[Fwd: Fw: Re: [SoWestLep] 2005 prospects for S. Calif. and NW Arizona.]

The Walkers xvermontrz at cox.net
Mon Jan 24 11:53:48 EST 2005

Hi Ian - great to hear from you.  Did you see the recent request for
collecting info down your way?

Interesting that you're not seeing the lineata yet.  It is early in the
season still, but I would have thought the heavy rains would have triggered
early flights.  Perhaps the cats are busy eating as we speak.  I recall
seeing Vanessa larvae on virtually every green plant west of the Colorado
River back in April 2001.  That was the spring we saw clouds and clouds of
what must have been millions of ladies on the wing.  We'll see - maybe the
rain came too early, and the winter too cold.

Winter speculation is a common practice for lepidopterists (as is

Mark Walker.  
-------Original Message-------
From: Monarchrst at aol.com
Date: 01/24/05 07:42:33
To: stan_gorodenski at asualumni.org; Leps-l at lists.yale.edu
Subject: Re: [Fwd: Fw: Re: [SoWestLep] 2005 prospects for S. Calif. and NW
There are some interesting observations on this subject here in Yuma,
Arizona.  We are tucked away in the very southwest corner of the state.  We
are having the wettest winter for about 9 years, maybe longer than that. 
Back in 1994, or thereabouts, we had similar spring rains (sprinkles by
anyone else's standards) and the wild flowers carpeted the deserts in all
directions.  This year has the same wild-flower abundance.
The difference is that we have had a very cool early winter with very little
flying.  Currently, that is resulting in very low moth catches to blacklight
  The species range is there but not the numbers.  In the last really wet
early spring, I was catching so many moths that it was actually quite hard
too go through a trap because of the sheer numbers that were present. 
Hundreds of H. lineata, thousands of the various common geometrids and
noctuids - it used to be almost like a scene from a horror movie.  This year
 the trap has only 20-30 in it.  A starkly different picture.  It was
particularly noticeable last week, when we had warm, calm, partly cloudy 
nights, with minimums close to 60F.  Normally at this time of year, that
would bring vast numbers, even on a dryish winter.
So I am wondering whether the previous coolness as well as any impact on
earlier droughts, keep the numbers down for a while.  I shall be interested
to see if the February/March numbers come back up to normal.
Ian Watkinson
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