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Celebrating National Moth Week

Celebrating National Moth Week

National Moth Week 2017National 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!
  • The Caterpillar Lab is hosting three caterpillar-themed daytime events:
    • 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 BogWalk 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)

Are you having a NMW event that we forgot to mention here? Drop us a line and we’ll update the page! You can also explore other events near you.

Myles Standish: Blacklighting and Bait Trail

Myles Standish: Blacklighting and Bait Trail

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.

The bait trail really paid off, with 15 different moth species recorded. It also produced some great photos:

Moth slurps up bait
A red-winged sallow (Xystopeplus rufago) slurps up bait.

Pine false looper Zale (Zale duplicata), also slurping up bait
Pine false looper Zale (Zale duplicata), also slurping up bait

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:

green-dusted Zale (Zale aeruginosa)
Green-dusted Zale (Zale aeruginosa) at the sheet

A celery looper (Anagrapha falcifera) on the sheet
A celery looper (Anagrapha falcifera) on the sheet

We’ve counted 18 species at the lights so far, not bad for April!

Of course, the night wasn’t all about moths…

A ginormous wolf spider (Hogna baltimoriana) showed up on the sheet towards the end of the night.
A ginormous wolf spider (Hogna baltimoriana) that showed up on the sheet towards the end of the night.

Shieldbacked Pine Seed Bug (Tetyra bipunctata), a new Mass. Bugguide record
Shieldbacked Pine Seed Bug (Tetyra bipunctata), a new Bugguide record for Mass.

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 :-).