Spicebush Swallowtail – 6/4/24

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/4/24 Observation Time: 1:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (T.T.O.R.) Common Name: Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly Scientific Name: Papilio troilus Comments: I saw this spicebush swallowtail butterfly feeding on a flowering beauty bush beside the driveway leading into Moose Hill Farm. Spicebush swallowtail butterflies are similar to black swallowtail butterflies. Spicebush swallowtails have a marking that looks like a comet […]

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Red Admiral butterfly – 5/4/24

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/4/24 Observation Time: 10:40 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (Trustees of Reservations) 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 […]

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Mourning Cloak Butterfly – 4/23/24

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 4/23/24 Observation Time: 10:30 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Common Name: Mourning Cloak Butterfly Scientific Name: Nymphalis antiopa Comments: This striking butterfly overwinters as an adult. That is why it is the first butterfly to be seen in early spring. More Information: http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Nymphalis-antiopa

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Marbled Orbweaver Spider – 9/26/23

Observer: Marshall Katler Observation Date: 9/26/23 Observation Time: 1:00 p.m. Observation Location: Mansfield St. Common Name: Marbled Orbweaver Spider Scientific Name: Araneus marmoreus var. marmoreus Comments: Although usually found in woodland, this one was found on the side of a house. It is most likely a male. More Information: Wikipedia

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Red-headed Bush Cricket – 8/26/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/26/23 Observation Time: 4:10 p.m. Observation Location: my back yard (Gavins Pond Road) Common Name: Red-headed Bush Cricket (a.k.a. Handsome Trig) Scientific Name: Phyllopalpus pulchellus Comments: I had never seen one of these before I spotted this one on the wall of my house, but apparently they are pretty common. It has really long antennae and strange-lloking mouth parts that look […]

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Snowberry Clearwing Moth – 8/11/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/11/23 Observation Time: 4:20 p.m. Observation Location: 4 Gavins Pond Road Common Name: Snowberry Clearwing Moth Scientific Name: Hemaris diffinis Comments: This one was feeding on butterfly bush in my back yard (a ruby-throated hummingbird was feeding there at the same time). Large, sometimes feathery antennae are more typical of moths than butterflies. More information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

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Red-spotted Admiral butterfly – 8/11/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 8/11/23 Observation Time: 10:30 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd. (my back yard) Common Name: Red-spotted Admiral 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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White Admiral butterfly – 8/10/23

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 […]

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Clymene Moth – 8/2/23

Observer: Gaurav Shah Observation Date: 8/2/23 Observation Time: 3:00 p.m. Observation Location: Arboro Drive Common Name: Clymene Moth Scientific Name: Haploa clymene Comments: Unlike most moths, the Clymene moth is equally active both day and night. It also prefers moist areas and can be found near wetlands and water sources. At night, it is attracted to lights. The Clymene moth is often found near wet […]

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Cicada – 7/31/23

Observer: Marshall Katler Observation Date: 7/31/23 Observation TIme: 6:30 p.m. Observation Location: Mansfield St. Common Name: Cicada (a.k.a. Dogday Cicada) Scientific Name: Neotibicen canicularis Comments: This cicada was just hanging onto a sheet hung outside. It was there from at least late morning to 8:30 PM and longer. It was not there in the morning. It barely moved the entire time it was observed. One genus […]

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Luna Moth Caterpillar – 7/27/23

Observer: Bruce Lewis Observation Date: 7/27/23 Observation Time: 8:00 am Observation Location: Moose Hill St. Common Name: Luna Moth Scientific Name: Actias luna Comments: I first identified this as a Polythemus moth caterpillar. My observation on iNaturalist was corrected and it was agreed that this is a Luna Moth caterpillar. WIth a wing span of up to four inches, bright green luna moths are one […]

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Red-spotted Purple Admiral – 7/25/23

Observer: Marshall Katler Observation Date: 7/25/23 Observation Time: 12:30 p.m. Observation Location: Mansfield St. Common Name: Red-spotted Purple butterfly Scientific Name: Limenitis arthemis Comments: This butterfly was on this ramp to a shed for several hours, just opening and closing its wings, occasionally taking a short flight. The red-spotted purple butterfly is the same species as the white admiral butterfly. It is a North American […]

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Tomentose Burying Beetle – 7/22/23

