Sunday, June 10, 2007

New Moth found by Mothers [rhymes with authors]

Last Thursday, June 7, four Mothers,the non-maternal kind, set up a black light in the Shakespeare Garden and resumed their nocturnal lepidopteran studies . There were a few familiar moth visitors -- six Fine-lined Grays, for instance, and an American Idia. And there was one tiny little moth we'd never seen before. It had very distinctive brown and chalky-white markings. We couldn't find anything like it in our Field Guide {Covell's Eastern Moths] which is not surprising: there are tens of thousands of moth species around. Consequently the book can only include the larger ones.
I sent a photo of the critter to Hugh McGuinness, a moth expert on Long Island, and he quickly sent me an answer identifying our mystery moth.

And the envelope please...

Henricus contrastanus, a member of the Cochylidae family