Point Pelee Bio-Blitz

At the Moth Light
July 21, 2018

Exciting night at the Point. One of the few times they allow moth lights, and it was a great show. Brock University students drove down from the Niagara area and set up a 400 watt light and a bed sheet. Very simple but effective. Mosquitoes were thick only for the first half hour, after that they left us alone. I managed to get one decent shot of a Snipe fly during the mosquito onslaught. The two photos of Tubeworm Moths show the difference between the dark fresh ones and older pale individuals. The dark one is a bit blurry, sorry.

Here’s what we found.

At the Point

Metylophorus purus

Barklice
Metylophorus purus

Identification:

Barklice Metylophorus purus came to moth light Jul 15, 2012 Wheatley, Ontario.
Barklice Metylophorus purus came to moth light Jul 15, 2012 Wheatley, Ontario.


Head: White. Face has a two black spots; one at center of face, and one above, between the eyes. Top back of head has two dark streaks.
Antenna: Base (scape) and first few segments white, becoming darker mid segments, then lighter at tips. Antenna longer than body. Thicker on male.
Thorax: Dark with a whitish Y-shaped mark in center.
Wings: Clear with dark veins. Triangular stigma on costal margin nearer tip has a clear center, bordered by a thick black, changing to white vein, ending with a small black dot. Black spot mid-wing on top edge (inner or posterior).
Legs: Mostly whitish, feet darker.
Abdomen: Mostly whitish with brown streaks – appears striped. Male abdomen thinner, curved.

Barklice Metylophorus purus came to moth light Aug 03, 2011 Wheatley, Ontario.
Barklice Metylophorus purus came to moth light Aug 03, 2011 Wheatley, Ontario.

Size: 6 mm to wing tip.

Flight Time: Mid-July to August.

Habitat: Trunks and branches of both deciduous and conifer trees, also fence posts and old wooden buildings.

Food: Lichens, dead bark.

Life Cycle: Eggs are covered with webs by the female.

Comments: Not listed for Essex or Kent county. Recorded for Guelph, Wellington and also Belleville.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Indiopsocus bisignatus

Common Barklice
Idiopsocus bisignatus

 

Barklice Indiopsocus bisignatus came to moth light July 12, 2011 Wheatley, Ontario.
Barklice Indiopsocus bisignatus came to moth light July 12, 2011 Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Black. A rounded, raised area above mouth (nasus) with eight pale lines. Top of head convex with two prominent pale spots or stripes, and pale marks down face front from the simple eyes (ocelli). Males have large eyes.
Antennae: Base darker. Antenna shorter than wings; segments pale brown, with very short fine hair.
Thorax: Segment 1 has yellowish middle line and yellowish at side edges. Segment 2 black with a pale spot at center.
Legs: Pale yellowish-brown, feet slightly darker.
Wings: Hyaline, an incomplete black band on inner wing edge from base to about mid wing. Stigma triangular, black base, large white area and wide, expanded dark band at end. Veins dark, except at wing center, where two veins are partially white to yellowish.
Abdomen: Black with segments narrowly margined in yellow or cream. Male has two brown spots near tip.

Size: 6 mm to wing tip.

Flight Time: July

Habitat: In trees mostly.

Food: Lichens, debris and old bark.

Life Cycle: Generally, eggs are laid singly or in clusters. Nymphs resemble tiny wingless adults. 6 instars. Live together in groups. Elaborate courtships. Probably over-winter in egg stage.

Comments: Not listed for Ontario

Synonyms: Banks 1904
Psocus bisignatus

References:
Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 1904. Vol. 6, by Banks, pg. 203.
Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 1930, Vol. 38 by Chapman, pp. 229 to 230.

Cerastipsocus venosus

Barklice
Cerastipsocus venosus

 

Barklice Cerastipsocus venosus on Queen Anne's Lace August 10, 2014, Wheatley, Ontario.
Barklice Cerastipsocus venosus on Queen Anne’s Lace August 10, 2014, Wheatley, Ontario.

Identification:
Head: Shiny, brown-black to light brown. Eyes light green.
Antenna: Base (scape) pale. Segments thin, black; twice as long as body. Thicker on male.
Thorax: Brown-black to light brown; some yellowish lines on outer edges.
Wings: Brown-black with white  veins and a white to dark gray triangle stigma, usually darker on male. Tips iridescent in certain lights.
Legs: Thighs (femora) brownish-yellow, shins (tibiae) and feet darker.

