Moth Night at Parr Park mission debrief

If I had to rate the experience I had Wednesday I would rate it a perfect ten. That was a fun mothing event and by far the best I have ever been on. We saw tons of things and I made quite a few lifers on this trek. I made over 104 observations in one day. That is something I don't normally do unless I am doing the City Nature Challenge. It was a good night for sure. Let me break it down and give you the highlights of my adventure with @sambiology @kimberlietx @annikaml @brentano and @wildcarrot

It sure was a wild night in the making; I arrived around eight to help out and get things set up. We all met up at the front and made our plan of action to see where we wanted to set up our stations. There was going to be a lot more stations but we only had about four for the entire night. We got the stuff all fixed up and everything was set by the time it got dark. The first moth that we would see was an Anna Carpetworm Moth. I must say that was one of the fuzziest moths I have ever seen in my life. Its legs almost reminded me of those of the Southern Flannel Moth. I was really impressed with the color and it was probably just as big as the Southern Flannel. With that moth we all had high hopes of seeing tons more. We didn't know what else would come up but we all watched the stations eagerly to see what might come into the light traps. There were tons of Caddisfies and Leafhoppers even before things got up and ready to take off. I walked in between stations and I went to our bright station and got my first look at an Four-spotted Owlfly. I hadn't seen an Owlfly outside my days when I was in the Future Farmers of America group. I did the Entomology contest once in 2011 and again in 2012 and it was one on my list. I love it when I find one that was on my list. It brings back as sort of nostalgia and reminds me of old friends and fond experiences from high school. The Owlfly was really hairy too and was much bigger than I remembered. It was just flitting all over the place. I was with a bunch of people when I caught the guy with my petridish so people could get a closer look. It was really cool to see the eyes and those long antenna. I can see why people would get Antlions and Owlflies mixed up with Dragonflies because they look very similar they all have four wings and similar shaped bodies but the one thing that helps me distinguish them is the way they fly and the antenna. That is what I notice when I get a first look at an Antlion or the Owlfly that and also the way they sound when they fly or the way their wings are held when in flight or at rest. It was kind of a cool little insect and one that was not going to sit still so I had to get several shots until I had a decent one. It was kind of hard with all the twitching but I was able to get two pictures that would work. I always try to get duplicates of the more interesting insects to share of Facebook and Instagram. I always like sharing wildlife photos from my travels when I am on an adventure just to help and promote what I love.

There were quite a few Belted-Grass Veneer Moths and there were a few Ashy Gray Ladybeetles. They seemed to be almost as constant as some of the others but they were not there the whole time while we were out. Then there was another one from the Desmia Genus known as Desmia Subdivisalis there were a couple of boys in the field with us that were super sharp and knew their insects enough so they could rattle off even the most complex scientific names which I have to say I was blown away when they would talk I was really impressed with how they could name pretty much anything they recognized. If only kids these days had interest in wildlife. Their dad was teaching them right by nurturing their love for wild things. I must say it isn't everyday I hear this kind of talk from ten or eleven year old kids. I have to say they are up to something and I see bright futures in entomology for each of them. If only my brother could be like them then I would truly be one happy camper. Too bad he is all video games instead of wildlife like he used too. The little Desmia was kind of cool at first I mistook it for a Grape Leaffolder moth but I was mistaken. Luckily I had the iNaturalist group give me a hand in correcting me. They look so much alike if you don't know what to look for.

Later on we saw a really cool Pawpaw Sphinx. I have seen Pawpaws only once before and it was at the Botanic Garden of Fort Worth. This one seemed much larger than the ones at the Botanic Gardens. It was huge. I love the Sphinx moth group. I love their size and their pattern but me I love all moths even the most common ones I have an interest in. Those Micro Moths are evenly fascinating. Then on the same sheet we saw something that would be a new lifer for me and a call back to my high school days in agriculture. The creature in question was called a Larger Pygmy Mole Grasshopper. I am familiar with Mole Crickets from my days in FFA but I have never heard of Pygmy Mole Crickets. That one was really interesting they are much tiny than their cousins. They still have those turned out claws used for digging. It is amazing how much they look like a mole the claws even have little claws at the tips. Moles are just nature's little steam shovels and Mole Crickets are no different although one is a mammal and ones and insect.

