July 21st and 28th: Block Island, RI. Email blockislander1(at)gmail.(dot)com for details.
July 29th: Springfield, VT, Hoyt’s Landing (public boat access). Registration required. THere is no charge to attend, but donations to the Black River Action Team to offset permit costs would be appreciated. Email blackrivercleanup(at)gmail(dot)com for details.
August 2-5: Ludlow, MA Dragonfly Society of the Americas Northeast Chapter Meeting
September (exact date and location TBD): Sunset Orthopteran Listening Tour
If you are looking for more information on any of these events, or have your own to add, email us or stop by our Facebook page.
It’s fall, and for those of us who love insects and other arthropods, that means sallow moths and plume moths, migrating monarchs, annoying non-native stink bugs and lady beetles migrating indoors, Arachtober, and the end of the growing season. But it also means it’s almost time for the NEES fall meeting! This year the meeting will be held Saturday, Nov. 18th 10am-3pm, at the Millers River Environmental Center, 100 Main St, Athol, MA. We have a pretty amazing agenda planned, featuring a morning of presentations, followed by a lunchtime general meeting (with DOOR PRIZES! :-)) and then an afternoon id session. There is no charge to attend the meeting, but why not take the opportunity to become a member while you’re hanging out?
10am: Welcome from NEES President Teá Kesting-Handly
10:15am: A presentation from Sam Jaffe of The Caterpillar Lab, “The Secret Lives of Caterpillars”
11:15-11:30am: A quick break
11:30am: A presentation from naturalist and author Charley Eiseman, “Life in a Leaf: The Wonderful World of Leafminers”
12:30pm: General meeting and lunch (bring your own, or chip in for pizza)
1:45-3:15pm: ID session (bring your too-challenging-to-id-yourself photos on your laptop/phone/flash drive!)
National Moth Week is almost here! Held the third week of July each year, NMW is a great time to find local blacklighting events, or you could even host your own! NEES Treasurer Deb Lievens compiled this list of NMW events in the New England area:
July 22, 6:30pm, UNH Cooperative Extension is pairing with local moth enthusiasts Siobhan Basile and NEES Treasurer Deb Lievens for a family friendly event at the Burley Farm in Epping, NH (download flyer here).
July 22, 7:30pm, Mass Audubon, Moose Hill Sanctuary, 293 Moose Hill Parkway, Sharon, MA. NEES member Steven Whitebread will be presenting!
July 22, 10am-4pm, Acton Discovery Museum, 177 Main St., Acton, MA
July 24, 12pm-5pm, The Caterpillar Lab, 166 Emerald St., Keene, NH
July 26, 1:30pm-4:30pm, South Shore Nature Center, 48 Jacobs Ln., Norwell, MA
July 26, 7:30-9:30pm, The Nature Conservancy Ossipee Pine Barrens Preserve, Route 41, Ossipee, NH. Register online at www.nature.org/nhevents
There are also other insect-themed events planned during the week, including:
July 22, 9am-11:30am, Rumney, NH, Dragonflies and Damselflies of Quincy Bog: Walk the Quincy Bog trail with local naturalist John Williams and learn the fundamentals of how to observe, catch, identify and release these diverse insects. John will draw on his many years of work with the U.S. Forest Service and as a volunteer with the NH Dragonfly and Damselfly Survey. Seventy different damselflies and dragonflies have been documented in the town of Rumney! (Rain date 7/23)
The club’s first nighttime event did not disappoint! Teá brought a huge bucket of moth bait and painted dozens of trees up and down a sandy trail. We also had two light setups in the nearby woods, one with a mercury vapor lamp and the other with 2 UV blacklights.
Unfortunately, it was super windy that night. That not only made securing the sheets a challenge, it made staying on the sheet a challenge for the moths that showed up. It also made a lot of my photos blurry, but I did manage to get a few good shots:
We’ve counted 18 species at the lights so far, not bad for April!
Of course, the night wasn’t all about moths…
We closed up shop around 1am. Teá made us remove the mega-huge wolf spider before she took down the sheet, so there was no chance it would end up in her car :-).
Spring Meeting of the New England Entomological Society
The New England Entomological Society will be holding its annual spring meeting this March 11, from 10am to 1pm at the Greater Worcester Land Trust offices in Worcester, MA. From 12-1 we will have a special presentation “Sphingidae of Massachusetts” by NEES president Teá Kesting-Handly. Learn about this unique group of moths from a local perspective, from a Massachusetts researcher who has been studying Sphinx moths from across the country. Teá’s presentation will cover the taxonomy and ecology of sphinx moths, highlighting their characteristics and behaviors. She will also explain how to id Sphingids to species and provide tips on how you can track down these amazing moths (and their caterpillars) in the wild.
Know anyone else who might be interested in attending? Feel free to share this blog post in newsletters or on social media. Both the entomological society meeting and the presentation are open to the public! You can also download our NEES Spring 2017 Meeting Flyer – if you’re a biology student or work with folks who might have an interest in joining us, we would be grateful if you would print it out and post it.