Barklice Cerastipsocus venosus came to moth lights July 28, 2011. Wheatley, Ontario.
Barklice Cerastipsocus venosus came to moth lights July 28, 2011. Wheatley, Ontario.

Abdomen: Dark brown with white to light yellow on segment edges.

Size: 7 to 8 mm long.

Flight Time: July and August

Habitat: Trees, usually encountered as a large group.

Food: Lichen, fungi, dead bark.

Life Cycle: Over-winters as an egg. Eggs are clustered and usually covered with silver-gray excretions, laid on bark, usually. Nymphs have 4 to 6 molts. All stages of nymphs are gray to brown with yellow bands on abdomen; similar to adults with no wings. Nymphs mature in late July, early August. Often found in large flocks on tree trunks and branches. If disturbed, they will all move away together, seldom flying. Attracted to light at night.

Comments: Essex County – Ojibway Prairies Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Sleeping Arrangements

Two-spotted Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata male
Two-spotted Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata male on Purple Giant Hyssop July 22, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

The Two-spotted Digger Bee  Melissodes bimaculata is named for the white patches on each side of the abdomen of the female. The males showed up first, (no patches) on English Lavender and Purple Giant Hyssop, around July 15 last year (2016). At night they slept by hanging on to the leaves of Obedient Plant Physostegia virginiana.

 

 

 

Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus male
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus male on Obedient Plant July 16, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

By July 22, the Cuckoo Bees Triepeolus lunatus showed up, at least 5 females and 1 male. They all hung around the Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta).
Triepeolus lunatus females hunt for the Two-spotted nests and lay eggs in their cells. When the Cuckoo larva hatches, it either eats the egg or the larva, and then feeds on its nectar/pollen mixture stored in the cell.

 

 

Two-spotted Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata female
Two-spotted Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata female on Big Bluestem flowers Aug 17, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

The Two-spotted females showed up around the first of August, favoring the Giant Purple Hyssop and were quite attracted to the pollen on Big Bluestem. They spent the night in their nests near the Obedient Plants.

 

 

 

 

Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus female sleeping
Cuckoo Bee Triepeolus lunatus female sleeping on Obedient Plant Aug 04, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

But the others all slept together on the Obedient Plants! Both the male and female Cuckoo Bees and the Two-spotted males. Not on the same leaf, but very close and quite comfortable with each other.

Two-spotted Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata males sleeping
Two-spotted Digger Bee Melissodes bimaculata males sleeping on Obedient Plant July 28, 2016 Leamington, Ontario.

Mantidfly Dicromantispa sayi

Mantidfly
Dicromantispa sayi

 

Mantidfly Dicromantispa sayi female
Mantidfly Dicromantispa sayi female at moth light July 26, 2013 Wheatley, Ontario
Mantidfly Dicromantispa sayi
Mantidfly Dicromantispa sayi female at moth light July 26, 2013 Wheatley, Ontario

Identification:
Head: Brown to black with pale yellow marks. Face has a longitudinal yellow stripe each side of centre; middle dark area appearing as a dark stripe, sometimes incomplete. Pattern of yellow oblong spots on top of head; can be obscure. Eyes multi-colored.
Antenna: Brown except segment 1 yellowish, more so on underside.
Thorax: Neck (prothorax) long and slender, more cone-shaped at head. Cream-colored patch at base and end of neck; rest yellowish-brown to dark brown. Usually with a light or dark coloured longitudinal stripe down centre. Thorax side on female dark with cream, curved lines. Male sides mostly pale.
Wings: Wings clear with brown veins; no brown spots at wing tips. Base and outside edge of wings dark brown (costal area), with a faint yellowish streak. Stigma at end of costa also dark brown.
Legs: Front legs modified, similar to praying mantis; dark brown with light streaks. Usually folded up and not used, except for eating. Mid and hind legs pale yellow with brown streaks; females have joint to body (coxae) brown; male coxae pale.
Abdomen: Yellowish-brown to dark brown with yellow marks. Female abdomen always darker, and may be entirely black; the yellow marks vary considerably. Abdomen side edges cream, almost entirely on male, more spotted on female.

