Lloyd Center Gears Up For Moth & Butterfly Projects This Season

Southcoast Biodiversity Initiative Butterfly InventoriesRed Admiral

During 2013, researchers at the Lloyd Center documented 65 species of butterflies from four local sites (Noquochoke Wildlife Management Area, Slocum River Reserve, Lloyd Center butterfly garden in Dartmouth, and the south end of Acushnet Cedar Swamp Reservation in New Bedford) set up for long-term inventories in order to relate changes in our butterfly fauna to predicted changes in local climate.

This brings the number of butterflies seen in the Slocum and Westport River watersheds in the past 30 years to 85, which is 73% of the Massachusetts’ butterfly fauna. We also recorded all nectaring events, identifying all plants in bloom, and those used by butterflies.  A paper summarizing these results is near completion.

For the upcoming season, we will hopefully again be making weekly forays to these same sites. In order to adequately cover all four sites, the Center is seeking assistance from area ‘butterfliers’ or anyone interested in learning about butterflies who might be able to volunteer for one morning or afternoon a week to record species at either the Lloyd Center property or the Slocum River Reserve. Training on the survey route and butterfly identification will be provided.

Anyone interested should contact Mark at markmello@lloydcenter.org or call 508-990-0505 x22.

Photo:  “Red Admiral at buddleia in Lloyd Center’s butterfly garden”

National Moth Weekrosy-maple-moth

The Lloyd Center has been collecting moth data on its 82-acre property since 1983, amassing records of nearly 1,000 species of moths. Located within an oak-hickory forest the Center’s property supports a rich and diverse assemblage of species.

On July 22, we’re inviting participants to join us for an evening of moth observations at our Visitor Center.  At 8:00 p.m. we will set out lights and bait on the property, then provide an introduction to moth identification and diversity in southern New England.  By 9:00 p.m. it will be dark, and we will make our first round to the bait trail and butterfly garden to see nectaring moth species, and then settle down at the lights.

We will be recording the ongoing parade of moths until 2:00 a.m., so folks are welcome to stay as long as they like. For those planning on staying until the end, a blanket or air mattress for short naps might be useful. We will either photograph or collect (when photographic identification would be questionable or a species is new for the property) all species to be submitted to the National Moth Week database.

For more information on National Moth Week, CLICK HERE.

Photo: “Rosy Maple Moth documented at the Lloyd Center”

Insect Surveys

The Center hopes to continue its survey of moths on Cape Ann in 2014 (grant pending). During 2013, a total of 443 species of moths were identified, four of which, as well as the butterfly, Hessel’s Hairstreak, are listed as rare in the state’s Endangered Species Act. These are the first moth records from Cape Ann in over 50 years, thus this project is adding vital information to the understanding of moth diversity in Massachusetts. The Center will also be conducting an insect inventory on the far westernmost barrier beach system in Westport, MA. Moth ecology of barrier beaches is poorly known, so hopefully this study will add to our knowledge of the biodiversity of this system.