Sunday Snapshot – Frontenac Biothon highlight

93-0559 - 8490 - Pangrapta decoralis - Decorated Owlet

This weekend I was down in Frontenac Provincial Park participating in the Frontenac Biothon, a fundraiser for Frontenac Bird Studies, Dan’s bird research and monitoring project. The weather, which had been forecasted to be rainy all weekend, actually turned out pretty good, and despite a few hiccups (what event ever has no hiccups?) I think everyone had a good time.

Although we all kept track of species from all taxonomic groups, we each focused on different areas according to our “expertise” (which I put in quotes because while we’re all experts on birds, none of us have comparable experience in any other group, really, except perhaps for moths in my case). I focused on plants and insects. My personal final species tally across all taxonomic groups probably stands somewhere around 350 species, but I’ll have to go through my lists to tally everything up.

I saw many interesting things over the weekend, but the above moth was most definitely the highlight for me. I saw at least a dozen different types of moths moving about the low vegetation during the day, and this individual was one of the ones I flushed up at the forest edge. It wasn’t till it settled that I realized what it was: a Decorated Owlet, Pangrapta decoralis, Hodges #8490.

It was a lifer for me. It’s found throughout the northeast but I get the impression that it’s somewhat uncommon, or perhaps locally common, as this is the first time I’ve encountered the species and also we had to solicit an image for the field guide for it because neither Dave nor I had one ourselves. The caterpillars feed on blueberry, something that doesn’t grow around our house here and wasn’t really common in the area where we lived at the lake house, either. I wish I’d got a better photo, but unfortunately I’d only brought my all-purpose landscape lens, and it was rather flighty anyway (so lacking a fridge there was only so much I could do). Still, better a poor photo than none at all!

More on the biothon to follow…


Author: Seabrooke

Author of Peterson Field Guide to Moths. #WriteOnCon Mastermind. Writer of action/thriller SF/F YA. Story junkie. Nature nut. Tea addict. Mother. Finding happiness in the little things. Twitter: @SeabrookeN / @SeabrookeLeckie

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