Sightings – Insects and Spiders

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/18/12

Observation Time: 2:15 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road (front yard)

Common Name: American Copper Butterfly

Scientific Name: Lycaena phlaeas

Comments: This small but colorful butterfly can be seen all summer and into the fall.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths

American Copper Butterfly

American Copper Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/12

Observation Time: 6:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Furnace St. under high tension wires

Common Name: American Copper Butterfly

Scientific Name: Lycaena phlaeas

Comments: This individual was chasing another to mate.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths

American Copper Butterfly

American Copper Butterfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/21/14

Observation Time: 1:20 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: American Copper Butterfly

Scientific Name: Lycaena phlaeas

Comments: Like many small butterflies, the American copper
is a stunning sight when viewed up close.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths

American Copper Butterfly

American Copper Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/5/12

Observation Time: 3:55 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: American Lady Butterfly

Scientific Name: Vanessa virginiensis

Comments: This American Lady butterfly was feeding on Nippon daisies blooming in our garden. There was also a Painted Lady butterfly, which looks very similar, but has four small spots on the undersides of its trailing wings instead of the American Lady’s two large ones.

More Information: BugGuide

American Lady Butterfly

American Lady Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/12

Observation Time: 6:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near Well #5

Common Name: American Lady Butterfly

Scientific Name: Vanessa virginiensis

Comments: American lady butterflies (V. virginiensis) have two large eyespots on the underside of the hind wing, whereas similar-looking painted lady butterflies (V. cardui) have four small eyespots.  This individual was feeding on a flowering shrub.

More Information: See Butterflies and Moths of North America.

American Painted Lady Butterfly

American Painted Lady Butterfly

American Painted Lady Butterfly

American Painted Lady Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/19

Observation Time: 1:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (formerly the Kendall Estate)

Common Name: American Lady butterfly

Scientific Name: Vanessa virginiensis

Comments: American Lady butterflies look a lot like Painted Lady butterflies. The American Lady has two large spots on the undersides of its trailing wings. The Painted Lady has four smaller spots instead. This Amerian Lady was visiting a mud puddle, but it flew off before I could get a better photo.

More Information: BugGuide

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 5:20 p.m.

Observation Location: under the high tension wires across the street from Ward’s Berry Farm

Common Name: American Lady butterfly

Scientific Name: Vanessa virginiensis

Comments: American Lady butterflies look a lot like Painted Lady butterflies. The American Lady has two large spots on the undersides of its trailing wings. The Painted Lady has four smaller spots instead. This Amerian Lady was visiting a mud puddle, but it flew off before I could get a better photo.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/24/11

Observation Time: 2:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: American Lady Butterfly

Scientific Name: Vanessa virginiensis

Comments: American Lady butterflies have two distinctive eyespots on the brown underside of the lower wings. The upper sides of the wings are orange and black.

More Information: See: http://bugguide.net/node/view/236368

American Painted Lady Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/11/15

Observation Time: 2:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: American Lady butterfly

Scientific Name: Vanessa virginiensis

Comments: American Lady butterflies look a lot like Painted Lady butterflies. The American Lady has two large spots on the undersides of its trailing wings. The Painted Lady has four smaller spots instead. This Amerian Lady was feeding on a spotted knapweed blossom.

More Information: BugGuide

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/19/13

Observation Time: 4:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Appalachian Brown Butterfly

Scientific Name: Satyrodes appalachia

Comments: Easily confused with Eyed Brown Butterfly (Satyrodes eurydice). See: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Satyrodes-eurydice&sp2=Satyrodes-appalachia

More Information: Mass Audubon

Appalachian Brown Butterfly

Appalachian Brown Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/21/10

Observation Time: 10:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis courts

Common Name: Aurora Damsel

Scientific Name: Chromagrion conditum

Comments: When perched, the aurora damsel keeps its wings spread, unlike other damselflies that fold their wings above their abdomens.

More Information: Visiting Nature

Aurora Damsel

Aurora Damsel

 

Observer: Richard Mandell

Observation Date: November, 2018

Observation Time:  N/A

Observation Location: 280 Mountain Street

Common Name: Bald-faced Hornet

Scientific Name: Dolichovespula maculata

Comments: The bald-faced hornet is related to yellowjacket wasps, and is not a true hornet. Its colloquial names include bald hornet, white-faced hornet, white-tailed hornet, spruce wasp, blackjacket, and bull wasp.

