I found a Catocala illecta in a Bait Trap in my yard.I usually take my first Catocala moth in May. The moth I collected was fresh and glisten. A gorgeous specimen. It currently resides on a spreading board.
While lowering the trap to check it, out of the corner of my eye, I evidently disturbed and another Catocala moth which took flight and was gone before I could react.
I have collected Catocala sappho in Mississippi, Florida and North Carolina. I collected several in Light Traps in Mississippi. Never saw it at bait or in bait traps.I collected two specimens in Florida, including one at McKethan Lake, Withlacoochee State Forest. I have always loved that name, Withlacoochee. Another great location with a tongue twister of a name was Istachatta. The locationn was an abandon Central Florida RR right of way. It was a great location in April for Hairstreaks. They have since removed the tracks and ties.It is now part of a state wide walking/hiking system.
Catocala sappho has been collected in South Central Kentucky along the border with Tennessee. I have seen specimens from Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, North Carolina and South Carolina. I consider Catocala sappho as a seldom encountered species.
They stick out like a sore thumb on the sides of trees during the day. There was a small pull off in the Malmaison WMA in LeFlore County, MS. Twice in one week I pulled in to check some bait traps on a trail. The tree directly in front of my car had a Catocala sappho head down sitting on it.
Dave Baggett of Jacksonville, Florida collected several in Bait Traps.
I have scared up a number of them, but only collected seven specimens.
Life has been some what difficult the last few weeks. I have six (6) Bait Traps (all slotted pan type). I have been inundated with Asterocampa, Polygonia and Limenitis, tons of Zale and Acronicta. And no Catocala until today. I found four somewhat worn Catocala illecta and several rather worn Catocala mira. I also took a stunning specimen Catocala nuptialis off the front door of a Longhorns Steakhouse in Frankfort after church today. There is no habitat near this Longhorns. It is surrounded by strip malls and a Kroger. I looked in my collection, I have four (4) Specimens all from Harrison County, Indiana.
The forested area along a gas line right of way has been a good location for Catocala nuptialis.
We had a massive thunder storm pass through about 3AM. I just walked to the back of my yard and checked my Bait Trap. I found several Catocala grynea and an absolutely stunning Catacala ilia. My first red hindwing Catocala of the season.
The bait in the slotted pan was flooded.
I just could not resist going back to the Longhorns Steakhouse to look for another Catocala nuptialis. No such luck.
As I started home I came upon a Waffle House. I was hungry and decided to have breakfast, Steak & Eggs. Steak medium rare, eggs over light, hash browns scattered and soft. Lots of Black Coffee. No Catocala moths.
With all the rain the past few days has the North and South Elkhorn Creeks out of their banks.
Looks like another rainy day. I have moths to mount.
Do to attending wedding (My older Son) a birthday bash for a friend, turn 3/4 of a Century or 75 years. All of these events took place in NE Ohio. When I returned home about 1PM on Saturday, I checked my four Bait Traps. Lot's of small yellow Catocala moths: Catocala illecta (One very nice female), C. sordida, C. mira (One male), C. crataegi (many). C. similis, C. linnella (lots), C. clintoni (Several very nice females, males were rags), and C. micronympha in great abundance. The only red hindwing, Catocala ilia. No large yellow hindwing, nor black hindwing nor white hindwing, yet.
Lot's of sphinx moths, a very nice female Lintneria eremitus. Lot's of Schecodina abbottii and several nice Zales: Z. galbanata, Z. aeruginosa, Z. minerea, Z. Obliqua (Could be a Kentucky State Record and a first for me!!), Z. calycanthata (Another first for me.) and Z. horrida. I have several other Zales that I will spread in the AM, not positive of the ID. There were many others smaller BBM's that I have yet to spread and ID.
I cut up a bunch of fresh bait this afternoon. I may put out several,more bait traps tomorrow.
My Sessidae traps have lots of the common pest but nothing new.
I have about a dozen butterfly bushes (Buddleia) in my yard and lots of butterflies. A numerous clear Wing sphinx moths: Hemaris diffinis & H.thysbe.
