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Some Day Flying Moths at Mt. Diablo, Contra Costa Co., CA
Compiled by J. A. Powell
               Feb. 2015


The following list of species no doubt is incomplete because State Park policy prevented collecting of insects for many decades. The preliminary list includes some specimen records in the Essig Museum, U. California, Berkeley (EME), and others I suspect will be found when a more comprehensive survey is carried out. Most of the confirmed specimen records to date originate from Russelmann Park and Mitchell Canyon, which were operated as commercial parks in the 1950s-1960s, and from several sites listed only by elevation (1800’, 2000’ etc. presumably along the paved road), collected by C. I. Smith in the   late 1940s, prior to his untimely death in 1950.  Probably numerous other diurnal Mt. Diablo moths have been deposited in the California Academy of Sciences (CAS) or have been observed but not collected. I have not searched Kelly’s CA Moths counties list, which may be a source for additional records on Mt. Diablo.

Abbreviations: JF Juniper Flat, MC  Mitchell Canyon, PG Perkins Gulch; RP Russelmann Park; WC Walnut Creek, foot of Shell Ridge 1961-1967; * species suspected by Powell to occur on Mt. Diablo.

Taxa                                                                       Mt. Diablo site

Incurvarioidea:

    Adela flammeusella Chambers              RP           assoc. Orthocarpus (Owl’s clover)

    Adela septentrionella Wlsm.                  MC         assoc.  Holodiscus

    Adela thorpella Powell                          RP           assoc. Platystemon

    Adela trigrapha (Zeller)                        RP           assoc.  Linanthus

    Greya obscura Davis & Pellmyr            RP           assoc.  Lithophragma

    Greya politella (Wlsm.)                        RP           assoc.  Lithophragma

Gelechioidea:

    Ethmia scylla  Powell                           RP           assoc. Collinsia

Yponomeutoidea:

    Aetole extraneella (Wlsm.)                  RP           assoc. Epilobium

    Penstemonia clarkei Ingelh.                MC         assoc. Penstemon

Tortricoidea:

    Grapholita conversana (Wlsm.)             MC, N. Peak       assoc. Trifolium

    Grapholita caeruleana Wlsm.                  *                             widespr. Bay Area, often assoc. Lotus

    Grapholita edwardsiana (Kft.)                                *                             assoc. woody bush lupines

    Grapholita lunatana Wlsm.                      *                             early spring ,  assoc. Lathyrus

 Pyraloidea:

    Gyros muiri (H. Edwards)                      Mt. Diablo (1905);  0.25 mi N Oak Knoll (1987)

    Pyrausta dapalis (Grote)                        Mt. Diablo III.1955; easily confused with Annaphila spila

    Pyrausta subsequalis (Gn.)                      *

    Agriphila anceps (Grote)                         WC

    Agriphila attenuata (Gn.)                         WC  primarily nocturnal but a frequent dayflier in Oct.

Geometroidea:

    Epirrhoe plebeculata  (Gn.)                     Mt. Diablo 1600’, RP

    Lepidostales rubromarginaria (Pack.)      * requent late spring in Berkeley Hills

    Mesoleuca gratulata   (Wlk.)                  * early spring, appears white in flight

    Scopula sideraria (Gn.)                            frequent in Marin

Lasiocampidae

Orgyia vetusta Bdv.                                     ♂♂ rapidly flying around hosts PM,  ♀♀ flightless

                                                                 Mangani Ranch V.2008, MC May,1992

Sphingoidea:

 Hemaris diffinis (Bdv.)                              *Del Puerto Cyn., Mt. Hamilton

    Hyles lineata  (F.)                                         * widespread migrant, often nectaring in flight PM

    Proserpinus clarkiae  (Bdv.)                            Mt. Diablo 1941, 1970; also: Bollinger Cyn.

 

Noctuoidea:

    Alypia mariposa Grt. & Rob.                    RP, MC  May

    Annaphila :  6 or 7 spp. possible on Mt. Diablo all diurnal, quick fliers, HW bright orange, red or white ;

    Annaphila abdita Rindge & Smith.         * orange HW         Del Puerto Cyn                                 

    Annaphila arvalis H. Edw.                       Mt. Diablo 1900’ 1949                     orange

    Annaphila danistica Grt.                          Mt. Diablo 2000’                              
    Annaphila decia Grt.                               * Oakland hills, Del Puerto Cyn.; orange HW

    Annaphila depicta Grt.                               Mt. Diablo 1900’               Orange

    Annaphila diva Grt.                                     Morgan Terr. Rd., Mt. Diablo (1990)         white HW

    Annaphila lithosina H. Edw.)                    * Del Puerto Cyn.                orange

    Annaphila spila Rindge & Smith                  red  HW    San Benito Co.

    Autographa californica (Speyer)               *    nocturnal & often diurnal, hovering at flowers for nectar             

    Caenurgina caerulea   (Grt.)                     *  Bollinger Cyn.    looks like a blue in flight

    Drasteria edwardsiana (Behr)                       Mt. Diablo 1982   genus primarily nocturnal but often startled                                                                                                                                     into flight

    Drasteria divergens (Behr)                       WC

    Drasteria ochracea (Behr)                        Juniper Flat  1978

    Drasteria tejonica (Behr)                          WC

    Euclidia ardita Francl.                                  *

    Eutricopis nexilis Morrison                       Mt. Diablo 2800’  (July 1981)

    Heliolonche madicella                                * E Pittsburg V.1952;  Bear Cr. Rd. NE Orinda; V.1958 JAP

    Heliothis phloxiphagus  Grt. & Rob.             * widespread migrant often nectaring diurnally

    Heliothodes diminutivus  (Grt.)             Mt. Diablo III.1949; 1100’ IV.’75;2700’; 2700’ IV.1971 N Peak 32-2200’ VI.3.81; 3500’ IX.2.86;

    Heliothodes joaquin                                   RP, v.1957, IV.2.60, V.60

    Leptarctia californiae (Wlk.)                     PC, RP, Marsh Cr.

    Litocala sexsignata (Harvey)                    * Del Puerto Cyn.  flight early spring, larvae on Lotus

     Schinia sueta (Grote)                                Perkins Gulch    IV.10.90

    Schinia pulchripennis (Grote)                    Morgan Terr. Rd., Mt. Diablo IV.10.90; also Antioch/Pittsburg   1950s

     Totals:  34 species documented, plus another 19 possible ( *)