

We ended up observing at lest six individuals, a very good count! As a side note, I love how bizarre some moth names are. Especially ones that being with "the". Other great moth names are The Gem, The Brother, The Drinker, and The Old Maid. 

The Hebrew (Polygrammate hebraeicum) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

The new moths kept coming, one after another. I could hardly keep up! Each of these next species was new for me. 

American Dun-Bar Moth (Cosmia calami) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Cherry Scallop Shell Moth (Rheumaptera prunivorata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Kermes Scale Moth (Euclemensia bassettella) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Snowy-shouldered Acleris (Acleris nivisellana) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Feeble Grass Moth (Amolita fessa) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Pink-washed Aristotelia Moth (Aristotelia roseosuffusella) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Silver-spotted Fern Moth (Callopistria cordata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Deadwood Borer Moth (Scolecocampa liburna) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Friendly Probole Moth (Probole amicaria) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

I cannot seem to figure this one out. It looks superficially similar to an American Dun-bar Moth. 

Unknown - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

I have a soft spot for Slug Caterpillar Moths (Limacodidae). We had six species tonight, one of which was new for me - the Jeweled Tailed Slug Moth.

Jeweled Tailed Slug Moth (Packardia geminata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Shagreened Slug Moth (Apoda biguttata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Spiny Oak-slug Moth (Euclea delphinii) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Yellow-shouldered Slug Moth (Lithacodes fasciola) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Skiff Moth (Prolimacodes badia) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

You could say that members of the family Notodontidae were quite prominent this evening. Indeed we noted at least 13 species of Prominents. 

White-blotched Heterocampa (Heterocampa umbrata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Black-rimmed Prominent (Pheosia rimosa) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Yellow-necked Caterpillar Moth (Datana ministra) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Elegant Prominent (Pheosidea elegans) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Sigmoid Prominent (Clostera albosigma) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

White-dotted Prominent (Nadata gibbosa) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

This next species is in the genus Symmerista. In Ontario we have three very similar species, but fortunately males can be identified relatively easily by examination of their 8th sternite. This one checked out as the White-headed Prominent (Symmerista albifrons).

White-headed Prominent (Symmerista albifrons) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

White-headed Prominent (Symmerista albifrons) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Walking the short distance between the two lights allowed us to scan the vegetation for other things of interest. 

Unidentified orthopteran (likely Greater Anglewing) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

American Green Crab Spider (Misumessus oblongus) (tentative) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Baz snagged this Common Antlion with his net! I do not believe that I have ever seen an adult up close like this before. 

Common Antlion (Myrmeleon immaculatus) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Mottled Sand Grasshopper (Spharagemon collare) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

The main reason why we were so keen to go mothing at St. William's was because of the potential for unique Carolinian species. And in that regard, the night did not disappoint.

This next moth does not look like much, but it was indeed one of the rarest species of the night. Known as the Lupine Leafroller Moth (Anacampsis lupinella), it specializes on Sundial Lupine (Lupinus perennis). Sundial Lupine is a characteristic species of oak savannahs and as such there are only a few known populations of this moth in Ontario - one in High Park, another in Lambton Shores area, and this population at St. Williams. Readers may be more familiar with the Karner Blue (Plebejus samuelis) or Frosted Elfin (Callophrys irus), two species of butterflies that also use the Sundial Lupine as a foodplant. Unfortunately, both those butterflies have become extirpated from Ontario, an unfortunate repercussion from the obliteration of most oak savannah habitat in Ontario. 

Lupine Leafroller Moth (Anacampsis lupinella) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Another strong contender for rarest moth of the night was this little leaf blotch miner known as Caloptilia vacciniella. I cannot find out much information about this rare species, nor can I find any previous records for Ontario. The large yellow spot on the back seems pretty distinctive. 

Caloptilia vacciniella - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Here are a few more of the rare ones from the evening...

Xanthophysa psychialis - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Orange-spotted Idia (Idia diminuendis) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Thin-winged Owlet (Nigetia formosalis) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Dark-headed Aspen Leafroller (Anacampsis innocuella) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Caloptilia coroniella - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Toothed Fan-Foot (Zanclognatha dentata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Scarlet Underwing (Catocala coccinata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Speaking of underwing moths, now is the time of year that some species begin flying. We noted three species including the rare Scarlet Underwing pictured above. We also noted Girlfriend Underwing and Ultronia Underwing. 

Ultronia Underwing (Catocala ultronia) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

And now, a brief diversion from the moths to investigate another neat family of insects, the Long-horned Beetles (Cerambycidae). We found six species on the night, a very good showing!