When would the best time to find C. illecta in N. Indiana? I know of a location with tons of black locust. Can they be collected by tapping?
I'm finally ready for bug collecting this summer, after tons of final schoolwork, orientations and a week long camp I finally have some time for bugs. I'm currently raising over 500 promethea along with polyhemus, luna, cecropia, A. juglandis, H. euryalus and S. bicolor. Should be a great summer. Got my first batch of bait fermenting now. Also, can't wait to use my new bait traps. I found my first eyed click beetle this summer.
Went tree tapping expecting to not see anything and end up catching my first ever coccinata. Had never caught a new species by non-bait method before either. Feel like this is going to be a good year for me.
Just got back from checking Bait Traps. Lots of Catocala moths. Several small yellow hindwing, not sure of the ID. Numerous C. ilia, and several C. ultronia. Several nice Zales and one UFO Noctuid. Never seen one like it before.
I am on my way to the South Elkhorn Creek and Green Fern Woods to set out five more Bait Traps. Then I am off to Harrison County, Indiana to look for butterflies and check my four Kill Type Bait Traps.
Last Edit: Jun 26, 2019 4:03:01 GMT -8 by leptraps
I have had my trap up in the back yard for 3 nights now. Not a single Catocala yet, but quite a few Sphinx moths. D. myron, A. floridensis & S. abbottii. Also about a million flies so I put my bait away during the day and set it back out before nightfall.
I just mounted 35 Catocala moths, most of them from Harrison County, IN. I have four Kill Types Bait Traps set out in the Pleasant Valley area. Between the four traps (I set the traps out six days ago.) I had about 50 Catocala moths. However, I had Nymphalis antiopa, Polygonia, Asterocampa, Limenitis, Vanessa atalanta, Lethe portlandia, and a gallon+ of flies. About a gallon+ per trap..
I waited way to long to check the traps, I usually check them every other day. Many of the specimens had to be tossed as the horde of buzzing flies remove the scales from the wings. I did not use my sorting screen because I forgot to take them. I will return tomorrow to put them in the traps. I lost several nice specimens.
I checked my traps (3) in the Kleber WMA and the five I have at various locations along both the North and South Elkhorn Creeks. I check these everyday.
Catocala innubens, C. sordida, C. habilis, C. piatrix, C. illecta (very worn), C. neogama? (Must mount it to confirm). C. palaeogama, C. gracillis and a boat load of C.illia. I have several small yellow hindwing Catocala to identify.
I also found a huge brown beetle with an enormous set of mandibles climbing up the side of the Bait Trap. When I pulled him of the side of the trap, it tried it's best to bite me. I did not realize how powerful the beetle was.
I have never seen so many flies, hornets and wasps in my traps.
While hiking along Elkhorn Creek to get back to my car, I saw an Osprey, at least I think it was an Osprey, snatch a fish out of the creek. The fish looked like a Blue Gill.
Time for a nap.
Last Edit: Jul 4, 2019 23:59:36 GMT -8 by leptraps
This year just keep getting better! Last night at my porch light I found a female, A1, Catocala dulciola. Third specimen for me of this species, the other two being found in 2017. I managed to nervously pin it today without damaging it. It's a stunning example of an uncommon species.
After running bait traps at various forest-edge sites in my area and only getting the odd C. ultronia or ilia, I've about given up for the season. Catocalas generally seem to be at a very low population level this year in extreme eastern Tennessee. I get tons of common Sphingids and Zales, and a few Polygonias, Lethes, and Asterocampas, but nothing good at all.
Yesterday I visited some of my old, traditionally productive spots for S. diana, and saw not a single solitary Speyeria -- not even a S. cybele. Battus philenor is having a banner year, there were some P. glaucus about, but troilus was very scarce. Polygonias and Limenitis seemed about average on the dirt roads.
As usual with butterflies and moths, the populations seem to be going through boom and bust cycles.
Up to four species now: C. clintonii C. dulciola C. crataegi C. alabamae All at light. My trap seems to not be working. Not sure if it's the new design or the bait so I put out the trap I used last year with the same bait to see.