Latest up-to-the-minute moths plus moths during the heat wave: It was so hot I forgot to post the report.
Sweetheart Underwing - 8/8/06 --9:24 pm
Sweetheart Underwing - 8/8/06 -- 1 minute earlier
Yellow-banded Underwing - 8/7/06 10:30 pm
Yellow-banded Underwing, with wings closed --8/7 -10:13pm
Though New York was in the grips of one of the worst heat waves in its history, Central Park still offered rewards to its stalwart nature lovers. On August 3, with the temperature approaching 100 degrees, Nick Wagerik, the only one of the Central Park Mothers [rhymes with authors] at the tree at 9 pm, found a beautiful new-for-the-season Underwing Moth, The Locust Underwing.
The night before, Noreen O'Rourke, alone at the tree at 10 pm, found another beauty, the Yellow-banded Underwing.
Now on to the present: On August 5, 2006, another new and delightfully named Underwing arrived. It was one of two that look so similar alike that we couldn't be sure which it was: either the Youthful Underwing, or The Bride.
On August 6 and 7th, another new one -- the Once-Married. Also, the Yellow-banded returned and posed for pictures. It appeared at 10:13 pm but wouldn't open its wings to reveal the yellow band on the hind wings for what seemed like forever. Until we saw the yellow band we couldn't be absolutely sure what it was. Finally, seventeen minutes later, it deigned to show itself in full splendor. A Yellow-banded!
The other heat-wave visitor, the Locust Underwing, is a much less frequent visitor, having been seen at the moth tree only once before. That was on August 3, 2004. It probably won't be seen again this year. Or ever. It wasn't photographed two years ago -- none of us had cameras then. I've included a picture from the internet. Note that it has many more black bands than any of the other Underwings. In fact it is not really on the same family -- the Catocalas. It is an Euparthenos.
On August 8th - last night, in fact --a big Underwing arrived, one we'd been eagerly awaiting: The Sweetheart. A breathtakingly beautiful moth. It was quite high up in the tree, as you can see in the un-zoomed photo. Photographed with the close-up lens it loses some of its beauty. .