We started to identify some of the common plants around campus.
Coming all the way from Albany, California, we have never seen any of the plant species here (though we've heard of and seen photos of many). Like mentioned in the Beebe Lake post, everything here is just far more green and vigorous than back home. The climate most likely has something to do with this, as the temperature and humidity are also just ridiculously high compared to what we're used - it's 80+ everyday and feels real sticky all the time. Oh yeah - and it actually rains here. Back home, it never rained except during winter and summer temperature and humidity were only mild.
The frequent rains make all the grass green and lush. Back home, the grass was green for maybe the first month or two of spring and then became dead yellow there after. Many plants were also scraggly and stopped growing by June, and many were evergreen made possible due to the mild winters. Here, the trees are all deciduous and look full and vigorous. There is still new growth on many, and most do not have fully matured fruit yet.
That said, let's move on to what plant species we actually saw. We tried to photograph and identify some of the more common ones we saw, especially if they were important lepidoptera hosts, but we definitely didn't catch everything we past by. Some of these include tuliptrees, cherries, oak (not the prickly evergreen variety!), pine, ash, locust, willow, walnut, grapes (never knew they grew wildly here), poplar, birch, sumac, and Queen Anne's lace. Most of these serve as popular hosts for many lepidoptera here. We were actually familiar with many of these trees and shrubs from researching hosts of eastern lepidoptera back in California, but we had never seen them in life until now. Some look so vigorous and good for feeder food that we feel sort of stupid trying to rear so many eastern caterpillars back home (not to mention, they hated the cool, dry weather, especially when sleeved outdoors). There was no wonder why we struggled so much...
There are still a few plants in particular that we are still hoping to find but can't, such as spicebush or sassafras for Papilio troilus, and prickly ash for cresphontes. At least we have plenty of tuliptree and Queen Anne's lace for glaucus and polyxenes respectively (though ironically, it seems these two are out of flight already, so we'll have to wait until next year). On that note, a lot of the trees here should also be good for many moths; maybe we'll actually find some Saturniid cocoons on some of them in the winter (impossibility in California, seriously). The grapes should be good for probably five or so Sphingids, which is outright ridiculous (what is up with the east??). There's simply a gazillion more lepidoptera (and other insects!) here on the east compared to California, and this is only the north (can't even imagine how diverse it gets in the more southerly states on the east). Basically, unless you're looking for California specific species, probably not the best place to go.
Woody plants (tried our best with identifications):
Herbaceous plants (tried our best with identifications):
Ithaca, New York
This timeline is a series of daily posts recording our observations and experiences with various insects (primarily Lepidoptera) around the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York, starting from the time we moved here in 2017. As this is a personal blog, we try to keep collections/rearings for university research and course work to a minimum, and mainly focus on just the species we catch and raise for our own fun and interest. Posts prior to this time can be viewed at Timeline 2012-2017: Albany, California, though there is occasionally some crossover when we have returned home during breaks or reared stock derived from home (see Albany, California Updates).
July 2020 (1)
August 2019 (2)
July 2019 (35)
June 2019 (46)
May 2019 (20)
March 2019 (1)
January 2019 (1)
September 2018 (1)*
August 2018 (9)*
July 2018 (11)*
June 2018 (22*)
May 2018 (18)*
April 2018 (2)*
January 2018 (6)
December 2017 (5)
November 2017 (1)
October 2017 (5)
September 2017 (26)
August 2017 (19)
*Currently, a significant portion of 2018 posts are missing. The notes/photos for this time period are saved on our personal files but the posts were never built due to a busy schedule that year. We are still actively building these posts when we have the time.
Full Species List
(Alphabetical by scientific name)
- Not every species we encounter is necessarily presented on this site, rather a selection of those that were of particular interest to us and that we felt were worth documenting.
- We can't guarantee that all species have been identified accurately, particularly taxa we are not as familiar with.
Battus philenor hirsuta
Liminitis arthemis arthemis
Limenitis arthemis astyanax
Papilio polyxenes asterius
Papilio polyxenes asterius × Papilio zelicaon
Albany, California Updates