Sightings – Insects and Spiders

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 6/14/20

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (female)

Scientific Name: Libellula incesta

Comments: Watch this video of the slaty skimmer dragonfly as it oviposits at Gavins Pond.

More Photos: Odonata.bogfoot.net

Observer: Vin Zollo

Observation Date: 6/15/13

Observation Time: 11:02 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Slender Spreadwing damselfly

Scientific Name: Lestes rectangularis

Comments: Billings Farm Loop Boardwalk

More Information: BugGuide

Slender Spreadwing Damselfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/25/11

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond near soccer fields

Common Name: Small Cabbage White butterfly

Scientific Name: Pieris rapae

Comments: The top photo shows a copulating pair. The male has a single black wing spot. The female has two black wing spots, and slightly yellower wings.

More Information: Wikipedia

Small Cabbage White Butterfly

Small Cabbage White Butterfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/7/13

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Smeared Dagger Moth caterpillar

Scientific Name: Acronicta oblinita

Comments: For pictures of the adult moth, see: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Acronicta+oblinita&guide=Moth&cl=US/GA/Clarke

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Smeared Dagger Moth Caterpillar

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/19

Observation Time: 1:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Conservation land near Morse & Lakeview

Common Name: Snipe Fly

Scientific Name: Rhagio mystaceus

Comments: Also known as a down-looker fly. Two of the photos show why.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Kathy  Farrell

Observation Date: January 11, 2017

Observation Time: N/A

Observation Location: my back yard

Common Name: Snow Flea

Scientific Name: Hypogastrura harveyi or Hypogastrura nivicol

Comments: At close examination, perhaps in melting snow around the base of a tree, tiny black flecks might be found sprinkled in the snow. They probably look like bits of dirt at first glance, but they are actually tiny soil animals known as snow fleas. Officially, they are called springtails and are not actually fleas.

On any given summer day, hundreds of thousands of springtails can populate one cubic meter of top soil; at 1-2 mm, they largely go unnoticed by people. In the winter, however, two species of dark blue springtails— Hypogastrura harveyi and Hypogastrura nivicol—can be easily spotted against the white backdrop of snow. These hexapods may have acquired the nickname of snow fleas due to their ability to jump great distances, a feat fleas boast as well. Whereas fleas use enlarged hind legs, springtails have a tail-like appendage called a furcula that unfolds to launch the hexapods great distances.
But unlike fleas, springtails are not parasites; they feed on decaying organic matter in the soil (such as leaf litter) and, therefore, play an important part in natural decomposition. Snow fleas in particular are able to withstand the bitter temperatures of winter thanks to a “glycine-rich antifreeze protein,” as reported in a study published in Biophysical Journal.

More Information: http://www.esa.org/esablog/research/snow-fleas-helpful-winter-critters-2/

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/29/15

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Snowberry Clearwing Moth

Scientific Name: Hemaris diffinis

Comments: Feeding on butterfly bush.

More information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Snowberry clearwing moth-3

Snowberry clearwing moth-2


 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/9/13

Observation Time: 4:35 p.m.

Observation Location: soccer parking area near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Snowberry Clearwing Moth

Scientific Name: Hemaris diffinis

Comments: This diurnal moth is about the size of a bumblebee.

More information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Snowberry Clearwing Moth

Snowberry Clearwing Moth

Snowberry Clearwing Moth

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/19/12

Observation Time: 5:40 p.m.

Observation Location: dirt road leading to Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Spangled skimmer dragonfly (female)

Scientific Name: Libellula cyanea

Comments: This photo is a female. Male spangled skimmers are slate blue. Hence the species name “cyanea” which refers to its cyan (blue) coloration.

Identifying dragonflies and damselflies is fun. Get a copy of A Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Massachusetts by Blair Nikula, Jennifer L. Loose, and Matthew R. Burne.

More Information: Dragonflies and Damselflies of NJ

Spangled Skimmer Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/17/13

Observation Time: 4:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Spangled Skimmer dragonfly (male)

Scientific Name: Libellula cyanea

Comments: Males of this species are blue, while females are brown. Both have striking white and black stigmas on their wings. No other dragonfly in the Northeast has white stigmas on its wings. Males are territorial.

