Just down Bascom Hill from Spalding’s lab, squeezed between Birge Hall and University Avenue, is UW–Madison’s renowned Botanical Garden, a flower-filled teaching and research space where the Wisconsin botanist breaks from the routine of academic research and teaching to engage in his pastime of observing “pretty things with wings.”
On a sojourn to the garden last month, Spalding saw and photographed “a handsome moth” he suspected was rare. What he did not know then was that his sighting was the first recorded observation in Wisconsin of the White-tipped Black moth, a tropical species whose natural range typically does not extend much farther north than Florida and the Texas coast...Further details at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With a tip of the blogging cap to reader The Weaving One, for sending me the link.
Ferge was skeptical of Spalding’s find at first and inquired if anything tropical had been recently transplanted in the garden. But garden Director Mohammad Fayyaz checked the garden records and noted that planting tropical species in Wisconsin in October is, at best, a losing proposition...
This year, there have been sightings of the White-tipped Black moth in Oklahoma, where it made news for being that far north of its host range, and also in Illinois.