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July 2013

Tonight Is the Moth Ball!

Tonight is the Moth Ball at the John Fell House. We are expecting a large turnout of people, and possibly moths.

I am delighted to report that for the first IMG_9709time in a long time, weather does not seem to be an issue at an event this summer. Knock on wood.

Celery Farm Marsh Warden Mike Limatola and I tried a dress rehearsal last night, and we eventually attracted quite a few nifty but small moths.

We did better as the night wore on and we moved the lights to the setup shown above.

The event kicks off at 8:30 with a short talk and slide show on why moths matter and wraps up around 10:15. You can stay for as long as you like. The moth seem to improve later.

The 2nd annual Moth Ball is brought to you by the Fyke Nature Association and the Concerned Citizens of Allendale, the group that maintains the historic Fell House.

The event is part of National Moth Week, and one or two of the founders are expected to be on hand tonight. You can read more about National Moth Week here.

We hope you have rsvp'd for this event, IMG_9710
because parking could be challenging. If you have not rsvp'd, it might be advisable to wait until next year or attend another National Moth week event.

Parking at the Fell House is limited, and you should bring a flashlight to go up to the house. If the Celery Farm parking lot is full, you can park on the Franklin Turnpike but not on the sidewalk. Please be careful and watch out for pedestrians and cars. Franklin Turnpike can be a busy road.

Bring your own water, and apply any bug spray and moonscreen before you get near the Fell House.

You can call me on my cell after 7:30 at 201-469-7349 if you have questions. Fell House directions are in the upper right-hand corner of this blog.

More (small) moth pix from last night follow. If you can help IDs, that would be great -- wanted to post these asap. See you tonight.

Continue reading "Tonight Is the Moth Ball!" »

Moth Mystery Answered


It's an aptly named Leopard Moth, photographed in my backyard next to the CF and across the street from the Fell House -- site of Wednesday Night's Moth Ball.

Deedee Burnside not only answered correctly, but she gave us the full monte -- “Zeuzera pyrina - Wood Leopard Moth. (Thanks, Deedee!)

Fishfly or Dobsonfly?

One of the cool thing about Moth Nights is that you learn about other cool insects.  (Our next moth night -- the Moth Ball -- is Wednesday night. Scroll down a few posts for more info.)

In June, I posted pics of several bugs attracted to my moth lights, including the photo above. Link is here.

One person ID'd it as Dobsonfly. Another ID'd it as a Fishfly. So I looked up both, and it's really hard to tell from a single photo. These are two very similar insects.

But in reading about both, I think the bug is a Fishfly because it has short mandibles and feathery antennae. (But as you know, I could be wrong!)

The link is here.

Equally cool is the fact that the larval stage of both bugs is called a hellgrammite -- one of the strangest (seemingly prehistoric) little creatures I've ever seen.