Observer: Bruce Lewis Observation Date: 7/22/23 Observation Time: 3:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill St. Common Name: Tomentose Burying Beetle Scientific Name: Nicrophorus tomentosus Comments: I observed this beetle consuming a dead animal on Moose Hill St. The beetle belongs to the family Silphidae, which are carrion beetles. The beetles have sensitive antennae that contain olfactory organs. Thus, the beetle can locate dead animals and […]

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Unknown wasp species – 7/21/23

Observer: John Baur Observation Date: 7/21/23 Observation Time: 4:00 p.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill (under power lines) Common Name: unknown wasp species Scientific Name: Euodynerus undescribed species  F Comments: This small wasp has been identified as a known species that has not been formally described. As such, it is currently known as “Euodynerus undescribed species F”. Once it has been formally described it will be […]

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Moth Fly or Drain Fly – 7/1/23

Observer: Gaurav Shah Observation Date: 7/1/23 Observation Time: 4:00 p.m. Observation Location: trail off Billings St. Common Name: Moth Fly or Drain Fly Scientific Name: Family Psychodidae, possibly genus Pericoma Comments: There are many species of flies in the family Psychodidae. Some are called “drain flies” because they thrive in the drains of sinks and commonly infest bathrooms. Other species in this family are called […]

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Six-spotted Tiger Beetle – 6/22/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/22/23 Observation Time: 12:45 pm Observation Location: Gavins Pond Common Name: Six-spotted tiger beetle Scientific Name: Cicindela sexguttata Comments: Female six-spotted tiger beetles lay eggs in sandy patches. When they hatch, the larvae burrow into the ground. The larvae lie in wait until small arthropods walk by. Then they pounce much like a jack in the box. The larvae pupate after a year. […]

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Slaty Skimmer (immature male) – 6/22/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/22/23 Observation Time: 11:00 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Common Name: Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (immature male) Scientific Name: Libellula incesta Comments: This is an immature male.  Click HERE to learn how to tell the differences among male, female and immature slaty skimmers. More Information: Odonata.bogfoot.net

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Luna Moth – 6/20/23

Observer: Daniel Kaufman Observation Date: 6/20/23 Observation Time: 8:00 am Observation Location: 14 Paul Revere Rd. Common Name: Luna Moth Scientific Name: Actias luna Comments: This male luna moth came over for a visit. Note the feathery antennae characteristic of moths. WIth a wing span of up to four inches, bright green luna moths are one of the most spectacular moths in our area. Adults […]

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Red-spotted Admiral butterfly – 6/10/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 6/10/23 Observation Time: 11:40 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd. (my back yard) 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 […]

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Luna Moth – 6/5/23

Observer: Gaurav Shah Observation Date: 6/5/23 Observation Time: evening Observation Location: Massapoag Brook Common Name: Luna Moth Scientific Name: Actias luna Comments: This male has prominnt antennae. Its tattered wings suggest that it’s near the end of its short life. WIth a wing span of up to four inches, bright green luna moths are one of the most spectacular moths in our area. Adults are […]

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White slant-line moth – 6/1/23

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. […]

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Brown Marmorated Stink Bug – 5/30/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/30/23 Observation Time: 10:15 a.m. Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd. (appeared on the desk in my living room!) Common Name: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (adult) Scientific Name: Halyomorpha Halys Comments: Stink bugs molt several times before reaching maturity. Each phase is referred to as an instar. More Information: Featured Creatures

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Black Swallowtail butterfly – 5/28/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/28/23 Observation Time: 11:10 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Farm (TTOR) 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 tell the differences among […]

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Little Wood Satyr butterfly – 5/25/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/25/23 Observation Time: 7:15 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Common Name: Little Wood Satyr butterfly Scientific Name: Megisto cymela Comments: As the name implies, the wood satyr is most commonly seen in woods and shrubby areas. More Information: Wikipedia

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Cuckoo Bee – 5/21/23

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 5/21/23 Observation Time: 3:05 p.m. Observation Location: near Gavins Pond Common Name: Cuckoo Bee Scientific Name: Nomada maculata Comments: Cuckoo bees lay their eggs in the colonies of other species of bees so they do not have to raise their own young, much as cuckoo birds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. More Information: Wikipedia

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