Bald-faced hornets are social insects and are most active during the day. They live in colonies of up to 700 members. Bald-faced hornets build paper carton nests in the area of the queen’s choosing, typically three or more feet off the ground, and usually in trees, shrubs, on overhangs, utility poles, houses, sheds or other structures. These nests can be as large as 14 inches in diameter and more than 24 inches in length.

Bald-faced hornets usually appear in late summer. Males emerge from unfertilized eggs and impregnate the new females for the next season at the end of the summer. The inseminated insects are the only ones that overwinter, while the remaining members of the nest die off, and the process repeats the next spring and summer. Unlike other stinging insects, bald-faced hornets do not reuse their nests season after season. The new colony members rebuild them each year from new materials.

Bald-faced hornets are aggressive and will attack anyone who invades their space, unlike other stinging insects that only rarely sting when they feel threatened. Removal of a bald-faced hornet nest is dangerous, and should be left to a professional. These hornets have smooth stingers, so they can sting repeatedly, whereas other stinging insects, like honeybees, are only able to attack once before their stinger falls off.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/25/15

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Town-owned land at Morse and Lakeview Streets

Common Name: Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly

Scientific Name: Euphydryas phaeton

Comments: This field experienced a population explosion of Baltimore Checkerspot butterflies. All phases could be found at the same time: eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and adults.

More Information: Massachusetts Butterfly Club

Eggs:

Caterpillar:

Caterpillar weaving cocoon:

Chrysalis:

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/18

Observation Time: 2:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly

Scientific Name: Euphydryas phaeton

Comments: I saw just one Baltimore checkerspot among other butterfly species feeding on dogbane blossoms.

More Information: Massachusetts Butterfly Club

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/4/13

Observation Time: 8:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Band-winged Meadowhawk dragonfly

Scientific Name: Sympetrum semicinctum

More Information: Wikipedia

Band-winged Meadowhawk Dragonfly

Band-winged Meadowhawk Dragonfly

Band-winged Meadowhawk Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/26/15

Observation Time: 4:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Town-owned land at Morse and Lakeview Streets

Common Name: Banded Hairstreak butterfly

Scientific Name: Satyrium calanus

Comments: This small butterfly was feeding on milkweed blossoms. Banded hairstreaks are very similar to striped hairstreaks. The blue marginal spot on the hind wing is capped with orange in the striped hairstreak but not in the banded hairstreak.

More Information: Massachusetts Butterfly Club

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/6/11

Observation Time: 8:10 a.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road (back yard)

Common Name: Banded Net-Winged Beetle

Scientific Name: Calopteron discrepans

Comments: This colorful beetle is found throughout the eastern U.S. Its bright color and contrast warn predators that they taste bad if eaten.

More Information: University of Florida

Banded Net-Winged Beetle

 

Observer: Regen Jamieson

Observation Date: 8/11/09

Observation Location: Moose Hill in the meadow at the end of the “unnatural trail”.

Common Name: Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Scientific Name: Argiope aurantia

Comments: Males range from 5 to 9 mm; females from 19 to 28 mm. Like other members of Argiope they are considered harmless to humans.The female of the species grows much larger than the male. Females have large rounded bodies that may grow to 40 mm (1 1/2 inches), excluding the legs. If the length of the legs is added, the female can reach 75 mm (3″) in diameter. Males are thin-bodied and only 20 mm (¾”) long. Garden Spiders often build webs in areas adjacent to open sunny fields where they stay concealed and protected from the wind. The spider can also be found along the eaves of houses and outbuildings or in any tall vegetation where they can securely stretch a web. The circular part of the female’s web may reach two feet in diameter. Webs are built at elevations from two to eight feet off the ground. Female Argiope aurantia spiders tend to be somewhat local, often staying in one place throughout much of their lifetime. After mating, the male dies, and is sometimes then eaten by the female. She lays her eggs at night on a sheet of silky material, then covers them with another layer of silk, then a protective brownish silk. She then uses her legs to form the sheet into a ball with an upturned neck. Egg sacs range from 5/8″ to 1″ in diameter. She often suspends the egg sac right on her web, near the center where she spends most of her time. Each spider produces from one to four sacs with perhaps over a thousand eggs inside each. She guards the eggs against predation as long as she is able. However, as the weather cools, she becomes more frail, and dies around the time of the first hard frost. (from Wikipedia)

More Information: Animal Diversity Web

Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Black and Yellow Garden Spider

 

Observer: April Forsman

Observation Date: 9/24/10

Observation Time: 10:15 a.m.

