Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Return to Moth Mania, Maine-style!

It's been an entirely different experience mothing here in Maine, as opposed to the salad days of mothing in Central PA. For some reason, I just haven't had the success here that I had in PA, but I keep trying!

A couple of weeks ago I went to Lowe's to buy a mercury vapor bulb, but I found out you need a special ballast (insert electrician mumbo jumbo here), and of course they didn't sell that. I went home with a 175-watt flood lamp, completely forgetting about how I needed the UV light that only the MV bulb can produce. Results with the admittedly blindingly bright flood lamp? NADA.

I then did a little more reading online and found a mention of "self-ballasting MV bulbs"--NOW they tell me! So I ordered one online, knowing that spending $45 on a moth lamp wasn't going to go over too well with AB, but she was cool, of course.

I've tried the new lamp three times. Here's the sheet on the first night:
That's right: ZERO moths. Still, you can see my little light standard I made, as well as the white cloth hanging on the shed out back.

In the next few nights (lots of rain and cold temps have foiled me), the results did get better, though it's still pretty slow. Nights have remained quite cool here; even when day temps climb into the 70s, night temps can be in the 30s. Not exactly conducive to moth success.

Still, I have had a few moments:
 Caenurgina erechtea, Forage Looper

a new favorite, Diacme adipaloides, Dark Diacme

 Argyrotaenia mariana, Gray-banded Leafroller

Of course, there were another couple that I couldn't ID, but that's pretty much par for the course. I got these three! (with help from the Mothing and Moth-watching Group on facebook)

A couple more beauties from other nights:
 Cladara limitaria, Mottled Gray Carpet (I think)

Morrisonia confusa, Confused Woodgrain Moth (what a great name!) 

Not even a tiny clue. Help?

So of course, now that I have my long-cherished bulb, I feel like my camera is now the weak link! (It's always SOMETHING.) The macro just isn't that good! I got the camera waaaaaaayyy back in 2010, so it's a good 4 years old. Isn't that like 30 in human years? It's like an antique! I'm surprised it's even digital!

The sell job on AB will begin soon.... (rubs hands together) Wish me luck!


Joe Verica said...

Nice photos D. What kind of camera/lens are you using?

As for the last moth, I don't know for sure, but my impression is some type of leaf roller, maybe Red-banded Leafroller (Argyrotaenia velutinana).

Rabbits' Guy said...

Gott Danged it. If you had a decent camera - you know, something like "modern" ... then you would have something there. Seems a waste to scare up all those neato moths and then take crap photos. Think of your reputation - down the proverbial photo-stool.

That help?

That is more moths than most of us thought existed. Good work - I guess.

dguzman said...

Thanks, Joe! I'm still using my Panasonic Lumix 12.1 megapixel camera. It has a Leica lens (standard); it's not a switching-lens camera, just a point-and-shoot.

Oh Rabbits' Guy, thanks for the talking points!