Gray Hairstreak Butterfly – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (under power lines) Common Name: Gray Hairstreak butterfly Scientific Name: Satyrium melinus Comments: This Gray Hairstreak butterfly was feeding on Sweet Everlasting. More Information: Raising Butterflies

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Clouded Sulphur Butterfly – 9/4/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 9/4/20 Observation Time: 1:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Clouded Sulphur butterfly Scientific Name: Colias philodice Comments: A common butterfly seen from late April to mid-October. This patch of blooming Joe Pye weed was alive with clouded sulphurs feeding on the nectar. Note the big green eyes. More Information: Massachusetts Butterfly Club

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American Lady Butterfly – 8/18/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/18/20 Observation Time: 11:40 a.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 feeding on a blossom of […]

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Porcelain Gray Moth – 8/16/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/16/20 Observation Time: 9:50 a.m. Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Rd. Common Name: Porcelain Gray Moth Scientific Name: Protoboarmia porcelaria Comments: This is a type of geometer moth. This individual was resting on my window in the morning. Moths are typically nocturnal. One way to attract moths on a summer night is to hang a white sheet and put a light behind […]

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Cecropia Moth Coccoon – 8/13/20

Observer: Rita Corey Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 3:45 p.m. Observation Place: Mountain St. Common Name: Cecropia Moth (coccoon phase) Scientific Name: Hyalophora cecropia Comments: The cecropia moth is the largest North American moth. It has a wingspan of 5-6 inches. It is a very colorful moth. The female cecropia moth lays rows of eggs on both sides of a leaf on a tree or shrub. […]

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Monarch Caterpillar – 8/13/20

Observer: Rita Corey Observation Date: 8/13/20 Observation Time: 3:40 p.m. Observation Place: Mountain St. Common Name: Monarch Butterfly caterpillar Scientific Name: Danaus plexippus Comments: This monarch caterpillar was feeding on milkweed. It will soon form a chrysalis. Milkweed is poisonous. Monarch caterpillars eat milkweed to make themselves poisonous to avoid predation. Their bright coloration is a warning to predators. Eating milkweed can sometimes be fatal to the […]

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Wood Nymph Butterfly – 8/13/20

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

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Large Lace-border Moth – 7/11/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/11/20 Observation Time: 3:40 p.m. Observation Location: along Gavins Pond Road Common Name: Large Lace-border Moth Scientific Name: Scopula limboundata Comments: Large Lace-border Moths rest with their wings flat making it easy to admire the creamy hues of its wings. There is some variety within the species. Some individuals are mostly white with faint brown waves at the edges of the […]

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Widow Underwing Moth – 7/7/20

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 […]

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Viceroy Butterfly – 6/22/20

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 […]

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Grape Leaffolder Moth – 6/14/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 6/14/20 Observation Time: 6:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Grape Leaffolder Moth Scientific Name: Desmia funeralis Comments: This moth is called a grape leaffolder because its larvae folds the leaves of muscadine grape vines and keeps them folded using bands of silk thread. This interferes with the plant’s ability to photosynthesize, and weakens it, resulting in a decreased grape harvest the […]

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Red-spotted Admiral – 6/14/20

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 6/14/20 Observation Time: 4:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Red-spotted Admiral (or red-spotted purple) butterfly Scientific Name: Limenitis arthemis astyanax Comments: The red-spotted purple butterfly is the same species as the white admiral butterfly. It is a North American species in the genus Limenitis. It has been studied for its evolution of mimicry, and for the several stable […]

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Dusted Skipper Butterfly – 6/9/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/9/20 Observation Time: 3:20 p.m. Observation Location: meadow near Gavins Pond Common Name: Dusted Skipper Butterfly Scientific Name: Atrytonopsis hianna Comments: Note the proboscis extended to gather nectar. Also note the finely banded antennae. More Information: Wisconsin Butterflies

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Frosted Elfin Butterfly – 6/9/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/9/20 Observation Time: 3:15 p.m. Observation Location: undisclosed location in Sharon Common Name: Frosted Elfin Butterfly Scientific Name: Callophrys irus Comments: Frosted elfins are listed as rare by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program (NHESP). More Information: Species Status Assessment Report

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Common Ringlet Butterfly – 6/9/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/9/20 Observation Time: 3:00 p.m. Observation Location: meadow near Gavins Pond dam 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 […]

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Schlaeger’s Fruitworm Moth – 6/2/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/2/20 Observation Time: 1:30 p.m. Observation Location: Near tennis courts at outbound train station Common Name: Schlaeger’s fruitworm moth Scientific Name: Antaeotricha schlaegeri Comments: The Schlaeger’s fruitworm moth is found in north-eastern North America, south to North Carolina and west to Kansas and Texas. Adults resemble a bird-dropping. The wingspan is 21–30 mm. The larvae feed on white oak and related species. […]

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Tiger Swallowtail – 5/31/20

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

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Black Swallowtail – 5/30/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/30/20 Observation Time: 2:25 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (The Trustees of Reservations) Common Name: Black Swallowtail butterfly Scientific Name: Papilio polyxenes Comments: The big pasture at Moose Hill Farm is a good place to find black swallowtail butterflies (and other butterfly species as well). You can sometimes find bobolinks there as well. Black swallowtail butterflies look a lot like spicebush […]

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Yellow-washed Metarranthis Moth – 5/20/20

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 […]

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Eastern Pine Elfin – 5/20/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/20/20 Observation Time: 5:10 p.m. Observation Location: under high tension wires across the street from Ward’s Berry Farm 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 […]

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Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly – 5/19/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/19/20 Observation Time: 11:10 a.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. The orange spots and “tails” on the trailing edge of […]

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Pearl Crescent Butterfly – 5/19/20

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/19/20 Observation Time: 10:20 a.m. Observation Location: under high tension lines near Gavins Pond Common Name: Pearl Crescent butterfly Scientific Name: Phyciodes tharos Comments: Adults find nectar from a great variety of flowers including dogbane, swamp milkweed, shepherd’s needle, asters, and winter cress. Males patrol open areas for females. The eggs are laid in small batches on the underside of […]

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Painted Lady Butterfly – 7/1/19

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/1/19 Observation Time: 4:50 p.m. Observation Location: Trustees of Reservations’ Moose Hill Farm Common Name: Painted Lady butterfly Scientific Name: Vanessa cardui Comments: The Painted Lady has four small spots on the undersides of its hind wings, whereas the American Lady has two large spots. Otherwise they look very similar. This one was feeding on milkweed blossoms. More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North […]

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Nessus Sphinx Moth – 7/1/19

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/1/19 Observation Time: 4:40 p.m. Observation Location: Trustees of Reservations’ Moose Hill Farm Common Name: Nessus Sphinx Moth Scientific Name: Amphion floridensis Comments: The Nessus Sphinx is a member of Sphingidae, a family of powerfully fast moths that are typically seen drinking flower nectar. The Nessus Sphinx has two yellow bands on the abdomen that are thought to help it mimic a […]

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Black Swallowtail butterfly – 6/2/19

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 […]

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