2015 Finger Lakes Moth Events


Danby Moth Night 2015


This was the first in the series of Summer 2015 Finger Lakes moth events and, since the regular summer series began in 2012, our first at Upper Buttermilk Fall State Park. The gathering was held at the park's rustic pavilion and its proximity. This location is almost 1000-ft asl and is at the beginning of a gorge which trails down to Ithaca. The mothing was interesting, but relatively low numbers and diversity for this time of year. The night before temps dropped into the lower 40s F, which was near record low going back 120 years. But the day was sunny and had warmed into the mid-70s, and the evening held steady in the mid-60s for most of the night with a moderately rich humidity. The event was highlighted with a great presentation by Jason Dombroskie, curator of the Cornell Insect collection. The rustic pavilion at the park was packed with 65+ people to hear his talk.



Many stayed on and mothed three light stations, two of which had side-by-side king bed sheets lit with two 48 inch florescent fixtures each with one black and one white bulb (shown below). The other light station was Jason's mercury vapor lamp setup.  As with all the summer moth events the previous three years, Bob Dirig, Bill Evans, Meena Haribal, and Carolyn Klass were on hand supporting the logistics and educational dynamics of the event. Josh Teeter, from the Finger Lakes Parks, and his wife Kelley facilitated the event in many ways as they have annually, a highlight of which is Kelley leading the kids out to paint trees with moth bait. The Danby Community Council provided enthusiastic assistance, publicity, and snacks.



Regarding species, Haploas were notably common. Noctuids were notably uncommon, but a Chocolate Prominent (Peridea ferruginea) evoked oohs and aahs. A species list is being composed and will be linked here when completed. Pictures by Meena Haribal of some of the species seen during the evening can be seen here. If you were at the event and would like to contribute pictures, stories, or additional species sightings, you can do so by emailing <moths at oldbird dot org>.


And for the finale, we had one Saturnid -- a Polyphemus that came in after midnight. Overall a wonderful evening that beat the rain by 4-5 hours.