Similar Species: Dicromantispa interrupta is a larger species with a dark patch near tip of wing. Leptomantispa pulchella has side-by-side (paired) yellow stripes of even width running down sides of abdomen, whereas D. sayi has uneven width pattern down sides. L. pulchella also has a bright, burnt orange stigma on wings, not brown as in D. sayi. Otherwise, these two are identical.

Size: 14 to 15 mm long.

Habitat: Forest edges and prairies where spiders are present.

Food: Adults feed on small flying insects. Fed moths and flies under lab conditions. Larvae hunt for just about any species spider eggs, but major hosts are Wolf and Hunting spiders Lycosidae, and Running Crab Spider Philodromus vulgaris.

Flight Time: Jul 15 to Sep 4th. Peaks end of July

Life Cycle: Females lay eggs on any substrate. Larvae hatch, wander, find and either penetrate wolf spider egg sacs, or hitch a ride on adult female spiders ready to lay eggs. 1st instar over-winters. One generation per year.

Comments: Essex County – Point Pelee, Ojibway, Harrow. Kent County – Rondeau Provincial Park. At one time D. sayi was thought to be found only along the north shore of Lake Erie, but range has expanded to include Lake Simcoe and the north shore of Lake Ontario to the Quebec border.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Nigronia fasciata

Banded Fishfly
Nigronia fasciata

Identification:
Note: Although present in Ontario, these photos of a female were taken in New Brunswick.

Head: Dark brown with some reddish-brown streaks at back of head. Simple eyes (ocelli) smaller. Cheeks and underside on mouth brick-red. Mandibles brown, base yellowish.
Antenna: Black, feathered (flabellate) on both sides on male, knife-like (serrate) on female.
Thorax: Neck (pronotum) as wide as long; dark brown with some reddish-brown streaks and darker spots; rest of thorax dark brown.
Wings: Wings are dark brown with an evenly wide white stripe mid wing, and white spots near wing tip. Hind wings dark brown; base has a large rounded white spot, a wide mid wing white stripe, and white spots near wing tip. Male brighter colored.
Legs: Brown, feet darker.
Abdomen: Abdomen black, with lighter patterned areas.

Main ID: Evenly wide white stripe across middle of front wings.

Similar Species: N. serricornis has a much narrower and very uneven mid-wing white stripe; no stripe on hind wing.

Size: 30 to 40 mm. Larva 26 to 33 mm.

Flight Time: June

Habitat: Small streams with sandy bottoms and few rocks; and good water quality.

Food: Larvae feed on smaller aquatic animals. Adults may feed on nectar – drink sugar water in the lab.

Life Cycle: Females lay large egg masses in the afternoon from May to early June on the underside of leaves of branches over-hanging streams. After hatching (14 days), larvae drop into the water and feed on Isopoda (most), Caddisflies (2nd most), Diptera, Ephemeroptera, Megaloptera, and will resort to cannibalism. Respiratory tube on the 8th segment is long, extending to legs and unlike the short tube on Nigronia serricornis. Life cycle two to three years. Larvae pupate at water’s edge, under rocks or moss in spring for about 3 weeks. Pupa can be identified by wing pads – wide white band is N. fasciatus. Narrow white band is N. serricornis. When disturbed C. fasciata curls its body to the side while N. serricornis forms a circle with head touching abdomen tip. Adults live about a week.
One report of Biting Midges (Punkies) Ceratopogon fusicornis feeding on a live adult.

Comments: Northern Ontario – Leeds/Greenville and Barrie. Also Northern Michigan and New Brunswick. Of the two species present in Ontario, N. fasciata more common in northern Ontario and N. serricornis is more common in the south.

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page

Alderflies

Alderflies
Sialis species

 

Identification: All Alderflies in Canada are Sialis  species. The bodies and wings are dark brown to blackish. They do not have simple eyes (ocelli) on the top of their head. Sometimes the head has orange spots. The neck is as wide as the head. The thorax is raised or humped. Feet are bi-lobed (two toes, projecting in opposite directions). Wings are held tent-like over the abdomen and are twice as long as the body. Males are smaller than females. 

Similar Species: Dobsonflies and Fishflies are twice as long (usually over 30 mm.) and their wings are held flat against their bodies, not tent-like.

Size: 9 to 15 mm.

Flight Time: May and June.

Habitat: Larvae live in mud-bottomed streams, rivers and ponds. Adults are weak flyers and seldom stray from water.

