WildMetro Launches New Insect Survey in Pelham Bay Park

On Tuesday, March 27th Jeff Zirlin, Harry Zirlin, David Burg, and I (Tim Penman) went out to survey sites for a planned Insect survey in Pelham Bay Park (located in the Bronx). Over the course of the day we observed a variety of birds and insects as well as one species of salamander.

We are currently applying for a research permit from the New York Parks and Rec. Department. We will be using several techniques in an effort to catalog the Insect biodiversity of the park. We are also curious to see what effect the warm winter has had on the fauna of the park so we will be on the lookout for any unusual activity( i.e. southern species, early broods). We already encountered a White M Hairstreak( a butterfly whose name is derived from the M shaped marks on its wings) which was surprising to see at this time of year.

We will be comparing the upcoming survey to an Insect study WildMetro completed in 2003. If you are interested in helping out with this new Insect survey in Pelham Bay Park please contact us at wildmetro@gmail.com or call Jeff Zirlin at 914-874-7960. Jeff is a student at Yale University who has been collecting Insects his entire life and is heading this project along with his father Harry Zirlin, a well known amateur entomologist.

Here are some photos from our great outing on Tuesday (click to enlarge):

Great Leopard Moth Caterpillar, Ecpantheria scribonia

When alarmed, the Caterpillar curls up and displays
crimson rings which serve as a warning to predators.

                 Red-backed Salamander, Plethodon cinereus

                 White M Hairstreak Butterfly, Parrhasius m-album

Here is the complete list of the 54 species that were encountered:

  Eastern Cottontail Rabbit
  Grey Squirrel

 Red Backed Salamander

Birds 34 species:

  Red-breasted Merganser
  Black Duck
  Canada Goose
  Mute Swan
  Greater Yellowlegs
  Herring Gull
  Great Black Backed Gull
  Great Horned Owl
  American Kestrel
  Red Tailed Hawk
  Morning Dove
  Downy Woodpecker
  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  Common Flciker
  Red Bellied Woodpecker
  American Goldfinch
  American Robin
  Dark-eyed Junco
  Blue Jay
  Carolina Wren
  Brown Headed Cowbird
  White Throated Sparrow
  Song Sparrow
  Red-winged Blackbird
  Common Grackle
  Common Crow
  House Sparrow

  Butterflies- 4 species:

  Cabbage White
  Yellow Suplhur
  Organe Suphlur
  White M Hairstreak

  Moths- 2 species:

  Great Leopard Moth
  Forage Looper


 Ground Beetles(carabids)- 5 species
 Rove Beetles 2 secies
 Hister Beetles 1 species

Notable flowers:

  Trout Lily
  Spring Beauty

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