Astyleiopus variegatus - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

This one was missing one of its "horns"...

Banded Longhorn Beetle (Typocerus velutinus) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Red Milkweed Beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Red Oak Borer (Enaphalodes rufulus) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Back to the moths! It was a reasonably decent night for the big guys as we had about twelve sphinx moths of six species. We only observed two silkmoths - a Polyphemus Moth and a Rosy Maple Moth. 

Virginia Creeper Sphinx (Darapsa myron) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Small-eyed Sphinx (Paonias myops) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Azalea Sphinx (Darapsa choerilus) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Rosy Maple Moth (Dryocampa rubicunda) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

It was obvious upon arriving at the Manester Tract that Gypsy Moths were flourishing here as well. Many trees were stripped of leaves, though luckily new growth was very apparent. 

Male Gypsy Moths spend much of the day and night flying around, searching for females. The flightless females meanwhile hang out on trees and emit pheromones to attract the males. She will mate, lay her eggs and soon die. What a life! This pair was caught in the act along the sandy road. The female, pictured on the right, is much different looking than the male. 

Gypsy Moths (Lymantria dispar) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County


Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) laying eggs - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

This next photo shows my sheet by the end of the night. As you can see, finding any other species of moth among the Gypsy Moths was like playing a version of Where's Waldo. 

Moth medley - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

This next moth is known as The Bad-Wing, another great name...

The Bad-Wing (Dyspteris abortivaria) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

One of my favourites; the subtle but beautiful Canadian Owlet. 

Canadian Owlet (Calyptra canadensis) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Raspberry Pyrausta Moth (Pyrausta signatalis) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Dark Marathyssa Moth (Marathyssa inficita) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Orange-headed Epicallima (Epicallima argenticinctella) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

In Ontario we have two species of Hypoprepia lichen moths - the Painted and the Scarlet-winged. I had seen the Painted on many occasions (and it is pictured earlier in this post) but the Scarlet-winged was a new one for me at the Manester Tract. It was love at first sight...

Scarlet-winged Lichen Moth (Hypoprepia miniata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

I think I may have a new favourite moth. This has to be one of the most attractive species we have in Ontario. 

Scarlet-winged Lichen Moth (Hypoprepia miniata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

This is a Roundneck Sexton Beetle, a type of carrion beetle. They always have some attendant mites!

Roundneck Sexton Beetle (Nicrophorus orbicollis) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Maple Looper Moth (Parallelia bistrialis) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

This next species is one of the wasp-mimics - the Maple Callus Borer. 

Maple Callus Borer (Synanthedon acerni) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Grease Moth (Aglossa cuprina) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Busck's Plume Moth (Geina buscki) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Rose Hooktip (Oreta rosea) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Sciota subfuscella - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Orange-tufted Oneida Moth (Oneida lunulalis) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Formosa Looper (Chrysanympha formosa) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Delicate Cycnia Moth (Cycnia tenera) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

One of the last new moths on the sheet made staying up late very much worth it! This is a Pink Prominent, a species that in Ontario can only be found at St. William's and near Lambton Shores. It is towards the end of its flight season, which is why it is fairly worn. A super cool moth to see!

Pink Prominent (Hyparpax aurora) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

For those of you still reading this, thanks! We are almost at the end. I will finish with a few more "random" moths that I photographed throughout the evening. 

Girard's Grass-Veneer (Crambus girardellus) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Gray-edged Snout (Hypena madefactalis) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Robinson's Eucosma Moth (Pelochrista robinsonana) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Spotted Peppergrass Moth (Eustixia pupula) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Large Clover Casebearer Moth (Coleophora trifolii) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Pale Gray Bird-dropping Moth (Antaeotricha leucillana) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Gray Spruce Looper Moth (Caripeta divisata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Ambiguous Moth (Lascoria ambigualis) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Colourful Zale Moth (Zale minerea) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Eucosma ornatula - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Carmine Snout (Peoria approximella) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Northern Pine Tussock Moth (Dasychira plagiata) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

The Beggar (Eubaphe mendica) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Curve-lined Argyria Moth (Argyria auratella) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

Sweet Clover Root Borer Moth (Walshia miscecolorella) - Manester Tract, Norfolk County

We finally called it a night at close to 4 AM and drove to the Timpf farm to set up the tents. I fell asleep as the dawn chorus began and the sky lightened - a weird sensation. It was all worth it though, with over 200 species of moths observed. Somehow, 48 species were new ones for me. The diversity of Lepidoptera just blows my mind. Anyways, I cannot wait to get back down to the St. William's area for some more geeking out!