Food: Larvae feed on smaller aquatic animals.

Life Cycle: Adults mate at night, signalling to each other by abdominal vibrations. Adults may drink water or nectar, but usually do not feed and live only about 2 weeks. Females lay 200 to 500 eggs in a single layer on leaves, twigs and solid structures like the underside of bridges. Eggs are laid in rows, the female moving backward to deposit next row. Larvae hatch at night in 8 to 10 days and drop into the water, burrowing into the mud. Larvae may exude a black fluid from their mouth as a defence mechanism. The nymphs are 20 to 30 mm long (not including tail) and have 7 pairs of gills (filaments) on the abdomen sides and a long tail at abdomen tip. (Dobson and Fishfly larvae don’t have long tails, the Dobsonfly Corydalus cornutus larvae have two small tails at abdomen tip.) It usually takes more than one year, sometimes 2 to 3 years to complete larval development with 10 instars. To pupate, larvae crawl out of the water and find a damp place in soil, usually under rocks or logs, but do not form cocoons; hatching in about 2 to 3 weeks. Recent literature has recorded Fishfly Chauliodes and Alderfly Sialis larvae in wet tree holes and in pitcher plants (Fashing 1994, Hamilton et al. 1996, Pittman et al. 1996).

Comments: Alderflies have a high tolerance for polluted water.

Predators: A tiny 3 mm. Chalcid (KAL-sid) wasp called Trichogramma minutum parasitizes the eggs of Alderflies, Fishflies, the Viceroy butterfly and many moths. This wasp is native, but has been reared and released in peach orchards by Agriculture Canada since the 1930’s using stock obtained from Alderfly eggs. The wasp is now sold commercially.

Seven species of Sialis are recorded for Ontario:
S. concava: Head has some reddish smooth spots, area between eyes concave. Similar to S. infumata which has reddish spots much shorter and area between eyes convex. Banks, who described this species claims Van Duzee found one at Ridgeway, no date. Ross in 1937 noted that Walley found a male of this species in Power Glen (St. Catharines) in June, 1926 and the specimen is in the CNC (Canadian National Collection). Both locations are close to each other on the west side of the Niagara River. Also found in Guelph. 

S. infumata: Top of head has reddish, shiny flat streaks and spots extending to between antenna bases. Antenna slender. Cheeks yellowish or yellow infusion around eyes. Davis, 1903 maintains S. concava and S. infumata are the same, “S. concava Banks was said to differ in being always concave between the eyes. This, however, is not a constant character as shown by an examination of hundreds of specimens.” Reported from St. Martin’s Falls [Marten Falls] on Albany River (about middle northern Ontario). Also Ridgeway, Ottawa-Carleton, and Norman, Ontario.

S. itasca: Top of head has orange bars and spots. Narrow margin around eyes also orange. Wing base is dark brown, rest lighter to completely clear. Sister species to Sialis velata and females cannot be told apart from either S. velata or S. vagans. Found in Algonquin Park, June 18, 1922 by McDunnough and Ottawa-Carleton.

S. joppa: Top of head concave with raised lines and spots and a narrow ring around the eye, all yellowish. Lower legs lighter brown. Costal edge of wing has 18 to 12 cross-veins. Female has swollen cheeks, otherwise identical to male. Prefer streams. Larva and pre-pupa stages have been found inside pitcher plants. Found in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

S. mohri: Top of head concave, velvety. Costal edge of wing has 6 to 10 cross-veins, usually 7-8. Found in Ontario at Honey Harbor (Kenora), June 4 and 6, 1932; Ottawa West, June 21, 1920; Point Pelee, June 8, 1925; Rondeau Park, June 13, 1929.

S. vagans: Top of head concave with yellowish marks. Wings base half black, sometimes rest of the wings are much lighter to clear. Costal edge of wing has about 10 cross-veins. Sister species to S. itasca. Female cannot be told apart from either S. itasca or S. velata. Recorded from Algonquin Park, June 18, 1922. Lake of Bays (Huntsville), June 22, 1920. St. David’s (Niagara), June 11, 1926. Waubamik (North of Perry Sound) on July 10, 1915. 

S. velata: Male head entirely black; wings darker. Female is identical with S. itasca and S. vagans. Recorded from many locations in central and northern Ontario from Southampton to Ottawa. 

For information on synonyms, references and type specimens see next page