Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Citizen Science At Work: Host Plant for Elephant Hawk Moth in Canada Confirmed

 Elephant Hawk Moth larvae feeding on policeman's helmet (Impatiens glandulifera). Photo by 
Patrick McKay

Photo contributions to E-Fauna BC can sometimes be quite significant.  Recently photographer Patrick McKay submitted photos of the larvae of the Elephant Hawk Moth (Deilephila elpenor) feeding on policeman's helmet (Impatiens glandulifera) in Burns Bog.  According to Chris Schmidt, an entomologist and moth specialist with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, these photos constitute the first confirmed record of a host plant for this species in Canada. 

According to Schmidt, the Elephant Hawk Moth "has become quite widespread in the lower mainland since its introduction in the mid 1990's. They are well-established and numerous in some areas."

Both the moth species and the host plant are introduced species in BC and Canada.
Identification of the moth larvae was made by Chris Schmidt. 
Identification of the plant in the photo was made by Andrée Bernard and Jamie Fenneman.

View the atlas page for the Elelphant Hawk Moth
View the atlas page for Impatiens glandulifera.

Patrick McKay is a Vancouver-based landscaper.

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