Post by exoticimports on Jul 17, 2020 3:39:48 GMT -8
Interesting, the male luna I caught two nights ago has little edging of the wings, looking like a "summer" form. Noting that luna in our area is univoltine, I wonder what causes this "summer" form; "spring" form was observed less than two weeks ago.
Given that the spring and summer forms are typically associated with different broods, and this is clearly not the case, has any study been conducted concerning the forms? While I won't discount different forms in different broods in more southern climates, I'm wondering if the "forms" are weather/ temperature related more than from other factors.
I have to say that one would think after all these years the Gypsy moth populations would be in better check. That is to say you would think by now the U.S forest service would have developed a reasonably effective manner for curtailing their explosive populations -- via some targeting parasitoid etc. I realize of coarse chemicals of various sorts have probably been tried but, then they have probably proven to kill off most other things as well.
I don't mean to sound ignorant on this topic but, I live in Illinois and have never seen one. Never seen an article about them being here or any population issues related to them. They have been an issue in the Northeast states I know since at least 1905 and perhaps earlier. In my state, various beetle related pests have made the headlines here over these last 30 years...
Can anyone elaborate more on what is being done these days since I am out of the loop. Thanks...
There's a book called "The Great Gypsy Moth War" that talks about the introduction of the gypsy moth. It's been a while since I read it, but it covers how they had some random guy with some interest in insects lead the attempts to control it. Spoiler, he tried to burn a bunch of stuff to the ground and dump poison (I think it was arsenic if I remember) all over the place. Since then there have been some attempts to introduce wasps to control them, but turns out they like attacking our native species more. There was a stat that I read somewhere that certain species of the large silkworms are now seeing 80% parasitization rates in some areas of the northeast. Currently I think they're focusing more on spraying, but that only works on trees that you can access with a truck. I know that a couple years ago there were areas that were just completely defoliated by them in Massachusetts. We had a couple wet springs and I think that knocked them back a bit.
I've gotten quite a lot of nice species lately. I am up to 5 Imperial moths this year which I believe is the most I have even had in one year.
Sphingidae are the most noteworthy of this year. This is the first year I collected over one speciemen of E. pandorus. Ceratomia catalpae, undulosa and amyntor have all been pretty common. Collected not only my first S. kalmiae but three specimens.
Denny Currutt and I visited Killdeer Plains WMA in Hardin County, Ohio. We set out three (3) Light Traps. The moths were incredible. I collected 8 species of Catocala, all males and stunning specimens. Apantesis virgo was also extremely abundant.
I also collected several Plusinae moths, including Plusia contexta and Maliattha concinnimacula.
The sun was out but not hot. We saw numerous birds of prey. Red Tailed Hawks were common. We also saw several Bald Eagles.
It was a good day to be in the field.
The weather was dry with a light wind. Butterflies were scarce. Total of 8 species observed. I collected a lone Cercyonis pegala, not sure of the subspecies.
I recently raised some A.luna and the summer generation is now emerging. Is summer generation relatively smaller than spring one or they are about same size. I know the colours are paler than spring.
That is unbelievable!
I've raised thousands of lunas over many years, and NEVER have I had any eclose prior to the following spring.
And this year is the latest I've ever seen luna (July 19) with the previous record being July 14. I'm quite certain that luna in NE are univoltine.
See an earlier post in this thread- I observed one appearance of luna lasting only a month or so; earlier specimens were more "spring form" with longer tails and edging, while the later were "summer form" being rounder with little or no edging, but I have no doubt it was all the same generation.
Did you keep the cocoons in the garage or somewhere that would expedite eclosure?
In Ontario it is only one generation too, but because I was raising them indoor they were exposed to artificial light therefor they got confused as it is begin of the summer and they are emerging now. I suppose they are facultative diapausers not like Cecropia which is obligate diapauser, I also raised cecropia in the same room and none of those are emerging now and soon I will transfer them to the fridge. I collected female on June 19 and they are now in pupa stage for about two-three weeks. From 85 eggs I only achieved to get to have 7 cocoons. They had always fresh food but many refused to eat at the first instar and also during their life span. Those they actually manage to pupate were very small in size and now mini summer generation is emerging.
Here is a photo to compare wild collected male on June 19 this year and freshly emerged mini male. small male has only 70mm wing span and large 95mm.
I think many conditions affect luna broods. I live in Illinois and I'm about 1 hour west of Chicago and here in this area we have all of but, one "spotty occurrence" generation present which emerges about the last week of May. Just too much urban sprawl (suburbs), development of land, use of pesticides/herbicides (lawns+gardens), and very localized wild forested areas.
If one goes to the far northern counties along the Wisconsin/Illinois border (where there is far more open spaces and wildlife rich areas one may encounter 2 broods of Luna with one in May and another in August. But, then you drive 6 hours down to the far southern counties of Illinois and you will regularly see 3 broods of that lovely moth.
*I know this for certain as I have collected the species in (late April, 2nd-3rd wk. June, and 1st-2nd wk. August). Astounding to me how quickly the species can run thru a generation down there and further south !
Of coarse, the haunts down in the southern counties are "tree laden" with a relatively light population throughout. Beautiful and scenic...
In the southern counties I have found all 3 (gens) average the same size in adults among my observations; and only when there has been competition for the same food source, an unhealthy food source, or long periods of drought or (other unsavory weather conditions) will one run across "mini" specimens.
Last Edit: Sept 5, 2020 13:56:45 GMT -8 by trehopr1
Post by exoticimports on Sept 10, 2020 10:11:25 GMT -8
OK, here's an oddball event- Paul's lunas eclosed now, and my buddy on the south side of Lake Ontario reported that a Callosamia promethea just eclosed- after only a month in the pupal stage. I've never had any saturnid NOT overwinter in the pupal stage.
I learned many moons ago that if you raise/rear Lepidopteta indoors and out of the Sun, you screw up their biological clock and the can emerge at any time.
The world of insects is tied directly to our Sun.
The promethea in question were raised indoors, but in a room with sunlight. Paul what about yours?
I've raised thousands of saturnids indoors, with varying levels of exposure to sunlight, though always indirect sunlight. They all developed as expected for the region and species.
I raised luna and cecropia in the same room. Natural sunlight in the room ( south exposure )+ artificial light everyday till about midnight or slightly passed. I suppose that longer exposure to light either it is sunlight or any other light can cause premature emerging.
None of Cecropia was emerged as I suppose they are forced to diapause by gene as they are univoltine . Luna on the other hand might have multiple generation thru out the year and exposure to longer light may caused emerging the same year. Promethea is also double brooded so if they were exposed to longer daylight they will emerge the same year as the second generation.
Last Edit: Sept 11, 2020 14:32:53 GMT -8 by Paul K
I paid a visit to Hamden Orchard WA. Set out four (4) Light Traps.
I took a hike down a two track road with lot's of Joepeye Weed, Golden Rod and Purple Asters all in bloom.
I collected two Aglais milberti, (Milberts Tortoiseshell). Both males.The last time I collected a Milberts Tortoiseshell was 1973 in a large field of Clover near Mentor Headlands State Park. When I return tomorrow. I will set out some Bait Traps. The problem with my Bait Trsps? I now have all of my personal Bait Traps set out.
I just looked in my collectoin and all fourteen (14) of my specimens are males. I do not beleive that I have ever collected a female.
Last Edit: Sept 22, 2020 15:17:58 GMT -8 by leptraps