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Night Life

July 30, 2015  •  1 Comment

Ever since the Moth Festival at Taconic State Park last year (see July 22, 2014 http://www.anaturalpointofview.com/blog/2014/7/moth-night-at-taconic-state-park), I've wanted to do some "mothing" on my own.  I finally got my chance last week.  A colleague friend and I got together from 8:00 -10:30 PM to set-up a light "trap" for moths.  I bought a 13 watt blacklight and a clamp lamp and brought those over to an outdoor site near a pond where we pinned up one of my Mother's old white linen tablecloths. We clamped the lamp onto a folding chair, focused the light onto the cloth, turned it on, and waited. (Cool how the UV light revealed so many old stains on the tablecloth!)  In no time insects were landing on the vertical white surface.  We were hoping for lots of moth species, and while we did get some lovely moths, more abundant were the beetles.  Most dramatic was the large fish fly.  Here are some of the stars of the show that night:

Painted Lichen MothPainted Lichen MothLincoln, MA

Painted Lichen Moth
Pero sp. possibly Honest PeroPero sp. possibly Honest PeroGeometrid family
Lincoln, MA

Pero moth species - Geomitrid Family

Underwing moth, Catocalas sp.Underwing moth, Catocalas sp.            Catacola micronympha? sp.
a yellow underwing Owlet/Noctuid
 

                An underwing moth, Catocalas species

This genus of moths gets its name from the brightly colored hind wings that usually lie hidden when the moth is at rest but are revealed when the more monotone-patterned fore wings part.

ground beetleground beetleHarpalus sp.

Ground beetle, Family Carabidae

I thought this was the most beautiful of all the beetles we lured in that night.  Small, delicate, charmingly simple.

Fish FlyFish FlyThis is not a fly. It is very big and is in the order Megaloptera

Fishfly - Chauliodes species

This very large insect is not a fly. With wings several inches long, it belongs to the aptly named order:  Megaloptera  (mega = huge  ptera = wing). 

We endured lots of pesky mosquitoes that night, but in spite of that we will be back for more!

 

 

 


Comments

Marcia A. Angle(non-registered)
very cool - and bully for you for setting up the trap, mosquitoes 'n all!
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