Early Aspen Leafroller Moths

Hello all,

The following is not a normal “Nature Note”, but I thought that you would find it of interest.

In my report on the moths and butterflies that I have encountered in our backyard in Erskine, Alberta for the period 2000-2011 http://www.albertaparks.ca/media/3796450/Lepidoptera_Erskine_Report_2000-2011.pdf, I recorded the following observations of Pseudexentera oregonana (Wlsm.), the Early Aspen Leafroller Moth – 7-IV-2000 2, 10-IV-2000 3, 11-IV-2000 2, 18-IV-2000 3, 18-IV-2001 1, 12-IV-2002 2, 27-IV-2002 1, 28-IV-2002 1, 8-IV-2003 3, 16-IV-2003 1, 29-III-2004 2, 3-IV-2004 many, 10-IV-2004 1, 25-IV-2004 5, 1-V-2004 5, 31-III-2005 many, 6-IV-2005 many, 11-IV-2005 many, 16-IV-2005 many, 25-IV-2005 many, 3-V-2005 1, 6-V-2005 1, 13-IV-2006 5, 13-IV-2007 2, 27-IV-2007 1, 12-IV-2008 1, 6-V-2008 1, 13-V-2008 1 and 26-V-2010 1. The earliest sighting in any of the years was made on March 29, 2004 and the second on March 31, 2005. Most first sightings were near the middle of April and some were not made until May.

On April 1, I saw 6 or so Early Aspen Leafroller Moths around aspen catkins in trees beside Erskine Lake, a short distance south of Erskine, and today I collected one in the same location and mounted it in order to be sure of the identification. I also made the attached photograph of some of the aspen catkins. Clearly, according to these records, spring is phenologically earlier than usual. The only snow that we have left is in small patches in sheltered areas on the north sides of houses or in woods.

I have attached an in situ photo of an Early Aspen Leafroller moth that I took some years ago.

These have been my only sightings of Lepidoptera so far this year.