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Citizen Science: Bats, Butterflies and Moths—Oh My!

Graphic of: Moth on Smartphone ScreenNeed help identifying butterflies or moths? There’s an app for that! New as of July 2017, LepSnap is a free, community field guide that uses photos submitted by users. When you upload a butterfly or moth photo, LepSnap analyzes the image and suggests possible identifications that can be later verified by experts. The app further helps to organize your images and uses your images for documenting lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) biodiversity. How cool! At this time, LepSnap is only available for Apple platforms, but they are almost done with their Android version. So, stay tuned!

Photo of: Bat silhouetteGot bats? If you have a bat colony roosting on your property, we want to know! As you may know, many of our local bat populations have been in decline due to the devastating white-nose syndrome. In Maryland, species such as the tri-colored bat and little brown bat have dramatically declined. Our biologists are interested in learning more about where bats spend their time, so we have created a reporting form for folks to enter in data from local bat roosts.

Fall Habitat Tip: Leave the leaves! Leaf litter provides habitat for all sorts of beneficial invertebrates, as well as shelter for eggs, larvae, pupae and even adult butterflies. Leaf litter also helps replenish soil nutrients.

Author’s Note

Welcome to the fall edition of the HabiChat, our quarterly backyard wildlife habitat newsletter from the Wild Acres program. Fall is my favorite time of year. This issue is dedicated to a native fruit tree known as the persimmon, explains why opossums are awesome and lists recommended plants for fall pollinators. In addition, there is a small piece on sowing fall seeds and two new citizen-science projects you may want to check out.
If there is a particular topic that you would like to see included in a future edition, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Happy Habitats!

Kerry Wixted

Also in This Issue:
Backyard Wildlife Fun: Tracks!
Citizen Science: Bats, Butterflies and Moths
Fall Seed Sowing
Fueling Fall Pollinators
Native Plant Profile: Persimmon
Native Wildlife: Virginia Opossum

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Photo of: Common Buckeye on Goldenrod; HabiChat Vol. 22, No. 1