The next thing I seen was an Eggplant Leaftroller Moth hanging on the bridge. This little moth was in the same position that I found a Yellow-collared Slug Moth the first time I came to Parr Park back in June. I now know that this stance is a defensive position but if you ask me I would not want my rear anywhere near my head. It may work for the moths but for humans we'll pass. I have to say that looks rather uncomfortable but it is very interesting to see how they defend themselves. This one was really skinny and almost looked like the skeleton of something but that is the moth. It was kind of interesting to look at. I just love the colors of this one and its features just added a unique flair to its character. I was very interested in this one. With these kinds of events I can't stay put for long and had to make some more observations.

As I finished viewing the Eggplant Leafroller there was another more larger moth on the playing field. This one was almost as big as the Pawpaw maybe a little bit bigger. It was an Underwing moth. One of the boys said it was a Sad Underwing because it had a little blue on the hidden wings. He would never open his wings for us but it sure was interesting to look at. The patterns were almost as heavy as the Black Witch moth which is one that I have only seen a dead specimen of. I handled this one like I did the Pawpaw Sphinx but no matter how much he would flit and flutter back and forth he would never show us his wings but they were blue from what we could gather from closer observation. It was a very beautiful one. Good thing we got that second generator that first one was about to drive us all mad as if kept on messing up and going out on us. A few minutes later I found a Short-tailed Ichneumon Wasp. That was one of the biggest Parasitic Wasps I have ever seen in my life. It was beautiful to but too some it might be considered menacing. Me I don't really have a problem with these even though they do have a strange way of living. They are not so bad though once you understand what they do and why they do it.

I walked around for a little bit around one of the black light traps and there was one thing that I hadn't seen since my time in FFA of course the one at the FFA Entomology contest was dead this one was very much alive. It was a Mantidfly and was having it pretty rough. Mantiflies are like the Platypus of the insect world just a bunch of odds and ends thrown together to make up a new animal. With a body like a wasp or something and a body of a Mantis it almost screams Centaur or something from Greek Mythology. It is one cool insect that I have been on the look out for; for years. It looks so alien what is not to like about it if you are a half crazed Star Trek geek like me. I live for weird things and like and this was one of the most interesting creatures of the night by far. It was having it rough because his wings were all tattered probably and most likely from a bad emergence after it passed its larval form. This thing may look like a wasp and a mantis but it is closer related to a Lacewing. It has Mantis shaped forelimbs to catch prey and with as deadly precision as the ninja like mantis. It is a true alien on earth. A really cool find for the night. I am so glad I got to see it. I want to see more of these when I get my light trap.

There was so much to see last night and there was plenty to photograph. There was a small Micro Moth known a Jalisco Petrophila. That was one of two Micro Moths that I would encounter last night. I am surprised my camera was able to pick up all of that detail. I was pretty shocked that my camera got all the shots it did. Some were pretty messed up but there were a ton of good shots that were worth posting. Micro Moths are cool and these were the first Micro Moths that I have ever seen. They are absolutely beautiful and are really cool. I just love too add all the stuff I can to my life list no matter how hard it is to get and no matter how challenging I want to add it to my long life list. I keep track of everything that I catch on camera no matter what it is (nature stuff only of course). This was just one cool night and I am glad to have been here. With all the stuff that had been going on at my house I almost for got that this week was Moth Week.

There were Cicadas and many other insects but there was also a Dragonfly make an appearance. He was attracted to the big light and the species is known as the Spot-winged Glider. It like a bunch of this stuff from Wednesday night is new to the life list. It was such a good night. The eyes on this thing were crazy; Sam picked it up and showed everyone the eyes of that sucker and they were intense when light shined in them. It was like a 60s or 70s lava lamp the way it looked. You could possibly be hypothesized by them if you stared too long (maybe not) but that is the way they looked. My gosh they were incredible! This one is one of my new favorites. It is a really cool looking dragonfly. Kind of plain looking at first glance but once you zoom in and look closer POW all kinds of patterns start to show up. It is incredible to have seen this one. That one makes Odonata species #45 for me. It is a very cool one. I love gliders and skimmers they seem to be the ones that I encounter the most but I do like the Clubtails too which are another favorite of mine. I like the Darners but they don't seem to land much. The Skimmer and the Clubtails seem to be the most photogenic of the species and will let you photograph them when they are out and about. Dragonflies are very cool and I love them.

