Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Mystery Moth demystified

Here's our mystery moth of August 30, 2008:

Davie Rolnick, one of the founding members of the Central Park Mothers [rhymes with authors] who was seven years old when we first convened at the Moth Tree, has just started his first semester at MIT. It's amazing that he still has a moment to check out this website. But somehow he has managed it, and wrote in to identify our mystery moth:

Could the photo on your website that you suggest is Callima [Epicallima] argenticinctella be instead the Japanese introduced species Promalactis suzukiella? Photos of both species (Hodges numbers around 1046) are available on the Moth Photographers' Group live moth pages.

Wow, what a whiz kid! I did exactly what he suggested, checked it out on the Moth Photographer's Group and found the picture below: our moth. It's troublesome to know that it is an exotic species. We are seeing more and more of another non-native moth --the Large Yellow Underwing [Noctua pronuba] and now this one. How will this affect native moth populations? Can't be good news.

Promalactis suzukiella

Friday, September 05, 2008

The evil eye

If I were a small Central Park rodent I wouldn't want that gaze fastened on me.

Photographer ELLEN MICHAELS [] sent in this recent photo of a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk in the park.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Birding on Labor Day

Tennessee Warbler, photographed on 9/24/07 in Central Park by

Here's Pat Pollock's Labor Day bird report, as it appeared today on e-birds:

Site: Ramble & vicinity
Date: Monday, 9/1/08
Reported by Pat Pollock

The narrow path up from an arch (up from "Bankrock Bridge") on northside among berry trees & shrubs Tennessee Warbler - (tips from Starr & Rhoda)
Matthew & I stayed a long time and finally were rewarded with close, beautiful looks
Also, Ovenbird, Black-throated Blue w.'s, B&W, Magnolias, Common Yellowthroat, Redstart. 9/2/08 Tues., only saw Black-throated Blue w.'s
Wild Turkey was roaming the Tupelo Meadow 9/1, Cape May at Bow Bridge,
Phoebe at Upper Lobe, 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in Maintenance Field "meadow".

Monday, September 01, 2008

Night and Day [insects are the ones]

Night [in Shakespeare Garden on 8/30/08]Ailanthus Webworm Moth -- seen in the daytime throughout Central Park as well as at night at the black light

A tiny moth we used to think was Callima argentocinctella but now are appealing to a higher authority for IDing -- Hugh McGuinness.

Two-spotted Tree Cricket on the portable generator [It powers the black light]

A Shakespeare Garden gastropod

and Day [at the Mountain Mint near Sparrow Rock - 8/30/08

An uncommon wasp: Scolia bicincta

A common butterfly --Red-banded Hairstreak