Gypsy Moths at West Don Parkland: July 2020

West Don Parkland, near Bathurst and Finch, has some very tangled and overgrown trails near the river.

Some of these go right through thriving poison ivy patches and I hope that the walkers who frequent the area know this!

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)

There are also very park-like areas:

Every few years, we suffer from a major Gypsy Moth infestation and we are in one this summer. A single gypsy moth caterpillar can eat an average of one square metre of leaves:

Gypsy Moth (caterpillar)
Gypsy Moth (caterpillar)

Caterpillars emerge from pupae:

Gypsy Moth pupae

Even though females have wings, they do not fly. After mating, they begin to deposit eggs which last throughout the winter.

Gypsy Moth (female)
Gypsy Moth (female)

The quick-moving males were everywhere on this day but photographing them is next-to-impossible.

They have no digestive tract and and have no need to stop and eat during their week-or-so of life. This is why they seldom stop fluttering.

Gypsy Moth (male)
Gypsy Moth (male)

Other insects:

Carolina Grasshopper
Carolina Grasshopper

Thanks to Ken Sproule for grasshopper identification.

Clouded Sulphur Butterfly
Cabbage White Butterfly
Cabbage White Butterfly

I came across this shrub which appeared to be a cherry:

Willow Galls (which look like berries)

A cherry with willow leaves? These galls are caused by insects or bacteria.

Willow Galls (which look like berries)
Willow Galls (which look like berries)
Willow Galls (which look like berries)

Some botany:

Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia) vine on Manitoba maple
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
Snail on grape leaf
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
Purple-flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus)
Purple-flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus)
Curled Dock (Rumex crispus)
Field Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis)
Retorse Sedge (Carex retorsa)
Joe-pye-weed (Eutrochium maculatum)
Boneset (eupatorium perfoliatum)
Scouring Rush
Common Pear (Pyrus communis)
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Black Raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)
Water-hemlock (Cicuta maculata)
Forget-me-not (Myosotis)
Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea)
Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)
Yellow Avens (Geum aleppicum)
Yellow Avens (Geum aleppicum)
Creeping Bellflower (Campanula rapunculoides)
Tartarian Honeysuckle (Lonicera tatarica )
Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris)

NATURE POETRY

A moon-flooded prairie; a straying
Of leal-hearted lovers; a baying
Of far away watching dogs; a dreaming
Of brown-fisted farmers; a gleaming
Of fireflies eddying nigh, —
And that is July!                                        – James N. Matthews (1852–1910)

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “Gypsy Moths at West Don Parkland: July 2020

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Besides enjoying the pictures, I am learning so much, reading what you have to say in these various posts. I never focused on insects, and this latest addition to your repertoire is certainly enriching! Thank you, Miles (and Ken)!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.