There was one instance where I saw something big on the sheet of our bright station. They had just gotten the second generator or something and there was a Long-horn Beetle known as Eburia haldemani. It was one of the biggest Long-horned Beetles and one of the largest Beetles in general that I have seen in my life. This one was a light maple color with a couple of spots on his back. I took a few free standing photos and then took it to Sam who them put it in his hands and it started to make sounds. Little chirps something that sound like an electrical outlet or a lower key Cricket Frog mating call. I had no idea beetles made any kind of noise but now I know and it is darn interesting! Really cool to hear. You had to be really close at times to hear its buzzing sound but sometimes it would just carry in the air. The beetle was really neat. I need to do more research on this group of beetles the things I could possibly learn about this group might be of some interest to me. Beetles are starting to be a really big interest for me now that I have seen this one. I have seen only a handful of Long-horned Beetles and they are beautiful and very cool. I just love that head gear on them. I love the big beetles but there were even more beetles that were just as equally interesting to observe.

The Colliuris pensylvanica was a really cool one. It was a beetle with a really long neck. It reminded some of us of the Giraffe-necked Weevil that is Endemic to Madagascar. This one also reminds me of the Snakefly with the way its neck is shaped but this beetle is far from a weevil or a fly it is just a funky looking beetle with a odd shaped noodle. It is an orange colored beetle and fairly small. In the good light of the flash light he kind of had a shine to him. In fact most of the observations we made there was a nice iridescent shine on the backs of wings or shells and stuff. It was really cool. This beetle was really cool I don't really know that much about it but it is something to look into and do research on. I am rather interested in the stuff that I have seen that night. There is a lot of research I need to do on all of my observations aside from the field guide entries but the actual science papers on each species. I have a lot to do on my off time and when I have breaks at school. It is going to be another math semester for me and I am going to have to put a lot of energy on that and a lot of time in the math lab so there may not be much found this semester but that will get me time to look at some of my old observations and learn all I can about them in my spare time. I will see what happens though and hope something pans out.

It was such a good day thought the last thing I observed was the Carolina Metallic Tiger Beetle. It is an older entry on my life list another one that was first found at the Botanic Garden in Fort Worth when I was out on that Eco Summit back in the summer of 2015. This one is a cool one and very shiny when you put a flashlight to it will shine so bright but when you use flash photography it will scatter and run faster than you can say anything. I love Tiger Beetles but man they love to run. They do a lot of running around. Here is a fun fact: Did you know that when a Tiger Beetle runs at full force that its mind actually goes dark so it loses full contentious when it runs but when it stops it regains contentiousness. it is kind of weird but it is true. Learned that little tidbit on Monster Bug Wars. Tiger Beetles are so cool. You have to love them. They are one of my favorite predatory insects of all time. I love their colors and I love their ferocious behavior.

Publicado por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man, 28 de julio de 2018

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Efímeras Y Parientes Orden Ephemeroptera

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Julio 25, 2018 08:43 PM CDT

Descripción

Not sure what this one it. It looked kind of translucent. I have no idea what the heck this one is. It was really tiny and would hardly stand still for me.

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Julio 25, 2018 08:47 PM CDT

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Frigáneas Orden Trichoptera

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Julio 25, 2018 08:47 PM CDT

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Arañas de Telas Orbiculares Familia Araneidae

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Julio 25, 2018 08:50 PM CDT

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Julio 25, 2018 08:48 PM CDT

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Frigáneas Orden Trichoptera

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Julio 25, 2018 08:56 PM CDT

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Catarina Dálmata Olla v-nigrum

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Julio 25, 2018 09:08 PM CDT

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Julio 25, 2018 09:11 PM CDT

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Escarabajo Estercolero Africano Digitonthophagus gazella

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Julio 25, 2018 09:16 PM CDT

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Julio 25, 2018 09:31 PM CDT

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Mantíspidos Familia Mantispidae

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Escarabajos Rinoceronte Y Parientes Subfamilia Dynastinae

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Julio 25, 2018 10:04 PM CDT

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Polillas Tigre Y Parientes Familia Erebidae

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Julio 25, 2018 10:36 PM CDT

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Polilla Y Gusano Elotero Helicoverpa zea

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Avispas Icneumónidas Familia Ichneumonidae

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Arañas de Quelíceros Alargados Género Tetragnatha

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Planeador de Alas Bandeadas Pantala hymenaea

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Julio 25, 2018 11:23 PM CDT

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Gusano de Bolsa Hyphantria cunea

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Escarabajo Tigre Metálico Tetracha carolina

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Comentarios

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@galactic_bug_man what a great night! Thank you for the wonderful report - I feel like I was there!

Publicado por troutlily57 hace más de 2 años (Marca)

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