Catocala amestris in Mass.

Mothman617 Mothman617 at
Sun Aug 13 19:58:50 EDT 2000

I had found my first C. amestris today (8/13/00) in Boxford, Essex Co. Mass.
in my Robinson trap. In T.D. Sargents book "Legion of Night - The Underwing
Moths", it states that C. amestris has not been recorded in New England. The
book also states that the larva feeds upon Locust (Robinia). Over the past
decades Black Locust (R. pseudoacacia) has spread throughout our native
woods as well as Honey Locust (G. triacanthos). These trees were confined
mainly in the midwestern U.S. at the turn of the century and have spread
north and eastward due to widespread plantings as street trees and landscape
specimens, most likely during the aftermath of the Chestnut Blight and Dutch
Elm disease which wiped out millions of street and yard trees and also
during the postwar " suburban sprawl" in the 1950's. Many developers wanted
fast growing trees such as Black Locust. And of course if you bring in a
non-native plant, you will more than likely bring in non-native insects and
other organisms or increase the native range of that particular insect. An
example would be Catocala innubens (larva feeds on Honeylocust) which is
quite common here. This moth looked right at home in my Robinson trap with
all the Noctua pronuba, Lymantria dispar and Zeuzera pyrina :)

- M. Arey

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