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)
Saturday June 24th– Join caterpillar expert and Director of The Caterpillar Lab, Sam Jaffe at his house for a night of exciting blacklighting and nocturnal insects. We will be setting out a variety of moth lights, sheets, and bait, and looking for all sorts of nocturnal insects and larvae throughout the night. At his property in Marlborough NH, set amongst Southern NH’s woodland and swamp habitats, Jaffe has often recorded nearly 200 species of moth flying in a single night. In addition to the moth lighting, come to learn about the technique of finding caterpillars and other insects by using special ultraviolet flashlights and learn tips for locating specific target caterpillars. If it’s a cold and rainy night and the insects are not flying, we will shift gears inside and learn ID and photography techniques. Sam will start greeting visitors at 6pm and encourages club members to arrive no later than 10pm. Pizza, soda, and other refreshments will be provided with a suggested donation of $5 to offset costs to the club. Visitors can camp out in Sam’s yard for the night, sleep inside on the floor (bring a camping mattress), or if they have special requirements, take one of a few beds/couches available. Please RSVP by following this link (https://goo.gl/forms/OPmqtlhck8mJaUQJ2).Once you have confirmed your attendance, the address will be emailed to you.
Sunday June 25th – Sam Jaffe will be having an open house at his wonderful non-profit organization “The Caterpillar Lab” (166 Emerald St., Keene, NH). The official open house will run from 11-3pm and daytime insect exploration trips will be made in the area before, during, and after this time. Mount Monadnock is minutes away, as are many other interesting habitats to explore! At The Caterpillar Lab you will be able to meet, explore, and even photograph as many as 100 species of native caterpillars. Entomological Society members who wish to lead insect trips in southern NH should be in contact to arrange specific outing itineraries. Sam Jaffe is excited to be hosting us for this special weekend! Don’t miss out!
Saturday June 17th– From 9pm until late at night, join Athol Bird and Nature Club president Dave Small and naturalist Lula Field at Dave and Shelley’s house (1542 Pleasant St., Athol, MA) for the 6th Annual Moth Ball! Search for Lunas, underwings, silkmoths and other flying insects for this spectacular event. Participants are invited to bring their tents, snacks to share, and favorite moth baits (don’t know what those are? You’ll find out!). Info: Dave Small: 978-413-1772 or email@example.com.
Attached are some photos of neat finds from the 2016 Moth Ball. We hope to see you all there!
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 :-).
The Myles Standish State Forest walk was a huge success! We had a small but enthusiastic group of attendees that hiked in the heat and took some amazing photos. The weather was beautiful and wonderfully cooperative. We walked a good amount on the gasline trail and found some awesome insects and arachnids. The Bearberry was in full bloom and pollinators were all over it. We had a handful of species of butterfly (Brown and Hoary Elfins, American Painted Lady, Azures) and a day flying moth (Celery Looper). There were lots of neat beetles out as well, Blister Beetles and Tiger Beetles were walking and flying all along the trail. Lots of bees, flies, and other pollinators were also present in large quantity. The group found a lot of Promethea Moth cocoons on cherry saplings along the trail and opening them up showed the adult moth pupae very well. Lots of the state protected Buck Moth eggs were also found.
Some of the highlights included finding the Massachusetts state flower (Mayflower) in bloom, lots of violets, and of course, all the insects!
A full list of species for both the daytime and nighttime event can be found here.
If you have photos from this trip, feel free to email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post to our facebook group (New England Entomological Society).
The New England Entomological Society is happy to announce that we will be having a booth at this year’s spring MA Reptile Expo! This is a great opportunity to allow the society to reach out to more people and show off some fun live insects (and other arthropods). The MA Reptile Expo is a wonderful event full of vendors and educators. It is not exclusively reptiles either, there’s lots of amphibians and invertebrates as well. The expo is on Sunday May 7th, 2017 from 10am to 4pm. If you’re interested in coming to the expo, admission is $8.
The Society is looking for a couple of volunteers to help us run the booth! If you are interested, please email us at email@example.com. The expo’s website can be found here.