|Poplar Grey (Subacronicta megacephala)|
Luckily, we identified a Poplar Grey (Subacronicta megacephala), which is worthy of note because, according to our records, we've only seen it once before at Shandy Hall. I say lucky because it was both lucky that we caught it in the first place and lucky that it didn't blow away while we were noting the catch - a number of the moths tumbled out of the trap and eagerly flew off with the wind as we opened the top.
The Poplar Grey's scientific name first means 'nightfall', and secondly 'large-head', which references the form of the larva. At first, the adult appears quite difficult to identify because it resembles many other grey, black, and white densely-patterned moths. Upon closer inspection, I was able to define its identifying characteristic: two small white dots on the far edges of each of its wings. It has striped legs, and its antennae lay flat along the sides of its back.
As it turns out, this isn't a species new to Shandy Hall; it was recorded a few years ago, but hasn't been photographed or written about before. It is a decent-sized dusky moth, not particularly memorable, but one of the few standouts in a trapping that was otherwise rather recognizable and repetitive.
|Oak Eggar (Lasiocampa quercus)|
We were fortunate enough to get a good photograph of this one; you can see the distinctive fluffy top of its head that tends down on its back like a little cloak. This is one of the few moths that actually looks sturdy. Most of the ones we find are delicate and their tiny legs flimsy as spiderwebs. This one, however, looks relatively new; it's well colored; and it's of a size to seemingly hold its own against the elements.
Post : Ariel A Smith (UPenn)