Sightings – Butterflies & Moths

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: 8/10/23

Observation Time: 11:40 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd.

Common Name: White Admiral butterfly (same species as Red-spotted Purple Admiral – see below)

Scientific Name: Limenitis arthemis astyanax

Comments: The white Admiral butterfly is a North American species in the genus Limenitis. It has been studied for its evolution of mimicry, and for the several stable hybrid wing patterns within this nominal species; it is one of the most dramatic examples of hybridization between non-mimetic and mimetic populations.

L. arthemis can be split into two major groups, mainly based on one physical characteristic: the presence or absence of a white band along the wings. Individuals of the northern group, called White Admirals, have a conspicuous white band that traverse both the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the wing, while those of the southern group, called Red-spotted Purple Admirals, lack that trait as they have evolved to mimic the poisonous pipevine swallowtail (Battus philenor). Due to overlap in distribution among the two major groups, subspecies are numerous as hybridization occurs frequently.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Josh Simons

Observation Date: 6/1/23

Observation Time: 9:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill area

Common Name: White slant-line moth

Scientific Name: Tetracis cachexiata)

Comments: The caterpillars of the white slant-line moth are twig mimics, like other members of the Geometer family. Their brown, narrow bodies hold on to a branch at one end and stretch away from the branch to look like a twig.

More Information: Insect Identification

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: 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

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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: 5/20/20

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