More Information: Dragonflies and Damselflies of NJ

Spangled Skimmer Dragonfly (Male)

Observer: Sherry Berlingo

Observation Dates:

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar – Found on playground in Sharon 09/20/16
Spicebush Swallowtail Chrysalis – Formed chrysalis on 09/22/16
Overwintered in outdoor shed
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly – Emerged on 06/01/17, released on 06/02/17

Observation Location: The Childrens Center, Sharon Public School

Common Name: Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio troilus

Comments: This large black butterfly is more common in Sharon than the similar black swallowtail. Learn how to tell them apart at: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Papilio-polyxenes&sp2=Papilio-troilus

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/3/15

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Town-owned land at Morse and Lakeview Sts.

Common Name: Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio troilus

Comments: This spicebush swallowtail butterfly was observed feeding on milkweed flowers. Note that spicebush swallowtail butterflies are quite similar to black swallowtail butterflies. Spicebush swallowtails have a marking that looks like a comet among the row of large orange spots on each of its rear wings (see photos). The black swallowtail just has another orange spot where the spicebush has the comet marking.

More Information: Massachusetts Butterfly Club

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/6/14

Observation Time: 1:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area near soccer parking area

Common Name: Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio troilus

Comments: This spicebush swallowtail butterfly was observed feeding on milkweed flowers. Note that spicebush swallowtail butterflies are very similar to black swallowtail butterflies. Learn how to tell the difference at: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Papilio-polyxenes&sp2=Papilio-troilus

Black Swallowtail butterfly

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/4/17

Observation Time: 1:45 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Rd. (back yard)

Common Name: Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio troilus

Comments: The butterfly bush I planted in our back yard attracts beautiful butterflies like this one. Note the blue “comet” marking on its hind wing, which differentiates spicebush swallowtails from black swallowtails.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/4/13

Observation Time: 8:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Spined Soldier Bug (nymph)

Scientific Name: Podisus maculiventris

Comments: Spined soldier bugs are small predatory stink bugs. They molt several times before reaching maturity. Each phase is referred to as an instar. This one was in the third “instar”.

More Information: University of Florida

Spined Soldier Bug (Nymph)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/20

Observation Time: 1:50 p.m.

Observation Location: beside soccer parking area on Gavins Pond Rd

Common Name: Spittlebug

Scientific Name: Philaenus spumarius

Comments: Spittlebugs are known for the frothy spittle mass they produce while feeding on plants.

More Information: University of Minnesota Extension

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/29/12

Observation Time: 1:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Field near Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Spring Azure butterfly

Scientific Name: Genus Celastrina

Comments: This is either Celastrina ladon or Celastrina lucia. Spring azures are small butterflies that emerge in early spring. The wings are blue on top and pale white with black spots on the bottom. This specimen is worn, faded and probably nearing the end.

More Information: New Jersey Butterflies

Spring Azure Butterfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/11/19

Observation Time: 11:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Spring Azure butterfly

Scientific Name: Celastrina spp.

Comments: Spring azures are small butterflies that emerge in early spring. The wings are blue on top and white with dark specks on the underside. It’s hard to get a photo of the beautiful blue on the upper side of their wings because they typically close their wings, as shown in this photo, when they are not flying.

More Information: New Jersey Butterflies

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/19/13

Observation Time: 2:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Field near Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Spring Azure butterfly

Scientific Name: Celastrina spp.

Comments: Spring azures are small butterflies that emerge in early spring. The wings are blue on top and pale white with black spots on the bottom.

More Information: New Jersey Butterflies

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/15

Observation Time: 7:45 p.m.

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

Common Name: Striped Hairstreak butterfly

Scientific Name: Satyrium liparops

Comments: This small butterfly was feeding on milkweed blossoms. Striped hairstreaks are often present in small numbers when milkweeds and dogbanes are in bloom.

Striped hairstreaks closely resemble banded 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: 6/27/15

Observation Time: 10:25 a.m.

Observation Location: Town land near Morse and Lakeview Streets

Common Name: Summer Azure butterfly

Scientific Name: Celastrina neglecta

Comments: Summer azures are small, pale blue butterflies that emerge in June.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/19/13

Observation Time: 10:00 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Summer Fishfly

Scientific Name: Chauliodes pectinicornis

Comments: This large (1.5″) flying insect got into our house. When it landed on my pants, I walked outside and took this photo. It has an interesting life cycle.