Observation Location: DPW

Common Name: Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Scientific Name: Argiope aurantia

Comments: Males range from 5 to 9 mm; females from 19 to 28 mm. Like other members of Argiope they are considered harmless to humans.The female of the species grows much larger than the male. Females have large rounded bodies that may grow to 40 mm (1 1/2 inches), excluding the legs. If the length of the legs is added, the female can reach 75 mm (3″) in diameter. Males are thin-bodied and only 20 mm (¾”) long. Garden Spiders often build webs in areas adjacent to open sunny fields where they stay concealed and protected from the wind. The spider can also be found along the eaves of houses and outbuildings or in any tall vegetation where they can securely stretch a web. The circular part of the female’s web may reach two feet in diameter. Webs are built at elevations from two to eight feet off the ground. Female Argiope aurantia spiders tend to be somewhat local, often staying in one place throughout much of their lifetime. After mating, the male dies, and is sometimes then eaten by the female. She lays her eggs at night on a sheet of silky material, then covers them with another layer of silk, then a protective brownish silk. She then uses her legs to form the sheet into a ball with an upturned neck. Egg sacs range from 5/8″ to 1″ in diameter. She often suspends the egg sac right on her web, near the center where she spends most of her time. Each spider produces from one to four sacs with perhaps over a thousand eggs inside each. She guards the eggs against predation as long as she is able. However, as the weather cools, she becomes more frail, and dies around the time of the first hard frost. (from Wikipedia)

More Information: Animal Diversity Web

Black and Yellow Garden Spider

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/19

Observation Time: 12:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (The Trustees of Reservations)

Common Name: Black Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio polyxenes

Comments: The big meadow at Moose Hill Farm was alive with pairs of black swallowtails chasing each other on this glorious spring day. Black swallowtail butterflies look a lot like spicebush swallowtail butterflies. You can learn how to tell the difference between a black swallowtail and a spicebush swallowtail at: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Papilio-polyxenes&sp2=Papilio-troilus

There is also a good discussion of how to tell the differences among four black butterfly species at: http://louisiananaturalist.blogspot.com/2009/06/four-dark-swallowtails.html

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/19

Observation Time: 2:15 p.m.

Observation Location: rocky bluff under power lines along S. Walpole St.

Common Name: Black Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio polyxenes

Comments: Black swallowtail butterflies look a lot like spicebush swallowtail butterflies. You can learn how to tell the difference between a black swallowtail and a spicebush swallowtail at: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Papilio-polyxenes&sp2=Papilio-troilus

There is also a good discussion of how to tell the differences among four black butterfly species at: http://louisiananaturalist.blogspot.com/2009/06/four-dark-swallowtails.html

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/2/15

Observation Time: 2:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (The Trustees of Reservations)

Common Name: Black Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio polyxenes

Comments: This is one of my favorite photos for three reasons. First, it’s a good photo that shows clearly what this beautiful butterfly looks like. Second, black swallowtails are much less common in Sharon than similar spicebush swallowtails. And third, I had to try long and hard to find and photograph this specimen. You can learn how to tell the difference between a black swallowtail and a spicebush swallowtail at: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Papilio-polyxenes&sp2=Papilio-troilus

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/18

Observation Time: 12:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (The Trustees of Reservations)

Common Name: Black Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio polyxenes

Comments: Black swallowtail butterflies look a lot like spicebush swallowtail butterflies. You can learn how to tell the difference between a black swallowtail and a spicebush swallowtail at: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Papilio-polyxenes&sp2=Papilio-troilus

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/3/14

Observation Time: 2:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blister Beetle

Scientific Name: Tricrania sanguinipennis

Comments: Blister beetles receive their common name from the ability of their hemolymph to produce blistering on contact with human skin. Hemolymph is often exuded copiously by reflexive bleeding when an adult beetle is pressed or rubbed. Blisters commonly occur on the neck and arms, as the result of exposure to adult beetles attracted to outdoor lights at night.

