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Moth Ball 2019

Moth Ball 2019

Saturday, June 22, 9 p.m. – late night
Annual Moth Ball

Join Athol Bird and Nature Club president Dave Small and naturalist Lula Field at Dave and Shelley’s house, 1542 Pleasant St., Athol, Massachusetts to search for Lunas, underwings, silk moths and other night flying insects. Participants are invited to bring their tents, snacks to share and favorite moth baits. (Don’t know what those are? You’ll find out!)

For more information email

2019 Winter meeting notes

2019 Winter meeting notes


  1. This Organization is looking for a Secretary.
  2. This year NEES is planning to have one trip and one fall meeting in 2019.
  3. Membership dues will be free for 2019.
  4. A call went out for speakers for the fall meeting.
  5. Sam Jaffe’s caterpillar lab has a position open for a manager of educational programs; The lab is working on a variety of different projects in a new location in Marlborough NH.
  6. Mark Mello announced that a Concord (Massachusetts) BioBlitz is happening on the fourth of July 2019.
  7. Claire O’Neill offered an inspiring presentation about her organization Earthwise Aware, whose mission is “Empowering individuals and organizations to make earthwise choices in their Nature & Wildlife endeavors.” She emphasized the need for science and conservation organizations to reach teenagers and others (not just children and interested adults).
  8. Marie Studer of Encyclopedia of Life spoke about the City Nature Challenge and the need for qualified naturalists to help identify the observations gathered. There was a vigorous discussion about using the iNaturalist app and how to obtain the best images of animals for identification.
  9. Jef Taylor of Zoo New England announced that Franklin Park Zoo will be hosting an exhibit of giant animatronic arthropods for the summer, and is actively looking for entomologist/educators to coordinate with the zoo’s Education department on programming. There is also the possibility that the zoo could host a summer meeting of NEES.
  10. Dave Small of the Athol Bird and Nature Club is hosting his annual Moth Ball event the night of June 22. The club will also be hosting a dragonfly event in early June.
  11. Charley Eisemann spoke about his work on leaf miners, being released serially as pdfs. He anticipates to complete in June, to coincide with a seminar he is running at Eagle Hill Institute.
  12. David Gregg of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey announced the 20th annual RI Bioblitz will occur 5/31/19-6/1/19, some overnight camping spots are available.
  13. After the break it was announced that Jef Taylor had volunteered to join the NEES Board as Secretary.
  14. Featured Speaker Lisa Tewksbury of the University of Rhode Island’s Biological Control Lab spoke about efforts to provide a biological control agent for the invasive Lily Leaf Beetle. Many parasitoid wasp candidates were evaluated and tested, to see how effective they were against the target insect, and to see if they might affect related non-target insects. Releases began in 1996 in Boston and have continued in Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut and Canada.
  15. NEES president Teá Kesting-Handly walked us through her massive project to create a comprehensive website about Sphinx moths found in the United States:  The site include photos and descriptions of all the Sphingid moths in the US, as well as indices of their host plants, and parasitoids and predators. 
Spring/Summer NEES Activities

Spring/Summer NEES Activities

Here is a current list of events that NEES is either hosting or has members attending this spring and summer:

  • April 27-30: Boston, MA and Bangor and Portland, ME City Nature Challenge 2018
  • May 19: Carver, MA Myles Standish State Forest (Postponed due to weather, contact Teá Kesting-Handly for details)
  • June 16: Middlebury, VT Otter Creek Audubon Society Moth Night Presentation by NEES members Joanne Russo and Jennifer Murdoch, at the Ilsley Public Library, followed by blacklighting.
  • June (16-17): Marlborough, NH Visit NEES member Sam Jaffe at the day/night open house at The Caterpillar Lab
  • June 23: Athol, MA Dave Small’s Moth Ball (Mothing from 8pm til the sun comes up!)
  • July 7: Andover, MA Moth Night featuring a presentation by NEES Treasurer Deb Lievens (Contact Deb for details)
  • National Moth Week events!
    • Thornton, NH (Contact Deb Lievens for details)
    • 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.

Middlebury, VT Moth Week Event

Middlebury, VT Moth Week Event

In Middlebury, VT we held our second annual moth night as part of National Moth Week on Saturday 7/29. The event is sponsored by the Otter Creek Audubon Society (Birding by day, mothing by night?) 32 people gathered in the meeting room of our local library to hear two speakers: JoAnne Russo of south eastern VT, a veteran moth-er (10 years) who has a special interest in VT Moths and is helping to compile a state list that will soon be published and Jennifer Murdoch of Middlebury who has only been on the dark side for 2 full seasons.
JoAnne shared a broad spectrum of knowledge of the characteristics of moths, the families, and online resources etc….  Jennifer focused on how her interest this year has expanded to include rearing caterpillars and shared photos of moths she had seen in the last 30 days as a sort of preview of what might be seen on the sheet later. Caterpillars and pupae were passed around…the Cecropia taking the spotlight.
Participants were invited to two viewing stations set up a couple hundred yards apart. The night was initially breezy and then cool, fewer than 30 species showed up on the sheets. Spirits were not dampened in the least and there was much excitement over every new arrival and talk of cameras and lighting equipment. The younger crowd enjoyed looking for caterpillars with the blacklight flashlight and we found out that snails glow neon blue! I think we have some new enthusiasts!
Night Insect Viewing Event in Ware, MA!

Night Insect Viewing Event in Ware, MA!

Have you ever wanted to see what insect diversity can be found in an area that is undergoing lots of habitat restoration? If so, come join the New England Entomological Society in Ware, MA this Saturday, July 29, 2017! We will be setting up lots of lights on a gorgeous property with lots of different habitats (wet meadows, inland restoring pine barrens, deciduous forest). The property is owned by our members Brian and Martha Klassanos. Brian and Martha have been the recipients of several MA Fish and Wildlife Grants and are working on restoring parts of the largest inland Pine Barrens in Massachusetts. They have recorded many cool species at their home, and we hope to find many more at this event! Please RSVP to this event by clicking here (


Left: Zeuzera pyrina (Wood Leopard Moth)

Right: Cerura scitiscripta (Black Etched Prominent)

Dicromantispa sayi – mantisfly – mantidfly
Pandora Sphinx – Hodges#7859 (Eumorpha pandorus) – Sphingidae – moth

Left: Male Dobsonfly

Middle: Antherea polyphemus (Polyphemus moth)

Right: Stoneflies

Pachysphinx modesta – Modest Sphinx – Hodges#7828 – Sphingidae – moth

Left: Sphinx kalmiae (Fawn Sphinx)

Right: Notodonta scitipennis (Northern Willow Prominent)