More Information: University of Wisconsin BioWeb

Summer Fishfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/25/19

Observation Time: 8:15 a.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road (kitchen window)

Common Name: Tan Jumping Spider

Scientific Name: Platycryptus undatus

Comments: A member of Salticidae, this spider jumps to ambush its prey in lieu of creating webs to ensnare it. It is a fast runner and it pounces on top of the insect it plans to eat. As the Tan Jumping Spider leaps toward an insect, a strand of spider silk is shot at the target to keep it in tow should it escape. This strand is called a dragline. The spider also uses its spider silk to make a shelter out of dead leaves and other debris when it is not actively hunting. It is believed to overwinter and hibernate in large groups together until spring.

The hairy, brown Tan Jumping Spider is known to be friendly when handled gently by humans, and it has a reputation for being curious about people. It is not inclined to bite, but may do so if handled roughly. It has keen vision as far as spider sight is understood. Tan Jumping Spiders often stare at people and approach them for a closer look if they feel safe enough to do so.

More Information: Insect Identification

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/4/11

Observation Time: 3:50 p.m.

Observation Location: conservation land near Billings Street

Common Name: Tent Caterpillar

Scientific Name: Malacosoma americanum

Comments: The moths oviposit almost exclusively on trees in the plant family Rosaceae, particularly cherry (Prunus) and apple (Malus). The adult moth lays her eggs in a single batch in late spring or early summer. An egg mass contains about 200 to 300 eggs. Tent caterpillars are among the most social of larvae. The newly hatched caterpillars initiate the construction of a silk tent soon after emerging. They typically aggregate at the tent site throughout their larval stage, expanding the tent each day to accommodate their increasing size. The caterpillars feed three times each day, just before dawn, at midafternoon, and in the evening after sunset. During each bout of feeding, the caterpillars emerge from the tent, add silk to the structure, move to distant feeding sites en masse, feed, and then return immediately to the tent where they rest until the next activity period.

More Information: Wikipedia

Tent Caterpillar

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/7/14

Observation Time: 12:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Tetragnatha Spider

Scientific Name: Tetragnatha sp.

Comments: Typically found near ponds and wetlands.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/7/14

Observation Time: 11:55 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area (field near dam)

Common Name:“The Infant” moth

Scientific Name: Archiearis infans

Comments: “Infans” is a Latin word meaning “an infant”; refers to the adult’s early emergence from a pupa in the spring, and is the basis for the common names “The Infant” and “First-born Geometer.”

More Information: BugGuide

The Infant Moth

The Infant Moth

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/18

Observation Time: 1:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Thick-headed Fly

Scientific Name: Physocephala tibialis

Comments: This family of flies is a parasite of solitary bees, and sometimes wasps.  The female grabs the host while in flight and forces an egg between the bee’s abdominal segments.

More Information: NatureSearch

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/16/11

Observation Time: 4:45 p.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Thread-waisted wasp

Scientific Name: Ammophila procera

Comments: This large solitary wasp (over an inch long) has an interesting life cycle, which is shown in this Vimeo video.

More Information: insectidentification.org

Thread-Waisted Wasp

Thread-Waisted Wasp

Observer: Lonnie Friedman

Observation Date: 5/31/20

Observation Time: 1:50 p.m.

Observation Location: In our yard (Gavins Pond Road)

Common Name: Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio glaucus

Comments: This striking, large butterfly is fairly common.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/14

Observation Time: 6:10 p.m.

Observation Location: field near Gavins Pond dam

Common Name: Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio glaucus

Comments: Tiger swallowtails are spectacular and relatively common.

More Information: Wikipedia

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/30/10

Observation Time: 3:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio glaucus

Comments: Females are dimorphic. The yellow morph differs from the male in having a blue postmedian area on the dorsal hindwing. In the dark morph, the areas that are normally yellow are replaced with dark gray or black.

More Information: Wikipedia

Tiger Swallowtail

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/17/13

Observation Time: 1:30 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road (back yard)

Common Name: Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio glaucus

Comments: As I was picking raspberries in the garden, I saw this gorgeous butterfly, so I ran inside and grabbed my camera.

More Information: Wikipedia

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/25/14

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio glaucus

Comments: This butterfly posed nicely on a thistle blossom.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/26/11

Observation Time: 1:30 p.m.

Observation Location: dirt road leading to the Gavins Pond dam

Common Name:Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio glaucus

Comments: This butterfly was so preoccupied with feeding on some decomposing organic matter that I was able to approach within a few inches to take this photo.

