Archivos de diario de mayo 2022

16 de mayo de 2022

First Search for Samia Cynthia

Today, a friend and I were up in North Jersey for business unrelated to entomology, but an area known to me was on our way back. A little while ago, I read about Samia cynthia. A species of silkmoth introduced into Philadelphia to try creating a silk trade for ourselves in the US! Very interesting history about it, I highly recommend reading into it here:

Anyway, I had heard about reports of the species still having small, but existing populations in the NJ Meadowlands and surrounding areas, and this was backed up by two sightings since 2015. While still extraordinarily rare, there is definitely potential for it to have populations there! So, we went to check it out. We checked an extremely small portion of Liberty State Park, which has a rampant population of Tree-of-Heaven, Samia cynthia's only host-plant (dubbed very well, Ailanthus Silk Moth). Unfortunately, to nobody's surprise, nothing was found. This is an extremely rare moth to find anywhere nearby, so I definitely urge some of my fellow iNatters in the North Jersey/NYC area: please be on the lookout for this moth! I would absolutely LOVE to see some observations of it this year, even if they aren't mine, because it would be wonderful to see the species still in-tact.

I also wonder if it still exists in the Philadelphia metro area? Saturniids are rather common in the city, with parks like Fairmount, Washington, Rittenhouse having observations of even the Cecropia moth, which I think is pretty amazing. But since only an extremely small portion of the population is interested in this kind of stuff, not many people realize what they're looking at. I believe if I remember correctly, the last population known was by Christopher Cook. He found about 6 cocoons on an Ailanthus tree near the Eastwick SEPTA train stop. Would be interesting to look into. We'll see this year if any new records are made (Check out BAMONA to see records of them from the past couple of years - they're definitely still in NJ!).

Publicado el mayo 16, 2022 12:23 MAÑANA por evelyntomology evelyntomology | 2 observaciones | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario