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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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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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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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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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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Pearl Crescent Butterfly – 5/21/23

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 5/21/23 Observation Time: 2:35 p.m. Observation Location: 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 host plant leaves. Caterpillars […]

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Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly – 5/21/23

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 5/21/23 Observation Time: 2:30 p.m. Observation Location: 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 their […]

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Mourning Cloak Butterfly – 5/16/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/16/23 Observation Time: 4:10 p.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. This battle-scarred individual was inhabiting a small clearing beside the trail. As I stood and watched, it flew within a […]

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Cecropia Moth cocoon – 5/9/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/9/23 Observation Time: 7:40 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Common Name: Cecropia Moth cocoon Scientific Name: Hyalophora cecropia Comments: I used an app called SEEK to identify this strange thing I spotted beside the trail. More Information: Cecropia Moth

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Black Swallowtail – 5/6/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/6/23 Observation Time: 9:45 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Common Name: Black Swallowtail butterfly Scientific Name: Papilio polyxenes Comments: I was surprised to see this black swallowtail butterfly so early in the season. It was feeding on the blossoms of a flowering tree near the barn on the Billings Loop. Black swallowtail butterflies look a lot like […]

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Tiger Swallowtail – 5/6/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 5/6/23 Observation Time: 8:15 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary Common Name: Tiger Swallowtail butterfly Scientific Name: Papilio glaucus Comments: This striking, large butterfly is fairly common in Sharon. I was surprised to see it so early in the season. It was feeding on a flowering tree near the barn on the Billings Loop. It appears to be missing […]

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Spring Azure butterfly – 4/25/23

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 4/25/23 Observation Time: 1:25 pm Observation Location: Gavins Pond Rd (my back yard) 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 […]

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Luna Moth (caterpillar) – 8/20/22

Observer: Josh Simons Observation Date: 8/20/22 Observation Time: 10:15 a.m. Observation Location: Moose Hill area Common Name: Luna Moth (caterpillar) Scientific Name: Actias luna Comments: This luna moth caterpillar was crossing the street, so I moved it to safety. 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 very […]

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Tiger Swallowtail – 5/20/22

Observer: Richard Mandell Observation Date: 5/20/22 Observation Time: 11:55 a.m. Observation Location: Mountain Street Common Name: Tiger Swallowtail butterfly Scientific Name: Papilio glaucus Comments: This gorgeous butterfly discovered the sugar water in my hummingbird feeder. More Information: Butterflies and Moths of North America

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Grapeleaf Skeletonizer Moth – 7/5/21

Observer: Paul Lauenstein Observation Date: 7/5/21 Observation Time: 2:10 p.m. Observation Location: Maskwonicut St. bridge over Beaver Brook Common Name: Grapeleaf skeletonizer moth Scientific Name: Harrisina americana Comments: Grapevine skeletonizer moth larvae feed on grape leaves (hence the name) and Virginia creeper leaves. Adults live only a few days. Note the feathery antennae, which are characteristic of moths. More Information: Wikipedia

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