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Colorado Camping Vacation

My wife and I made a camping excursion to the Vallecito area of s.w. Colorado, August 7-15, to momentarily get out of the Texas heat. (A great many Texans were apparently doing the same thing!) I’ll have many observations to upload including a boat-load of plants from NM and CO. I thought I’d start with the “low-hanging fruit”: I put up a moth sheet in the Forest Service campground at Vallecito on three evenings and had good results. In all, I probably documented something just shy of 100 species of moths. The first uploads will exhibit some of the more recognizable macromoths such as the few dozen species of Geometrids that showed up. There will also be a rather bewildering array of dark mottled Noctuids and many small grayish micros. The habitat at our campsite (7900 ft elevation) was Ponderosa Pine-Douglas Fir forest with some understory of Aspen and Gambel’s Oak. We were close to a steep mountain slope with much Blue Spruce, Limber Pine and a variety of understory plants.

Identifying these moths from the Rockies is just good brain exercise. Keep checking back.

Posted by gcwarbler gcwarbler, August 20, 2020 15:30

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Conifer Looper Caripeta aequaliaria

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:53 PM CDT

Description

One of the more distinctive moths to show up on my sheet at Vallecito Campground.
n = 1

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 9, 2020 08:57 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Dark-bordered Granite Digrammia neptaria

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 9, 2020 10:01 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Spurred Wave Moth Drepanulatrix unicalcararia

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 10, 2020 10:06 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 9, 2020 10:15 PM CDT

Description

This is the closest match I can come up with among many similar species. In particular, the shape of the AM bands and the brown subterminal shading appear to point to this species.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=7194

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 9, 2020 10:10 PM CDT

Description

A key character separating G. minima from others in the genus is supposedly the lack of brown shading on the basal side of the AM line, but that is belied by many/most online images of the species. The shading is less obvious than other species, but it is clearly present.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=6783

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:58 PM CDT

Description

The heavy dark shading on this examples seems to place it squarely with Gabriola regularia which occurs in nearby NM and AZ, but I can't find CO records of the species. I may be off here.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=6785

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 10, 2020 09:57 PM CDT

Description

Moths of the genus Galenara were among the most common Geometrids on the moth sheet each night. The patterns are dark and somewhat obscure and just enough variable that identification to species is a bit tricky with my lack of experience with the genus. I'm uploading several individuals in separate observations for each night of mothing. Most appear likely to be either G. lallata, or less likely G. stenomacra, two species known to occur in SW Colorado.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=6628

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:06 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Split-lined Angle Macaria bitactata

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 11:12 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:59 PM CDT

Description

This one might better be left at genus level but among several southwestern species, this seems the best match.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=6905

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 10, 2020 09:52 PM CDT

Description

This very distinctive Geometrid was among the more conspicuous and common species on the sheet. There were 2 to 6 of these each evening.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=7000

Photos / Sounds

What

Sharp-lined Yellow Sicya macularia

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 9, 2020 10:25 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:11 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 9, 2020 10:08 PM CDT

Description

I haven't worked too hard at trying to pin this down to species. Anyone want to give it a try??

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 9, 2020 10:07 PM CDT

Description

I think I've properly placed this reddish brown Geometrid. My two images represent two different individuals on the same night, one of which was hiding at the base of a rock. Compare with the Jim Vargo example on MPG:
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=6695
and a number of examples on BG:
https://bugguide.net/node/view/1420491/bgimage
There is quite a range of ground color exhibited in the uploaded images placed as this species, ranging from dark gray to reddish brown. I am assuming they are all properly identified.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 9, 2020 10:06 PM CDT

Description

I can't settle on what this Geometrid might be, but I think it is within the Ennominae subfamily and probably in this tribe.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 10, 2020 09:03 PM CDT

Description

I was trying to pigeon-hole this moth into one of the common Crambus species when I noticed the strongly falcate wingtips which seem to point to this genus.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=5389

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 11:15 PM CDT

Description

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Barnes' Lichen Moth Cisthene barnesii

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 10, 2020 09:53 PM CDT

Description

A very yellowish example with very minimal color areas in the basal streak and PM band. The collar is completely gray.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 9, 2020 10:03 PM CDT

Description

This lools like a reasonable placement for this Colorado example in the genus.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=8384

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Freckled Glassy-Wing Pseudohemihyalea labecula

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:58 PM CDT

Description

This species was fairly common on all three nights of mothing, with about 3 to 6 of these showing up each of the three nights.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=8221