The blistering agent is cantharidin, an odorless terpene (exo-1,2-cis-dimethyl-3,6-ep- oxyhexahydro-phthalic anhydride) occurring elsewhere only in beetles of the family Oedemeridae (Arnett 2008). Cantharidin or cantharides (dried, pulverized bodies of adult beetles) was once employed extensively in human and veterinary medicine, primarily as a vesicant and irritant and is still used in the U.S. as the active ingredient in a proprietary wart remover (Epstein and Epstein 1960, Kartal Durmazlar et al, 2009). Taken internally or absorbed through the skin, cantharidin is highly toxic to mammals. There is an extensive literature dealing with its reputed aphrodisiacal properties and numerous reports of human poisonings, both accidental and deliberate. Source: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/medical/blister_beetles.htm

More Information: PBase

Blister Beetle

Blister Beetle

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/19/10

Observation Time: 5:20 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Blue Dasher dragonfly

Scientific Name: Pachidiplax longipennis

Comments: Female is brown with red eyes and yellow markings. Male is blue with green eyes.

More Information: Wikipedia

Female:

Blue Dasher Dragonfly

Male:

Blue Dasher Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/15/13

Observation Time: 4:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Blue Dasher dragonfly (female)

Scientific Name: Pachidiplax longipennis

Comments: The male has a blue abdomen, hence the name.

More Information: Wikipedia

Blue Dasher Dragonfly (female)

Blue Dasher Dragonfly (female)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/8/13

Observation Time: 5:10 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Blue Dasher dragonfly (male)

Scientific Name: Pachidiplax longipennis

More Information: http://www.cirrusimage.com/dragonfly_blue_dasher.htm

Blue Dasher Dragonfly (male)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/12/12

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Brown Elfin Butterfly

Scientific Name: Callophrys augustinus

Comments: This brown elfin was found in the same meadow of wild indigo as a rare frosted elfin butterfly.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths

Brown Elfin Butterfly

 

Observer: Faith Berkland

Observation Date: 6/20/14

Observation Time: 10:30 a.m.

Observation Location: On one of the reflectors I have around my driveway.

Common Name: Brown Mantidfly

Scientific Name: Clineriella Brunnea

Comments: I first thought it was a praying mantis but none of the pictures showed one that small, or with the wasp-like abdomen. I decided to see if it was a type of wasp and voila! See this photo.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Faith Berkland

Observation Date: 9/22/15

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Mansfield Street

Common Name: Brown-hooded Owlet Moth caterpillar

Scientific Name: Cucullia convexipennis

Comments: The moth flies from May to September depending on the location. The caterpillars feed on Aster, Solidago and Callistephus chinensis.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/9/11

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Field near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Buckeye Butterfly

Scientific Name: Junonia coenia

Comments: This bedraggled specimen is showing a lot of wear and tear on its wings.

More Information: Wikipedia

Buckeye Butterfly

Buckeye Butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 3/17/11

Observation Time: 3:10 p.m.

Observation Location: vernal pool near Bay Road

Common Name: Caddisfly Larva

Scientific Name: Order Trichoptera

Comments: Caddisfly larva are aquatic. They build a protective case of silk around themselves, incorporating debris for camouflage and protection. Their presence is indicative of good water quality. Adult caddis flies emerge en masse for just a few weeks. After emergence, they do not eat, but they mate and the females lay eggs. Caddisflies are a preferred food of trout.

More Information: Watersheds.org

Caddis Fly Larva

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/30/10

Observation Time: 8:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road (bridge near soccer fields)

Common Name: Canada Darner dragonfly

Scientific Name: Aeshna canadensis

Comments: Canada darner dragonflies are very common in Massachusetts in late summer near sluggish marsh-bordered streams. They typically hang vertically at rest.

More Information: US Army Corps of Engineers: North Hartland Lake

Canada Darner Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/12/09

Observation Time: 11:15 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Carolina Locust

Scientific Name: Dissosteira carolina

Comments: Diagnostic pronotum ridge is clearly visible in the photo.

More Information: e-Nature.com

Carolina Locust

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/26/10

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook headwaters area

Common Name: Carpenter Ant “Frass”

Scientific Name: genus Camponotus

Comments: Unlike termites, carpenter ants don’t eat wood. They cannot digest cellulose, but they chew galleries in wood for their nests. They excavate wood, leaving telltale piles of sawdust called “frass.”