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Observer: Kurt Buermann

Observation Date: 7/28/17

Observation Time: N/A

Observation Location: In our yard (Furnace Street) on a spicebush shrub

Common Name: Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio glaucus

Comments: fairly common large butterfly

More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

Observer: Kurt Buermann

Observation Date: 7/31/16

Observation Time: N/A

Observation Location: Furnace Street

Common Name: Tiger Swallowtail butterfly

Scientific Name: Papilio glaucus

Comments: A common butterfly whose range stretches along the entire U.S. Atlantic coast and as far west as Texas. Having the ability to utilize a number of host plants and habitats this species does well and is not threatened.

More Information: Wikipedia
eastern tiger swallowtail 7-31-2016

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/13/20

Observation Time: 1:52 p.m.

Observation Location: Mountain St.

Common Name: Tree Cricket

Scientific Name: Oecanthus spp.

Comments: The tree cricket is also known as poor man’s thermometer, because if you count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and add 37 you get the temperature close to the Fahrenheit temperature outdoors.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/26/12

Observation Time: 1:35 p.m.

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

Common Name: Tree Cricket

Scientific Name: Oecanthus spp.

Comments: The tree cricket is also known as poor man’s thermometer. It is because if you count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and add 37 you get the temperature close to the Fahrenheit temperature outdoors.

More Information: Wikipedia

Tree Cricket

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/19/13

Observation Time: 2:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Turquoise Bluet damselfly

Scientific Name: Enallagma divagans

More Photos: The Hibbits Network

Turquoise Bluet

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/2/11

Observation Time: 2:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Turquoise Bluet damselfly

Scientific Name: Enallagma divagans

Comments: The final two shots are of a mating pair.

More Information: BugGuide.net

Turquoise Bluet

Turquoise Bluet

Turquoise Bluet

Turquoise Bluet

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/18

Observation Time: 12:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (female)

Scientific Name: Libellula pulchella

Comments: This species of dragonfly is relatively large. Lots of different species of dragonflies live in Sharon. Can you find one that’s not already recorded on this web site?

More Information: Ecobirder

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/30/13

Observation Time: 3:35 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road near soccer fields

Common Name: Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly (female)

Scientific Name: Libellula pulchella

Comments: This species of dragonfly is relatively large. Lots of different species of dragonflies live in Sharon. Can you find and phoyograph one that’s not already recorded on this web site?

More Information: Ecobirder

Twelve-spotted Skimmer (female)

Twelve-spotted Skimmer (female)

Twelve-spotted Skimmer (female)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/11/13

Observation Time: 4:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Two-striped Grasshopper

Scientific Name: Melanoplus bivittatus

Comments: This grasshopper is named for the two stripes that run down its back. It is a common agricultural pest.

More Information: Wikipedia

Two-striped Grasshopper

Observer: Amy Waters

Observation Date: 9/2/08

Observation Location:

Common Name: Unicorn Caterpillar

Scientific Name: Schizura unicornis

Comments: This Unicorn Caterpillar may have crawled off a blueberry bush. It also likes hickory, birch, maple, cherry, oak, sweet pepperbush, witch hazel, and many more woody shrubs and trees. Its range is from Canada to Florida and Texas. It will turn into a moth. Its family is Prominents – Notodontidae.

More Information: University of Missouri

Unicorn Caterpillar

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/20/11

Observation Time: 5:05 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Variable Dancer damselfly

Scientific Name: Argia fumipennis

Comments: Note the forked shoulder stripe, overall violet, with blue at the end of the abdomen. The last photo is a female.

More Information: Wisonsin Odonata Survey

Variable Dancer Damselfly

Variable Dancer Damselfly

Variable Dancer Damselfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/19/13

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Velvet Ant

Scientific Name: Pseudomethoca simillima

Comments: This ant-like creature is not an ant at all, but rather a wingless wasp. It can sting you, so don’t pick it up!

Watch (and listen) to a velvet ant in action.

More Information: The Backyard Arthropod Project

Velvet Ant

Velvet Ant

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/21/10

Observation Time: 8:20 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Viceroy Butterfly

Scientific Name: Limenitis archippus

Comments: Smaller than a monarch, with a characteristic black line across the hind wings.

More Information: NatureWorks

Viceroy Butterfly

Observer: Zahava Friedman

Observation Date: 6/22/20

Observation Time: 10:40 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Viceroy butterfly

Scientific Name: Limenitis archippus

Comments: Viceroys are smaller than the famous migrating monarchs, and the black markings are different. Note the curved black line on the hind wings. Monarchs do not have this line.

