Massive Hatch of “Eclipse Moths” Expected Across Finger Lakes

First Hatch in over 400 years –  Tourism Officials try to Downplay

Lou Friend for


Hundreds of thousands of visitors will be in the region next week for the eclipse. But what most don’t realize is that scientists are quietly predicting tens of millions of a much less desirable visitor to emerge – Eclipse Moths – a visitor that hasn’t been seen in these parts since the year 1622. 


With a voracious appetite and an average wingspan of nearly 6” these moths may end up being a far larger story than the eclipse itself. And as you might expect, tourism officials have done their best to keep this piece of the eclipse under the radar. 

A Scientific Mystery Until Earlier this Year

For over 65 years, entomologists at the Cornell Larvae And Pupae (C.L.A.P.) Lab have been baffled by unusually large larvae found underground across the region. According to Dr. Tony Hopkins, head of research at C.L.A.P. “They were similar in many ways to Cicadas – but unlike the local Cicada broods that emerge every 13 years – these have never emerged. We were perplexed” 

Artificial Intelligence Results in Breakthrough

The breakthrough came when an interdisciplinary team utilizing powerful AI computers normally reserved for creating algorithms to deliver pointless videos to our children. They analyzed the larvae’s genetic makeup and environmental factors. It determined that the larvae will develop only when a specific set of astronomical and atmospheric conditions are met – a full eclipse with temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees. 


Our last total eclipse in New York was in 1925 – but temperatures were too cold for the moths to emerge.   “But based on the current forecast” Dr. Hopkins said “Residents should start preparing for tens of millions of moths”.

An Iroquois Legend Turns out to be True

Since colonial times, local Native American tribes have spoken of “Mothura” an insect that anthropologists had translated from the Iroquois tongue as  “Giant Moth that Blots Out the Sun”. However it appears this translation was off slightly – and that the actual phrase was  “Huge Ass Moth that Arrives after Blotted Sun”. The legend was not just lore – it was history.  

State Trying to Keep the Moths Under Wraps Until After the Eclipse

While the state typically looks to significantly play up potential threats to residents, it appears the tourism lobby was successful in keeping the news of the moths quiet. In an effort to promote tourism, State Officials have put a gag order in effect and are not commenting on the moths. 


However through a freedom of information act request we have learned  Governor Hochul has spent nearly $89 million dollars on the “Moth Task Force” – (M.T.F.)  And of this $89 million, $82 million was earmarked for Youtube Creator Mr. Beast who will be in Trumansburg Monday afternoon to host a 2 day series – “The Moth Games” . These contests will be formally announced the moment the eclipse ends. 

If you are interested and feel you are qualified to win the Moth Games, email explaining why you would be a good fit. Please also tell us your favorite kind of moth and why you like it so much.  

About the Moths – What You Should Know

While the state is not talking, concerned sources at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation have leaked the following information to us:

Size: Average adult moths range 4”-6” across, with Queen moths as large as 12”.  Only moths over 5″ are considered “keepers” by the DEC. 

 Diet: The moths are omnivorous – and extremely hungry. The Iroquois legend spoke of their incredible appetite –  consuming not only entire crops of corn, but also devastating the squirrel and rabbit populations. Cats and small dogs may be at risk. 

Unusual Strength: The moths are not only large, they are extremely strong. Their mandibles will be capable of biting through trees up to 3” in diameter, and they will be able to fly carrying up to 9 pounds. 

Intelligence: Likely the smartest of any insect ever studied. Most moths were able to spell Skaneateles on their first attempt. 

Unique Mating Habits: Only 3% of moths are male, however they are very, very frisky. Each male will mate with at least 25 different females- “the Nick Cannon of insects – they sure do make up for a 400 year gestation period” as one scientist put it. 

Lifespan: The moths will emerge, eat, mate and die within 48 hours – leaving what is sure to be a giant mess across the region. Sanitation crews have been put on high alert and will work around the clock to clean up the mess of moths that could cover the ground up to 4” deep.


Patience: The moths appear to have incredible patience. In lab tests, they have been able to withstand a 16 person bachelorette party showing up to a winery without any frustration or annoyance. 

Above: Queen Eclipse Moth

Mixed Reaction from Residents

The emergence of the moths has some residents terrified, some excited, and others just focused looking to make a quick buck.

Local Man Very, Very Excited


We visited with self-described “amateur entomologist, custom clothier and cistern enthusiast”  Jay Gumb at his home just outside Ithaca this morning. 


Mr. Gumb is quite the character! Over the sound of techno pumping from his basement described his excitement over the moths. “I’ve seen a lot in my lifetime…honestly you have no idea….and this is going to be one of the greatest days of my life –  I couldn’t be more excited for the moths.” 

Amateur Entomologist Jay Gumb

“Moth Bashers” for Sale on Keuka Lake


The Olney Place Deli on Keuka Lake is well known for excellent sandwiches, great beer and a friendly atmosphere.



And they appear to be one of the first businesses capitalizing on the moths – selling the ‘Patented Moth Basher, Stunner and Shovel Combo Tool’. “Gotta make lemons out of lemonade” says Seth Olney, owner of the Olney Place.

Skepticism from Moth Preppers 

As you might expect these days, some believe the moths are part of the grand government plan to take over our lives. “Eclipse yeah right. So obviously fake – just like the moon itself” said Hannah Bulecter of Watkins Glen “Just an excuse to release these moths and control our lives.”


The guy who sells me my pillows tells me the troops will arrive just after the fake eclipse starts – watch out sheeple!

This Story is Developing – Stay Tuned for Updates

Have you seen the moths? 


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