Little moths show off their colors at Long Key Nature Center

By: Sandy Lanman

The best moths often come in tiny packages. Attending a moth night on a steamy mid-summer evening at the Long Key Natural Area in Davie, Fla., certainly proved this.

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Kelli (Long Key Nature Center) and Sandy (National Moth Week)

Administrator Kelli Whitney hosted some 30 moth-ers of all ages and experience at the tropical refuge last Friday night. The event was sponsored by the center, which is run by Broward County Parks, in cooperation with the Broward Butterflies Chapter and the Miami Blue Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association.

Kelli put up two light setups on the sides of the building, and we also did several walks along a nature trail (look out for spiders!) to the accompaniment of croaking pig frogs (that’s the Florida version of a bull frog). Along the trail, trees had been “painted” with moth bait and Kelli had set up a glass and wood trap with a small light setup that did a great job of attracting moths.

Like any moth night, you have to wait for the best to arrive. And they did – many colorful, small species, along with a beautiful leopard moth. Kelli has identified dozens of varieties on the grounds of the center and had some caterpillars inside. Check out some of the moths we saw (IDs still pending).

Leopard Moth

Leopard Moth

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