Viceroys are brush-footed butterflies, which have tiny, hairy forelegs that look more like brushes than feet and are not used for walking.

More Information: NatureWorks

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/17/13

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area near soccer parking area

Common Name: Viceroy butterfly

Scientific Name: Limenitis archippus

Comments: This butterfly is smaller than the famous migrating monarchs, and the black markings are different. Note the black line on the hind wings. Monarchs do not have this line.

More Information: NatureWorks

Viceroy Butterfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/29/11

Observation Time: 10:20 a.m.

Observation Location: near outflow pool at Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Virginian Tiger Moth caterpillar

Scientific Name: Spilosoma virginica

Comments: This caterpillar, which was chewing on grape leaves, will metamorphose into a beautiful white moth.

More Information: Moths in a Connecticut Yard

Virginian Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Virginian Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/7/18

Observation Time: 1:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR)

Common Name: Weevil Wasp

Scientific Name: Cerceris

Comments: Members of the genus Cerceris hunt weevils and other beetles. Females dig nests in the ground along roads or in areas with loose sand or soil like baseball fields, parks and beaches. They compact the material and create cells where they lay a fertilized egg. They fly off, in search of future food for their larvae.

Female Weevil Wasps bite their prey and paralyze them. The weevil or beetle is then brought back to the nest and stuffed inside a cell where they will remain paralyzed. A hatching wasp larva will immediately begin feeding on the living, paralyzed weevil or beetle. Once the wasp has grown, it will pupate into its adult form and leave the nest.

More Information: Insect Identification

This wasp is small – less than 1/2″ long. 

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 9/7/2020

Observation Time: 11:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: White-banded Crab Spider

Scientific Name: Misumessus formosipes

Comments: These spiders (also called flower spiders) can change color to match the flowers they are hunting in. Cool.

More Information: iNaturalist

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/29/10

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: White Corporal dragonfly

Scientific Name: Libellula (Ladona) exusta

Comments: Small, most commonly perches on the ground. Adult males have a white abdomen.

More Information: New Jersey Odes

White corporal Dragonfly

Observer: Vin Zollo

Observation Date: 6/15/13

Observation Time: 3:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: White Corporal dragonfly

Scientific Name: Ladona exusta

Comments: Small, most commonly perches on the ground. Adult males have a white abdomen.

More Information: New Jersey Odes

White Corporal Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/25/11

Observation Time: 12:25 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond

Common Name: White Corporal dragonfly (female)

Scientific Name: Libellula (Ladona) exusta

Comments: The pale rusty abdomen indicates this is a young female. Older females have a drab white abdomen more similar to the males.

Found in fields and clearings near water. White corporals inhabit the northeast coastal plain into SE Canada. Fairly common in MA.

Males are territorial.

More Information: New Jersey Odes

White corporal Dragonfly (Female)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/14

Observation Time: 12:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Borderland State Park

Common Name: White Corporal dragonfly (female)

Scientific Name: Libellula (Ladona) exusta

Comments: Dragonflies eat insects. That’s a good thing because bat populations have plummeted due to a mysterious disease called white-nose.

More Information: White corporal dragonfly

White Corporal Dragonfly (Female)

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/8/13

Observation Time: 5:40 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: White-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly

Scientific Name: Sympetrum obtrusum

Comments: Males are red. Very similar to Ruby Meadowhawk and Cherry-faced Meadowhawk. This species seems to be in decline.

More Information: Nature Search

White-faced Meadowhawk Dragonfly

Two more photos taken 7/19/13 at about 5:30 where Turning Mill Brook flows under Wolomolopoag Street:

White-faced Meadowhawk Dragonfly

White-faced Meadowhawk Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/11/12

Observation Time: 11:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road bridge over Billings Brook

Common Name: White-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly

Scientific Name: Sympetrum obtrusum

Comments: Adult males are identifiable by a distinctive pure white face and red body. Juveniles and younger females have a yellow abdomen. Older females have olive-brown or reddish-brown abdomen.

More Information: Wikipedia

White-faced Meadowhawk Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/15/18

Observation Time: 1:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary

Common Name: White-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly (male)

Scientific Name: Sympetrum obtrusum

Comments: Juveniles and females have yellow abdomens. Males are red. Similar to Ruby Meadowhawk and Cherry-faced Meadowhawk, but white-faced meadowhawks have a distinctive white face.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/4/17

Observation Time: 1:55 p.m.

Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: White-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly

Scientific Name: Sympetrum obtrusum

Comments: Juveniles and females have yellow abdomens. Males are red. Similar to Ruby Meadowhawk and Cherry-faced Meadowhawk, but white-faced meadowhawks have a distinctive white face.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/3/10

Observation Time: 8:05 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: Widow Skimmer dragonfly

Scientific Name: Libellula luctuosa

Comments: Odonates (dragonflies) are completely harmless – they do not sting or bite. Indeed, they are beneficial in the same way spiders and other predators are beneficial – they keep the burgeoning insect population in check.

More Information: North American Insects and Spiders

Widow Skimmer Dragonfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/31/11

Observation Time: 3:45 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road

Common Name: Widow Skimmer dragonfly

Scientific Name: Libellula luctuosa

Comments: The widow skimmer is famous for its pruinosity – the white, waxy coating on the dragonfly’s wings and abdomen. Dragonflies have excellent eyesight. Their compound eyes have up to 30,000 facets, each of which is a separate light-sensing organ or ommatidium, arranged to give nearly a 360° field of vision.

More Information: CirrusImage

Widow Skimmer Dragonfly

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 7/7/20

Observation Time: 1:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: Widow Underwing moth

Scientific Name:  Catocala vidua

Comments: The widow underwing (Catocala vidua) is a moth of the Erebidae family. It is found from southern Ontario, into Maine, New Hampshire and Connecticut, south at least to Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama, west to Texas and Oklahoma, and north to Wisconsin.

More Information: iNaturalist and Bugguide.net and Discover Life and EverythingAbout.net

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/25/11

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Willow Leaf Beetle

Scientific Name: Plagiodera versicolora

Comments: I got help identifying this tiny beetle at www.bugguide.net. I set up a free account and uploaded my photo. In a few days I received an email from one of their entomologists with the identification. Given that there are thousands of species of insects, bugguide.net is a valuable resource for identification.

More Information: BugWood

Willow Leaf Beetle

Willow Leaf Beetle

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/9/19

Observation Time: 3:55 p.m.

Observation Place: trail from Brook Road to Devil’s Rock

Common Name: Wolf spider

Scientific Name:  Gladicosa gulosa

Comments: This spider does not make a web.

More Information: Sweating the Small Stuff

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/13/13

Observation Time: 11:05 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Wood Nymph butterfly

Scientific Name: Cercyonis pegala

Comments: Note the “pink earth” lichen in the background of the upper photo.

More information: Mass Audubon Butterfly Atlas

Wood Nymph Butterfly

Wood Nymph Butterfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/27/13

Observation Time: 2:43 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond area

Common Name: Wood Nymph butterfly

Scientific Name: Cercyonis pegala

Comments: It’s a thrill to get so close to something wild and beautiful.

More information: Mass Audubon Butterfly Atlas

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/13/20

Observation Time: 3:20 p.m.

Observation Location: Mountain St.

Common Name: Wood Nymph butterfly

Scientific Name: Cercyonis pegala

Comments: Despite its name the Wood Nymph butterfly prefers open areas including fields, wet meadows, salt marshes, and bogs. It also inhabits open woods and ventures along well lit woodland trails.

More information: Mass Audubon Butterfly Atlas

3

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/25/12

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Road – soccer field parking lot

Common Name: Wood Nymph butterfly

Scientific Name: Cercyonis pegala

Comments: This striking wood nymph butterfly was a challenge to photograph, but with persistence I was able to get close enough to get this shot.

More Information: Massachusetts Butterfly Club

Common Wood Nymph Butterfly

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/27/10

Observation Time: 4:25 p.m.

Observation Location: Beneath the high tension lines near So. Walpole St.

Common Name: Wool Sower Gall Wasp

Scientific Name: Callirhytis seminator

Comments: Pink-spotted, white cottony wool sower galls are about the size of a ping-pong ball and are produced by a tiny species of Cynipid wasp, Callirhytis seminator, and are most commonly found on white oaks. 

More Information: The UnderStory

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/20/20

Observation Time: 5:15 p.m.

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

Common Name: Yellow-washed metarranthis moth

Scientific Name: Metarranthis obfirmaria

Comments: I spotted this brown moth on the dirt road under the high tension wires. Moths typically have bigger antennae than butterflies. They can be hard to identify. I got help with identification of this specimen at Bugguide.net

More Information: North American Moth Photographers Group

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