American Lady butterfly – 5/27/19

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 […]

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Painted Skimmer dragonfly – 5/27/19

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/27/19 Observation Time: 5:00 p.m. Observation Location: on a bluff under high tension wires near S. Walpole St. Common Name: Painted Skimmer dragonfly Scientific Name: Libellula semifasciata Comments: Painted Skimmers live up to their name, and the wings especially glow with color. A rich brown, the thorax has two whitish to yellow diagonal stripes on each side. The abdomen has yellow edges and […]

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Wool Sower Gall Wasp – 5/27/19

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 […]

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Orchard Orbweaver spider – 5/27/19

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/27/19 Observation Time: 2:20 p.m. Observation Location: Conservation land near Morse & Lakeview Common Name: Orchard Orbweaver spider Scientific Name: Leucauge venusta Comments: I had a hard time focusing the camera on this tiny spider and its gossamer web. More Information: North of the Ridge

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North American Millipede – 5/27/19

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/27/19 Observation Time: 2:00 p.m. Observation Location: boardwalk through Conservation land near Morse & Lakeview Common Name: North American Millipede Scientific Name: Narceus americanus Comments: Millipedes first appeared in the fossil record 400 million years ago and are some of the first animals to have lived on land. It is hypothesized that these ancient species are the largest animals without backbones to […]

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Snipe Fly – 5/27/19

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

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Common Ringlet butterfly – 5/27/19

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 […]

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American Lady butterfly – 5/26/19

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 […]

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Black Swallowtail butterfly – 5/26/19

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 […]

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Tan Jumping Spider – 5/25/19

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 […]

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Painted Skimmer dragonfly – 5/21/19

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/21/19 Observation Time: 12:15 p.m. Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road Common Name: Painted Skimmer dragonfly Scientific Name: Libellula semifasciata Comments: Painted Skimmers live up to their name, and the wings especially glow with color. A rich brown, the thorax has two whitish to yellow diagonal stripes on each side. The abdomen has yellow edges and a jagged black central stripe on […]

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Red Admiral butterfly – 5/19/19

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/19/19 Observation Time: 3:08 p.m. Observation Location: Billings Loop Botanical Trail Common Name: Red Admiral butterfly Scientific Name: Vanessa atalanta Comments: Mating usually occurs in late fall or early winter following collective migration to southern regions with a warmer climate. The red admiral’s main host plant, stinging nettle, is most abundant during this migration. Larval development proceeds through winter and […]

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Harlequin Darner Dragonfly – 5/19/19

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/19/19 Observation Time: 8:00 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Common Name: Harlequin Darner dragonfly Scientific Name: Gomphaeschna furcillata Comments: The Harlequin Darner is a member of the Aeshnidae family of dragonflies. The species occurs across much of the eastern United States and parts of southeast Canada. Its range extends to eastern Texas. I encountered this specimen by chance on the […]

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Spring Azure Butterfly – 5/11/19

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 […]

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Bald-faced Hornet – Nov., 2018

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 […]

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Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – 8/31/18

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/31/18 Observation Time: 4:10 p.m. Observation Location: Borderland State Park Common Name: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (4th instar) Scientific Name: Halyomorpha Halys Comments: Stink bugs molt several times before reaching maturity. Each phase is referred to as an instar. More Information: Wikipedia

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Locust Borer Beetle – 8/31/18

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/31/18 Observation Time: 4:00 p.m. Observation Location: Borderland State Park Common Name: Locust borer beetle Scientific Name: Megacyllene robiniae Comments: The locust borer only attacks black locust trees.  It’s a native insect and was first found in the eastern part of the United States in natural stands of black locust trees.  The locust borer caused problems in colonial times by […]

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Monarch caterpillar – 8/15/18

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/15/18 Observation Time: 1:15 p.m. Observation Place: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Common Name: Monarch Butterfly caterpillar and chrysalis Scientific Name: Danaus plexippus Comments: This caterpillar was feeding on milkweed. It will soon form a chrysalis, as others nearby had already done. Monarchs make an epic, multi-generational migration. Check it out at the link below. More Information: National Geographic Monarch chrysalis:

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White-faced Meadowhawk Dragonfly – 8/15/18

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

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Great Spangled Fritillary – 7/7/18

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/7/18 Observation Time: 2:40 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) Common Name: Great Spangled Fritillary Scientific Name: Speyeria cybele Comments: Easily confused with Aphrodite Fritillary – see: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/frames-2species.asp?sp1=Speyeria-cybele&sp2=Speyeria-aphrodite More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America and USDA  

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Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly – 7/7/18

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

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Thick-headed Fly – 7/7/18

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

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Weevil Wasp – 7/7/18

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 […]

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Twelve-spotted Skimmer dragonfly – 7/7/18

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

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Black Swallowtail butterfly – 7/7/18

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

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