June 24 2017, Moth Night at the North Carolina Botanical Garden

After a late afternoon thunderstorm cleared out around 6:00 pm, we were able to hold a Moth Night down in the Piedmont Trails section of the North Carolina Botanical Garden, with 16 people in attendance.  Sheets and blacklights were set up at two locations in the floodplain of Meeting-of-the-Waters Creek, with banana bait painted along the trail leading down to the sheets.  Despite the preceding heavy rain and still dripping conditions, we recorded 36 species of moths, 4 crickets and katydids, 2 mantispids, 1 dobsonfly, 1 Brown Prionus Beetle; a large number of June Bugs, Caddisflies, and mini-micro moths were also seen but not identified to species.  Two moths of particular interest were a male Anisota senatoria -- unusual since the males fly mainly during the day -- and a caterpillar of Acronicta rubricoma, spotted by Mike Dunn using an ultraviolet flashlight.  This species is rarely seen as an adult but the larva was brightly florescent and easily observed feeding on its host plant, Sugarberry (Celitis laevigata).


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