Moths at Natural Falls State Park

I camped at Natural Falls State Park with my family the weekend of May 31 - June 2. Natural Falls State Park is located in northeast Oklahoma, directly east of Tulsa along Hwy 412 directly just 6 miles from the Arkansas border. It lies within the Ozark Highlands ecoregion. Our campsite was in a mixed Pine and Oak forest, with a small open grassy area and also a deep ravine nearby. For the two nights we were there I set up my lights and sheets and recorded a total of 207 species of moths, with a surprising 38 which were new to me! You can see all of my moth observations from the state park here, but I will highlight a few below. All pictures should link to the observations.

Note: When I refer to "state records" this means that I have not been able to find any previous records of that species in the state of Oklahoma looking on iNaturalist,, or Moth Photographer's Group.

First is an Oklahoma state record which is stunning and was present in good numbers: Dark-banded Geometer (Gandaritis atricolorata)

Next is Green Leuconycta (Leuconycta diphteroides), which was also present in good numbers. This moth has been recorded before in Oklahoma, but was new to me.

The Drab Condylolomia (Condylolomia participialis) was another state record that was present in good numbers. This moth is in the same subfamily of Scaly-legged Pyralids (Chrysauginae) as the Olive Arta, Posturing Arta, Boxwood Leaftier, and a few others I've seen and am more familiar with.

The Tulip Tree Beauty (Epimecis hortaria) was new to me, but not a state record. This is a large and nicely patterned geometer with quite a bit of variation. I think I saw three different individuals over the two nights and they were each distinct.

Amphipoea erepta is a state record and one of those ultra rarities. It is a macro moth of average Noctuid size, and yet there is only one other observation of this species on iNaturalist. There are a handful of observations on both BugGuide and MPG, but none in Oklahoma. I'm curious why this species is so uncommon even though it has a large distribution. BugGuide reports that the host plant is Eastern Gamagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides).

Suzuki's Promalactis (Promalactis suzukiella) is an introduced species in North America, originating in Asia. It's been spreading throughout the country, but this was a state record for Oklahoma. When I saw it I snapped a quick picture or two while it was on the move, but then it flew up and I lost it. I searched for it for a while and kept my eyes peeled, but couldn't ever relocate it, which is a real shame since I didn't get great focus on the two pictures I did get. Oh well.

I saw a good number of this undescribed species of Hypsopygia. I had just become aware of this species a few days before my trip when I spent some time looking through moth observations in the tristate area of Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. I was happy to get numerous photos of this species at this location so that when it is formally described the distribution information will be that much more complete.

I saw a good number of Ozark Petrophila (Petrophila hodgesi), which I had seen before in Arkansas, but not in Oklahoma. These are really good mimics of jumping spiders.

Caloptilia packardella is a real beauty. I've always liked this genus and have seen a total of 8 species, but this was a new one for me.

The Large Clover Casebearer (Coleophora trifolii) was a clear standout with it's dripping gold appearance. I saw three other distinct moths from the same genus, two of which I'm unsure about the identification. Anyone want to take a look at these two below?

Possibly Coleophora tiliaefoliella

unknown Coleophora

I saw a good assortment of underwings, including the above Ultronia Underwing (Catocala ultronia). This species (maybe specifically this specimen) has an uncommonly strong contrast on the forewings, whereas many underwings have more subtle markings and blend in well on bark.

Charming Underwing (Catocala blandula) - a state record

Sordid Underwing (Catocala sordida) - another state record

Most of my moth observations are made at the lit sheets, but I did go walking around, looking at leaves on trees and shrubs nearby, checking for caterpillars. At one point I ran across this tiny moth and snapped a few pictures (unfortunately overexposed). I thought it might be a species of Aristotelia, but it is an unfamiliar species from an unfamiliar family. This is Dryadaula visaliella, another state record.

I saw several Daggers (Acronicta genus) which I haven't been able to identify. That's a tough genus for me and every time I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of it I see a moth that upends my confidence. If anyone cares to take a stab at identifying mine, here are the ones I saw over the weekend. I believe there are at least three species represented in those pictures.

I had four of the bigger macro moths which are always stunning to see. None of them were new for me, but they're always fun to see.

Rosy Maple Moth (Dryocampa rubicunda)

Io Moth (Automeris io)

Bisected Honey Locust (Syssphinx bisecta)

Giant Leopard Moth (Hypercompe scribonia)

הועלה ב-יוני 13, 2024 09:26 אחה"צ על ידי zdufran zdufran


Super cool!

פורסם על-ידי pfau_tarleton לפני בערך חודש
פורסם על-ידי zdufran לפני בערך חודש

Nice, Zach!

פורסם על-ידי annikaml לפני בערך חודש

Great stuff, Zach! Of course, I enjoy seeing more records of the regional specialty, Ozark Petrophila.

פורסם על-ידי gcwarbler לפני בערך חודש

@gcwarbler I remembered that was a favorite of yours. I added 5 observations of that species on this trip.

פורסם על-ידי zdufran לפני בערך חודש

Great job putting this digital
moth collection together. Were you using ultraviolet light? Keep up the good work.

פורסם על-ידי argonauta לפני בערך חודש

@argonauta I had two different light/sheet setups. I had my large sheet setup with a mercury vapor lamp and my IKEA wardrobe with LED and fluorescent UV lights.

פורסם על-ידי zdufran לפני בערך חודש

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