Carpenter Ant "Frass"

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/6/15

Observation Time: 12:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: American Carrion Beetle

Scientific Name: Necrophilia americana

Comments: From spring through fall, during daylight, a few hours after flies begin arriving at a carcass, the adult beetles will arrive as well. They immediately begin eating the already hatching fly larvae, mating, and laying their own eggs. As long as the carcass lasts, the adults will remain eating competitors to give their own larvae a chance to eat and grow. Upon hatching from the eggs, the larvae will eat both the carcass and other larvae that are within it. Eventually the larvae will fall to the ground, dig into the dirt, and pupate. Overwintering is done by adults.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/19

Observation Time: 3:10 p.m.

Observation Location: beneath the high tension wires that parallel So. Walpole Street

Common Name: Chalk-fronted Corporal dragonfly (juvenile)

Scientific Name: Ladona julia

Comments: Juveniles of both sexes are light reddish brown, with white shoulder stripes and a black stripe down the middle of the abdomen. This one seemed a bit wobbly, as if it had just emerged.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 8/13/2016, 3pm

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Dogday Cicada

Scientific Name: Neotibicen canicularis

For more information, go to bugguide.net (https://bugguide.net/node/view/228395)

Cicada

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/6/12

Observation Time: 1:25 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Cicada Killer Wasp

Scientific Name: Sphecius speciosus

Comments: These large, fearsome-looking wasps burrow in the ground. They are actually not aggressive. I found a sandy area near the Gavins Pond Dam that was peppered with their holes. It took a while to figure out that these holes were made by the wasps.

More Information: University of Kentucky

Cicada Killer Wasp

Cicada killer wasp emerging from its burrow:

Cicada Killer Wasp

Cicada killer wasp burrows:

Cicada Killer Wasp

Cicada killer wasp burrow:

Cicada Killer Wasp

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/30/11

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road by soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Clouded Sulphur butterfly

Scientific Name: Colias philodice

Comments: This butterfly was hard to photograph because it would not hold still! Note the big green eyes and the spots on the wing.

More Information: Wisconsin Butterflies

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/2/11

Observation Time: 2:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Soccer field parking lot off Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Clover Looper Moth

Scientific Name: Caenurgina crassiuscula

Comments: This moth stopped to rest on the soccer field parking lot, allowing me to get close enough for this shot. I got the ID from bugguide.net.

More Information: A Prairie Haven

Clover Looper Moth

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/22/11

Observation Time: 3:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Cobbler moth

Scientific Name: Condica sutor

Comments: There are over 10,000 species of moths in North America. Identifying them can be a challenge, but there are some good online resources such as the Bug Guide.

More Information: Bug Guide

Cobbler Moth

Observer: Gaurav Shah

Observation Date: 9/3/2019

Observation Time:  N/A

Observation Location: Borderland State Park, Northwest Trail

Common Name: Cockroach Wasp

Scientific Name: Dolichurus cf. bicolor

Comments: There are no existing records of this genus in the country in iNaturalist, and only one in BugGuide (which was in Arkansas).  This species has one of the most remarkable adaptations in all of nature: they are able to remove the cockroach’s ability to choose to flee, without removing the cockroach’s ability to move, effectively turning it into a zombie that they can lead around.

More information: https://bugguide.net/node/view/22211

Observer: Gaurav Shah

Observation Date: 9/3/2019

Observation Time:  N/A

Observation Location: Borderland State Park, Northwest Trail

Common Name: Cockroach Wasp

Scientific Name: Podium luctuosum

Comments: This is the first record of this genus in Massachusetts according to BugGuide, and only the second in New England (there are other existing records from iNaturalist).

More information: https://bugguide.net/node/view/202008

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/1/13

Observation Time: 4:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Ward’s Berry Farm

Common Name: Colorado Potato Beetle

Scientific Name: Leptinotarsa decemlineata

Comments: These striking beetles were eating eggplant leaves. Colorado potato beetles have developed resistance to all known classes of pesticides.

More Information: Organic Garden Info

Colorado Potato Beetle

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/15

Observation Time: 2:05 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Common Baskettail dragonfly

Scientific Name: Epitheca cynosura

Comments: This is the most common baskettail within its range, hence the name. The scientific name, cynosura, means dog tail, and possibly refers to the way the cerci at the end of the abdomen curve outward like a dog wagging its tail one way then the other.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/11

Observation Time: 2:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Common Baskettail dragonfly

Scientific Name: Epitheca cynosura

Comments: This is the most common baskettail within its range (eastern North America), hence the name.

