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  • Monday, September 14, 2015

    By Any Other Name

    PRECISION ESCAPES US
    DOUBLE STANDARDS ?
    it's a damn budworm
    WALLPAPER:   Choristoneura
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    .. We chuckle to hear the affected erudition of the fisher folks that spout Latin nomenclature for mayflies and caddisfles and then call these critters "Spruce Moths."
    .. This is the Western Spruce Budworm.  There are nearly forty Choristoneura species, and even more subspecies, or forms, with an enormous complexity of variation among populations, found throughout much of the United States and Canada. There are at least that many more in Europe and Asia.
    WESTERN SPRUCE BUDWORM
    .. The Western Spruce Budworm has a 1-year life cycle. In most regions moths usually emerge from late July to early August.
    .. Eggs are laid on the underside of conifer needles and hatch in about 10 days. Young larvae seek a sheltered place and overwinter in a silken casing called a hibernaculum.
    .. From early May to late June, larvae begin to feed within closed buds, 1-year-old needles, and new foliage.
    .. New foliage is preferred, followed by older needles. Larvae mature in 30-40 days and pupate in early July, (or late July around here.) Pupation usually lasts 10 days and is followed by adult moth emergence.
    ..  From our neighborhood down to about Big Sky, Montana emergence is just a little  later. Right now our population has peaked and eggs have been laid - mostly.
    .. The exhausted adult moths find our rivers and streams with a regularity that pleases the resident fish, (yes, Murgatroyd, the Mountain Whitefish will rise to these too.)
    SPRUCE MOTH IF YOU WILL
    .. It seems that we have a couple of subspecies, (or forms,) flittering around here.
    .. Choristoneura occidentalis is the species. The large form is a whopping 1 1/2" long and tends to be a dark dusty gray color. The smaller, more common,  subspecies is 3/4 to 1" long and tends to be more brownish orange mixed with dark gray.
    .. We wonder why these little bits of trout food don't rate the exalted status of Latin nomenclature in the dry fly fishers vocabulary. Perhaps it's just not fashionable to spout Latin unless it is in reference to the bugs that we know and you don't!
    .. Whatever that case may be, right now the fish on the Gallatin River are eating these budworm adults throughout the whole section of river in Yellowstone National Park.
    .. We usually smash the wing on a large caddis or stimulator and float it with a small shop vac dropper. It's amusing to us.
    .. The real fishers in the neighborhood use a purpose-tied pattern and seem to do more catching than we do. Go figure.
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    WALLPAPER:  RIBS AND BEANS  -  WITH HEAT