|On my camera after black lighting at the garage wall at our house in Picture Rocks Arizona in early June|
|Mercury vapor light at Florida Canyon very early, later the density increased tremendously, but were to busy to take photos|
But I'll be leading several public black lighting tours that are sponsored by Southwest Wings in Sierra Vista and by the Audubon Society of Tucson in August and September.
|Pasimachus californicus prowling for bugs around the black light|
|Carol swimming in moths|
We left the black lights close to the creek and exercised our legs and lungs while carrying the MV stuff to the top of the hill, hoping that light would draw in an ocotillo specialist from the opposite slope (it didn't).
Still, at both lights we were surrounded by insects, mostly moths, and they also covered the walls around several porch-lights that Mark, the station manager, kindly left on for us. I was noticed some distinct differences to my black light collection a week earlier at Madera Canyon (upper parking lot, juniper-oak habitat.
|Chrysina beyeri, Jewel Chafers|
|Hyalophora columbia gloveri|
|Eacles oslari, above and below|
Instead, many specimens of Eacles oslari in a wide variety of color combinations came mostly to the MV light.
|Caterpillar of Citheronia splendens on Wild Cotton|
While the big Silk Moths are most impressive, I also like the colorful Tiger Moths. I remember meeting a scientist in Portal who was collecting the pretty Bertholdia to study its ability 'to talk back to the bats'. This moth not only perceives the sonar of an approaching bat like many other insects who simply try to drop out of earshot, but it actually emits sounds of its own to throw off the bats echo beam.
|Arachnis aulaea, Apocrisias thaumasta and Bertholdia trigona|
|Hypercompe suffusa and the delicate looking Halysidota davisii|
Two representatives of the same subfamily at Florida Canyon. (When the taxonomy of this group of moths was revised lately, the Tigermoths became part of the family Erebidae).
|Neoalbertia constans, Tetraclonia dyari (Madera) and Acoloithus novaricus (Florida)|
Madera and Florida are geographically close to each other. They are two parallel canyons of the western Santa Rita Mountains, similar in orientation and both containing a stream that flowed only intermittently over the last drought years. Although oaks grow along most of both canyons, Madera is shadier and home mostly to Silverleaf Oaks while Florida is famous for its beautiful old Mexican Blue Oaks. The moth populations, though with many overlaps, also clearly express the differences between the canyons.