Congratulations to Joshua Lincoln for winning the June 2017 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. His Pine Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis ssp. pini) image was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked ‘favs’.
The 1995 landmark publication Moths and Butterflies of Vermont: A Faunal Checklist, noted a specimen in the Carl T. Parsons Entomological Collection at UVM from July 1893, and reported that It was apparently last seen in Vermont in 1934. The iNaturalist Vermont database now has three records, including a caterpillar that was found feeding on Red Cedar, potentially a new host plant for this moth.
Adults reported to emerge before sunrise and mate after midnight the next day. Females lay eggs at dusk on host plant leaves. The eggs hatch in about two weeks, and the caterpillars are solitary feeders. The Pine Imperial moth is a conifer-feeding subspecies. Pupation takes place in underground burrows.
Visit iNaturalist Vermont, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life, and you can vote for the winner this month by clicking ‘fav’ on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!