Entries by Betty Ann Rubinow

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American Dagger Moth

Common Name: American Dagger moth, Fishers Island, NY, June 2017. Scientific Name: Acronicta Americana Season: One generation in the Northeast. Adults in early summer, with caterpillars from July into the fall. Food: Ash, elm, hickory, maple oak, poplar, willow. Ecology: A forest moth, American dagger caterpillars can be found feeding on many deciduous trees. The […]

Angulose Prominent Moth

Common name: Angulose prominent, Fishers island NY, June 2017. Scientific name: Peridea angulosa Season: Two generations in the Northeast. Adults, late spring into June, and again in late summer. Caterpillars through summer and late into fall. Caterpillars overwinter as pupae and seek out sites to pupate when the leaves fall. Food: Exclusively, species of oak. […]

Banded Tussock Moth Caterpillar

Common name: Banded tussock moth, Fishers Island NY, June 2017 Scientific name: Halysidota tessellaris Season: One generation in the Northeast, although caterpillars and adults are active throughout the summer and fall. Food: You can find these guys in the summer on just about any tree or shrub in the forest. Ecology: The species name for […]

Banded Tussock Moth

Common name: Banded tussock moth, Fishers Island NY, June 2017 Scientific name: Halysidota tessellaris Season: One generation in the Northeast, although caterpillars and adults are active throughout the summer and fall. Food: You can find these guys in the summer on just about any tree or shrub in the forest. Ecology: The species name for […]

Black-dotted Ruddy

Common name: Black-dotted ruddy, Fishers Island, NY, June 2017. Scientific name: Ilecta intractata Food: As caterpillars, black-dotted ruddy moths are specialist feeders, meaning they can feed on only one or two kinds of plants in order to grow and develop. Black-dotted ruddy moths feed on American holly trees, and can be a common inchworm in […]

Black Zale

Common name: Black zale, Fishers Island NY, June 2017 Scientific name: Zale undularis Season: Adults start flying in the Northeast in late spring and into September. Caterpillars are common by June. Food: The caterpillars feed exclusively on locust trees. Ecology: This dark-colored moth is able to camouflage itself against the bark of trees, whereas its […]

Blue Dasher

Common name: Blue Dasher, Fishers Island, NY, July 2017 Scientific name: Pachydiplax longipennis  Not a moth, but too beautiful to omit. The blue dasher is one of the more common dragonflies in the eastern U.S. and one of the most striking. Like many dragonflies, this species is sexually dimorphic, meaning that the appearance of the […]

Common Spring Moth

Common name: Common spring moth, Fishers Island NY, June 2017 Scientific name: Heliomata cycladata Season: March-July Food:  Black locust and honey locust. Ecology: As the name implies, these moths are common to see during the spring and into July through the Mid-Atlantic. Although small, they are quite beautiful.

Curve-toothed Geometer

Common name: Curved-toothed geometer Scientific name: Eutrapela clemataria Food: Larvae feed on leaves of ash, basswood, birch, elm, fir, maple, poplar, willow and other trees. Ecology: These geometers live in deciduous and mixed woodlands. Their scientific name derives from the Ancient Greek “measure” “the earth” in reference to the way their larvae, or inchworms, appear to “measure […]

Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar and Aphids

Monarch butterfly caterpillar and aphids, Fishers Island NY, August 2015 Scientific names: Danaus plexippus and Aphis nerri Here’s a bit of hidden moth science, provided by entomologist Adam Mitchell, PhD: Like animals, plants have an “immune system” and have a series of finely-tuned responses to specific stressors in their environment. When a leaf is chewed, signals are […]