Sunday, June 18, 2017

June 18 - Great Gull Island - Regal Moth

I am out on Great Gull Island doing field work with the terns. We have had heavy fog the last two mornings. As the fog was lifting this morning some of the workers were headed east through the "Meadow" section of the island when Donna Satterlee spotted a very large, unfamiliar moth. She took some pictures of it with her cellphone and I later went out and took some more pictures. We identified it as a Regal Moth (Citheronia regalii). Some research on the Internet turned up that the caterpillar has the wonderful name of Hickory Horned Devil. the wingspread of the adult moth can reach six inches. Its normal range is further south from here, usually just reaching northern New Jersey, though they do wander north to Massachusetts, so we were quite lucky to see one here.
Regal Moth (Citheronia regalii) - 06/18/2017 - Great Gull Island, NY

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