More Information: Wikipedia

Common Baskettail Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/13/13

Observation Time: 1:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Common Green Darner dragonfly

Scientific Name: Anax junius

More Information: Idaho Museum of Natural History

Common Green Darner Dragonfly

Common Green Darner Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/25/11

Observation Time: 2:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Common Pondhawk dragonfly

Scientific Name: Erythemis simplicicollis

Comments: Female (males are blue)

More Information: Insects of West Virginia

Common Pondhawk Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/11/10

Observation Time: 8:35 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road (bridge near soccer fields)

Common Name: Common Pondhawk dragonfly (female)

Scientific Name: Erythemis simplicicollis

Comments: Pondhawk dragonflies are voracious hunters, but they are completely harmless to humans. Females are green. Males are blue. Females oviposit in flight, hovering low over the water and repeatedly dipping their abdomens into the water to release the eggs.

More Information: North American Insects and Spiders

Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/9/10

Observation Time: 4:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Common Pondhawk dragonfly (young male)

Scientific Name: Erythemis simplicicollis

Comments: Males are blue. Females are bright green. Voracious hunter near vegetated ponds and slow streams, but they are completely harmless to humans.

More Information: North American Insects and Spiders

Eastern Pondhawk Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 12:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Conservation land near Morse & Lakeview

Common Name: Common Ringlet butterfly

Scientific Name: Coenonympha tullia

Comments:  Ringlets can be found in a variety of grassy habitats, including roadsides, woodland edges and clearings, prairies, bogs, and arctic and alpine taiga and tundra. It is an erratic flyer. It is a holarctic species found in northern Europe and Asia and across North America.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/11

Observation Time: 1:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Common Ringlet butterfly

Scientific Name: Coenonympha tullia

Comments:  Ringlets can be found in a variety of grassy habitats, including roadsides, woodland edges and clearings, prairies, bogs, and arctic and alpine taiga and tundra. It is a poor flyer, but can sometimes be found along ditches seeking new grounds. It is a holarctic species found in northern Europe and Asia and across North America.

More Information: Wikipedia

Common Ringlet Butterfly

Common Ringlet Butterfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/31/14

Observation Time: 4:05 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Common Spring Moth

Scientific Name: Heliomata cycladata

Comments: Although the word “common” appears in its name, I have only seen this small but striking moth twice in Sharon.

More Information: Bug Guide

Common Spring Moth

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/5/11

Observation Time: 7:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Common Spring Moth

Scientific Name: Heliomata cycladata

Comments: There are over 10,000 species of moths in North America. Identifying them can be a challenge, but there are some good online resources such as the BugGuide where you can get expert assistance for free.

More Information: BugGuide

Common Spring Moth

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/10

Observation Time: 5:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Crane Fly

Scientific Name: various

Comments: These insects look scary but they don’t bite.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/1/13

Observation Time: 3:40 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Cross Orbweaver spider

Scientific Name: Araneus diadematus

Comments: Native to Europe, but common in North America. Its name comes from the sign of the cross on its abdomen.

More Information: GeoChemBio

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 10/5/12

Observation Time: 3:45 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Cross Orbweaver spider

Scientific Name: Araneus diadematus

Comments: This common spider made a web right outside our garage door.

More Information: Focusing on Wildlife

Cross Orbweaver Spider

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/14

Observation Time: 7:45 a.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Rd.

Common Name: Curve-toothed geometer moth

Scientific Name: Eutrapela clemataria

Comments: This big moth was perched on my windowsill.

More Information: NatureSearch

Curve-Toothed Geometer Moth

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/23/10

Observation Time: 6:53 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Definite Tussock Moth

Scientific Name: Orgyia definita

Comments: This big moth got into the house.

See: Moths of North America

More Information: Bug Guide

Observer: Vin Zollo

Observation Date: 6/15/13

Observation Time: 4:13 p.m.

Observation Location: Power line cut along Moose Hill St.

Common Name: Delta-spotted Spiketail dragonfly

Scientific Name: Cordulegaster diastatops

Comments: This one is teneral (wings are shiny), meaning that it recently emerged into adult form. This dragonfly gets its name from the delta-shaped (i.e.triangular) marks along its abdomen.