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:56 PM CDT

Description

This is apparently the Rocky Mtn equivalent of the West Coast Anopina triangulana.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=3587
These were very common on the moth sheet, with 5 to 10+ present each evening.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:54 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Grey Aspen Bell Epinotia cinereana

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 11:09 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Douglas-fir Tussock Moth Orgyia pseudotsugata

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 10, 2020 09:03 PM CDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 9, 2020 10:00 PM CDT

Description

Even some of these fairly distinctive Noctuids have been tough to ID. Steagrotis vocalis is a Rocky Mountain and Great Basin equivalent of S. pallidicollis of the Pacific States. The pale buffy wash through the inner part of the FWs here suggests that this is a male.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=10975.1

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Canadian Giant Moth Andropolia contacta

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 10, 2020 09:54 PM CDT

Description

Here's the next batch of somewhat identifiable Noctuids. They get more difficult after these. I have only modest confidence in my IDs of these Andropolia moths. The grayer examples seem to best match A. contacta. The rich buffy examples match A. theodori, I think.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:07 PM CDT

Description

Here's the next batch of somewhat identifiable Noctuids. They get more difficult after these. One or a couple of this distincive Noctuid was on the sheet each evening.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=11019

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:06 PM CDT

Description

Here's the next batch of somewhat identifiable Noctuids. They get more difficult after these. I have only modest confidence in my IDs of these Andropolia moths. The grayer examples seem to best match A. contacta. The rich buffy examples like this one match A. theodori, I think.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=9571

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 9, 2020 10:17 PM CDT

Description

Here's the next batch of somewhat identifiable Noctuids. They get more difficult after these. I had just a single individual of this species.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=10869

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:13 PM CDT

Description

Here's the next batch of somewhat identifiable Noctuids. They get more difficult after these. The rich buffy patch just outside of the PM line on the FW inner margin seems to be diagnostic for this species. I had several of these each evening. That buff patch varies in intensity among them.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=10406.3

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Bronzed Cutworm Moth Nephelodes minians

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 11:11 PM CDT

Description

Here's the next batch of somewhat identifiable Noctuids. They get more difficult after these. Just a single individual of this species showed up on the moth sheet.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=10524

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Smoked Sallow Enargia infumata

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 11:07 PM CDT

Description

I only recall seeing a single individual of this species of Noctuid.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=9550

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 11:06 PM CDT

Description

I finally settled on this ID after wandering through MPG, Lafontaine's MONA fascicle (1987, fasc. 27.2), and BOLD examples. In particular, a difference between E. auripennis and the very similar E. servitus is the simple margin of the dark terminal band on the FWs as in these examples. E. servitus has a more jagged, streaked edge. See for instance, the examples of E. auripennis on this BOLD page:
https://v3.boldsystems.org/index.php/Public_SearchTerms?query=%22Euxoa%20auripennis%22[tax]
See also:
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=10852
BG doesn't have a page for the species.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Ignorant Apamea Moth Apamea indocilis

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:53 PM CDT

Description

This matches the description of the (very) blackish form of Apamea indocilis in the Mikkola et al. MONA fasc. 26.9 (p. 45-47). This moth lacks the "bronzy tones" of the similarly dark A. plutonia. MPG has images only of the lighter form of indocilis.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=9362
A few examples on the BOLD website appear to show the dark form.
https://v3.boldsystems.org/index.php/Public_SearchTerms?query=%22Apamea%20indocilis%22[tax]

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 10:00 PM CDT

Description

Two color forms of what I think are the same species. FW 16 mm on this individual.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=9814
https://bugguide.net/node/view/89360

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Evergreen Coneworm Moth Dioryctria abietivorella

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 10, 2020 09:57 PM CDT

Description

Now I'm getting into some of the last and toughest IDs among my Vallecito moths. Here are four records of what I distinguish as three different species of the Pyralid genus Dioryctria which feed on conifers. I'm fairly sure I can narrow down the present two examples to #5841 D. abietivorella. This is a boldly marked black and white species with few or no brown or buff tones (Neunzig, 2003 MONA fasc. 15.5). The FW length on each of these examples is 12 mm.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=5841

Tags

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

August 12, 2020 09:07 PM CDT

Description

iNat has only a small handful of records of this species so I thought I'd upload a 2nd observation (from my 3rd night of mothing) from Vallecito Campground. FW 12 mm.
http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=5065

Tags

Comments

I want to be you when (if) I grow up Chuck! Ha!

Posted by oddfitz about 1 year ago (Flag)

Hey, @oddfitz, don't ever grow up. That's my secret!

Posted by gcwarbler about 1 year ago (Flag)

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! :)

Posted by sambiology about 1 year ago (Flag)

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