January Moth

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January Moth

Postby tncaver » Jan 29, 2010 3:23 pm

There is a moth flapping it's wings on the inside of my window screen while it's snowing outside. Wonder if it has a moth version of WNS? It's only 27 degrees
outside.
Last edited by tncaver on Jan 31, 2010 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: January Moth

Postby wyandottecaver » Jan 29, 2010 7:40 pm

Dang you TN :)

Curiosity about your moth led me to read about the winter moth, an invasive insect of the NE from Europe active in winter. (many bats eat moths). That led me to reading about a fungus that affects them, that originally was introduced to control gypsy moth.

The fungus was introduced from Japan in 1904 but was not detected to persist and presumed a failure.... Until it started killing moths and spreading like wildfire in the NE in 1989.... The range map is an almost exact match to WNS. The spores (prevalant in and around trees, which also host bats in summer) invades the body of the caterpilliar and fungus grows on the outside....This led me to research the nuts and bolts of the two fungi to conclude that indeed they do not appear to be the same at least to a mammals guy.

Of course a European parasitic fly was also used too it seems, guess I'll have to run that one down later....

So, after several hours, I'm back from my "quick check" of CaveChat :tonguecheek:

So, while there certainly doesnt seem to be any lag in WNS moving cave to cave and bat to bat now, there is at least a precedent for the original introduction to have possibly happened as long as a century ago.....great.
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
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Re: January Moth

Postby ArCaver » Jan 29, 2010 7:45 pm

wyandottecaver wrote:Dang you TN :)

Curiosity about your moth led me to read about the winter moth, an invasive insect of the NE from Europe active in winter. (many bats eat moths). That led me to reading about a fungus that affects them, that originally was introduced to control gypsy moth.

The fungus was introduced from Japan in 1904 but was not detected to persist and presumed a failure.... Until it started killing moths and spreading like wildfire in the NE in 1989.... The range map is an almost exact match to WNS. The spores (prevalant in and around trees, which also host bats in summer) invades the body of the caterpilliar and fungus grows on the outside....This led me to research the nuts and bolts of the two fungi to conclude that indeed they do not appear to be the same at least to a mammals guy.

Of course a European parasitic fly was also used too it seems, guess I'll have to run that one down later....

So, after several hours, I'm back from my "quick check" of CaveChat :tonguecheek:

So, while there certainly doesnt seem to be any lag in WNS moving cave to cave and bat to bat now, there is at least a precedent for the original introduction to have possibly happened as long as a century ago.....great.


Will cavers be given credit for the spread of the moth killing fungus?
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Re: January Moth

Postby tncaver » Jan 30, 2010 8:29 am

wyandottecaver, I thought you were kidding until I read about it. Sounds like a long shot but might actually be worth investigating. One of the chemicals
used to kill those moths also kills bees. No telling what else it can kill when ingested. Can you post a link to that moth map you mentioned?
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Re: January Moth

Postby tncaver » Jan 30, 2010 9:38 am

A New Pest Concern in New England:
Winter Moth Update 2009

Winter moth (Operophtera brumata), a new pest of concern in New England, was confirmed in 2006 in several towns in New London County, Connecticut.
Winter moth is a harmful plant pest in Europe that was introduced into Nova Scotia in the 1950s. The exotic moth is regarded as a major pest of agricultural crops.
Winter moth has become well acclimated to conditions in New England, and has adapted to Massachusetts and Rhode Island coastal and some inland climates. Based on its rapid rate of establishment there, it has been found to produce high numbers of offspring.
This moth is a non-native agricultural pest in the Pacific Northwest, where the parasitic fly Cyzenis albicans has been used to control winter moth with some success.

Most regions of the world support moth species that use caves as diurnal roosts and/or as overwintering and mating sites. Although subterranean roosts are often also occupied by insectivorous bats, nothing is known about moth–bat interaction at these sites. The frequency of cohabitation and the dynamics of moth–bat interaction at roosts were examined during surveys at 30 known bat roosts in eastern Australia; 15 disused mines and 15 natural caves. Moths and bats cohabited in 20 roosts (67%); however, only two species of eared moths, Speiredonia spectans and S. mutabilis (Noctuidae), were observed. These large (wingspan up to 75 mm) species show a classic escape response to ultrasound. Moths used roosts occupied by bats with both frequency modulated (FM) (four species) and constant frequency (CF) (two species) echolocation calls. Signal frequencies of these bats had ranges of 23–25 and 44–71 kHz. Moths were absent from roosts occupied by high-frequency (>140 kHz) CF bats. Predator–prey interaction was assessed by studying a sub-sample of six roosts occupied by S. spectans and the horseshoe bat Rhinolophus megaphyllus. Speiredonia spectans and R. megaphyllus cohabited roosts throughout the year. Bats captured and consumed moths in these roosts. The numbers of moth wings on the floor of roosts were counted to assess rates of predation. Bats consumed 209 moths at the six roosts over a 12-month period, representing 19% of the moth population at the start of the study. The study establishes that moth–bat cohabitation of roosts is relatively common in eastern Australia and that bats do capture moths in these sites. Bat predation seems to be a significant source of mortality of moths that occupy subterranean roosts.

EXCERPTS FROM VARIOUS SOURCES
Winter Moths
by Jim Wilson
I discovered there are more than fifty species of North American moths that are active throughout the winter months.
This from another document.
Whatever people or local governments do to reduce the numbers of caterpillars, they should NEVER spray artificial chemicals.

The photograph to the left was taken on January 11th 2006 during an inspection for a bat infestation in Narragansett Rhode Island. You can clearly see the bat guano in the snow, which had a slightly different color than the normal guano seen during the warmer months. It was dull and slightly larger than normal. I believe this was due to the fact that the bats were eating nothing but winter moths, as this was the only food available to them.

Sorry the photo did not copy and paste along with the text.
Last edited by tncaver on Jan 30, 2010 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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