More Information: iNaturalist.org

Delta-Spotted Spiketail Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/12/10

Observation Time: 8:25 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Dogbane Leaf beetle

Scientific Name: Chrysochus auratus

Comments: The dogbane leaf beetle has a special type of color that shines and changes as the insect changes position or we change position looking at it. This changing color is called iridescence. The beetles’ iridescence is produced by special body structures and light. The surfaces of the body parts of this beetle are made up of stacks of tiny, slanting plates, under which is a pigment (substance that produces color). Some light rays reflect from the surface of the plates, and other light rays reflect from the pigment underneath. At different angles, the light reflects at different speeds, causing interference and resulting in our seeing different colors.

More Information: insectidentification.org

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/7/10

Observation Time: 9:05 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Dot-tailed Whiteface dragonfly (male)

Scientific Name: Leucorrhinia intacta

Comments: This dragonfly is also among the dragonfly species commonly seen at Leach Pond in Borderland State Park.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/13/13

Observation Time: 12:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Soccer parking area by Gavins Pond

Common Name: Dronefly

Scientific Name: Eristalis tenax

Comments: This fly looks like a drone honeybee—hence the name.

More Information: TrekNature

Dronefly

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 7/16/11

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Dun Skipper

Scientific Name: Euphyes vestris

More Information: Wisconsin Butterflies

Dun Skipper

Dun Skipper

Dun Skipper

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/11

Observation Time: 3:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: Dusted Skipper Butterfly

Scientific Name: Atrytonopsis hianna

More Information: BugGuide

Dusted Skipper Butterfly

Dusted Skipper Butterfly

Dusted Skipper Butterfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/17/11

Observation Time: 12:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Eastern Amberwing dragonfly (female)

Scientific Name: Perithemis tenera

Comments: The wings of the male are entirely amber, whereas the wings of the female are clear with amber blotches.

More Information: Project Noah

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/15/13

Observation Time: 3:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Eastern Amberwing dragonfly (male)

Scientific Name: Perithemis tenera

Comments: This red-winged dragonfly is smaller than most other dragonflies.

More Information: Odonata Central

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/17/10

Observation Time: 9:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Eastern Amberwing dragonfly (male)

Scientific Name: Perithemis tenera

Comments: The wings of the male are entirely amber, whereas the wings of the female are clear with amber blotches.

More Information: Odonata Central

Eastern Amberwing Dragonfly

Observer: Faith Berkland

Observation Date: 10/8/17

Observation Time: 5:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Transmission line path between Bird Road, Mansfield Street and Willow Street in Foxboro

Common Name: Eastern Buck Moth

Scientific Name: Hemileuca maia

Comments: This large moth (about 1 inch long by 1 1/2 inches wide) was flying toward me. Wide head, white & fuzzy. Above low-lying shrubbery, it quickly disappeared when it saw me. I didn’t see any orange or red markings, just black & white. The photo at this link shows what a buck moth looks like:

https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/sites/default/files/bamona_images/img_1703_3.jpg

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/6/11

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Eastern Forktail Damselfly

Scientific Name: Ischnura verticalis

More Information: Nature Inquiries

Eastern Forktail Damselfly

Observer: Vin Zollo

Observation Date: 5/4/13

Observation Time: 3:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (Trustees of Reservations)

Common Name: Eastern Pine Elfin

Scientific Name: Callophrys niphon

More Information: Butterflies of Massachusetts

Eastern Pine Elfin

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/7/14

Observation Time: 4:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area (along the dirt road from the soccer fields to the dam)

Common Name: Eastern Pine Elfin

Scientific Name: Callophrys niphon

Comments: Males perch on tops of pine trees in the sun to find receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on new needles of young trees; caterpillars feed on the needles. Chrysalids hibernate and adults emerge in the spring.

More Information: Butterflies of Massachusetts

Eastern Pine Elfin

Eastern Pine Elfin

Eastern Pine Elfin

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/27/11

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Eastern Tailed Blue butterfly

Scientific Name: Everes comyntas

Comments: Eastern tailed blues are very small butterflies. They have tails and an eye spot on each wing that vaguely resemble antennae and eyes to fool predators.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/11/14

Observation Time: 6:15 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Eastern Tailed-Blue butterfly

Scientific Name: Cupido comyntas

Comments: Like many small butterflies, the Eastern tailed blue is a stunning sight when viewed up close. The upper sides of the wings are blue. They appear in spring.

More Information: Wikipedia

Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterfly

Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterfly

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