sightings


Zebra Swallowtails on scat in the Great Dismal Swamp VA 2014 APR 12 [REB]

Zebra Swallowtails on scat in the Great Dismal Swamp VA 2014 APR 12 [REB]

As predicted, last weekend produced a watershed of new FOYs across the region, from Falcate Orangetips to Zebra Swallowtails to various elfins. A short descent into the deep freeze midweek is likely to dampen emergences just a bit, but the temperatures will climb into the 60’s again for Easter weekend, with the sunnier and warmer day now projected to be Sunday.

Zebra Swallowtail is out now in increasing numbers; good places to look for this charismatic species (the spring brood has shorter tails than the summer flight does, but still quite an attractive lep) include the C&O canal towpath in Montgomery Co. and the District, the US National Arboretum (especially on the hillsides sloping down to the Anacostia), Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge North Tract, Piney Orchard near Odenton, Eastern Neck NWR, and Governor Bridge Natural Area in Bowie – anywhere you find its host, pawpaw. Eastern Tiger Swallowtails will be out this weekend or shortly thereafter across the mid-Atlantic; last year’s spring brood was quite sparse but there was a good summer brood. Pipevine Swallowtails and Spicebush Swallowtails will also be on the wing shortly and could show up as early as this weekend and certainly by the end of the month.

Falcate Orangetip could be encountered in most of the deciduous woodlands in the area, and will continue into early to mid-May.  Its close cousin, Olympia Marble, is already flying along the Blue Ridge backbone and could be on the wing any time in the next two weeks in its limited range in western Maryland. This species is in deep trouble owing to a decline in its habitat, open shale barrens, and to incidental exposure to pesticides sprayed to control gypsy moth. Any sightings should be reported to Maryland Department of Natural Resources at http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Plants_Wildlife/espaa.asp

Other pierids – including Cabbage (Small) White and both common Colias sulphurs, Orange and Clouded – are flying now in small numbers that will build through the season.

The same western Maryland mountains could see emergence of Silvery Blue in a few days, and there’s already a chance of tortoiseshells (Compton is more likely this early, Milbert’s in May) and Gray Comma sunning on the back roads of Allegany, Washington, or Garrett counties.

Henry's Elfin 2014 APR 12 in the Great Dismal Swamp VA [REB]

Henry’s Elfin 2014 APR 12 in the Great Dismal Swamp VA [REB]

The three early elfins are all on the wing now, Brown, Eastern Pine, and Henry’s. All three are possible on the upcoming Audubon Naturalist excursion to Hoyle’s Mill in Montgomery Co. on April 26 (check out the LepLog field trip calendar for details). Likewise, all three can usually be found at Calvert Cliffs State Park. Look for patches of blueberry to get a bead on Brown Elfin; this species can be very common on some of the trails in the Frederick Municipal Watershed. Henry’s Elfin is addicted to redbud blossoms and is often found near these showy spring trees. In the Great Dismal Swamp last weekend, where there are no redbuds, I kicked up dozens of Henry’s Elfins along the sandy ditches and there were literally small clouds of them in blooming horse-sugar trees (Symplocos). Eastern Pine Elfin should be looked for nectaring on blueberry (especially high-bush blueberry, V. corymbosum) where it grows near good stands of Virginia pine. Good places to hunt Eastern Pine Elfin locally are Patuxent North (along the Pine Trail and near Lake Anna), Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge South Tract and National Wildlife Visitor Center at the far end of Lake Anna along the powerline that runs along Route 197 (there are extensive stands of corymbosum here), and at Piney Orchard near Odenton.

Azures are in full flight; currently it appears to be mostly the spring form of Summer Azure but Spring Azure and Holly Azure will be on the wing soon if they aren’t already. The first Eastern Tailed-blues will be flying within the next week.

Anglewings (Comma and Question Mark) and Mourning Cloak are already looking ratty. A fresh flight will emerge in June and then aestivate over the summer, fly briefly again in the fall before overwintering as adults.

Perplexing duskywings are due this weekend or next week as well; Juvenal’s and Horace’s are the most likely around here. Both are relatively common in open oak forests, where the caterpillars feed on oak. Horace’s is univoltine; you’ll only find it flying with Juvenal’s in the spring. A little later this seaon, you get to puzzle out Juvenal’s versus Wild Indigo Duskywing. In western Maryland, both Dreamy and Sleepy Duskwings will be flying in the next week or two also. A taxonomist’s nightmare is a puddle party of Dreamy, Sleepy, Juvenal’s and Horace’s Duskwings all concentrated on one wet spot by a dirt road in the back country of Allegany County.

Just to whet your appetite, also flying last weekend in the Virginia portion of the Great Dismal Swamp NWR were Palamedes Swallowtail, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Eastern Tailed-blue, Pearl Crescent, and the cane specialist Carolina Roadside-skipper. Hessel’s Hairstreak was nectaring on horse sugar in large numbers in Brunswick Co. NC, and Harvester was flying in GA, SC, and NC.

Here’s hoping to run into in the field this weekend, and don’t forget to post or send your sightings for the next Weekend Forecast! In the meantime, visit us at http://leplog.wordpress.com/ and on Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.

The warmest temperatures of the season will likely bring out a host of FOY butterflies this weekend, even with some cloudiness and showers. Anyone who can get out Friday may have the most sunshine, but Sunday lepsters will have the higher temps.

Last weekend and the first few days of this week produced a good number of new butterflies in the area, including Zebra Swallowtails in northern VA; and azure spp., Falcate Orangetip, and an unidentified elfin in Prince George’s Co. near the District. Farther south, in Wicomico Co. near Mardela Springs, I had my FOY Brown Elfin on the Tom Tyler Nature Trail in an area that often produces dozens of Brown and Henry’s Elfins later in the season. Cabbage (Small) White was reported in several nearby locations the past few days.

This weekend will likely produce additional elfins throughout the region (Brown, Henry’s, and Eastern Pine; Frosted will be several weeks away when lupine begins to flower – it wasn’t even showing aboveground when I checked on Sunday near Furnacetown MD). Zebra Swallowtail numbers should build in areas with Pawpaw (along the C&O Canal, Governor Bridge Natural Area, Jug Bay/Merkle). We could see our first Eastern Tiger Swallowtail this weekend or during the week next week, in addition to larger numbers of azures. A few more Falcates should be flying this weekend in wooded areas across the region that haven’t been too overbrowsed, and at peak by next weekend given more warm weather.   Expect Juvenal’s and Horace’s Duskywings in the next week or two as well, in addition to Colias sulphurs.

I’m headed south to the Great Dismal Swamp on the NC/VA border this weekend as part of an Audubon Naturalist Society field trip focused mainly on birds, but hoping to pick up some of the Swamp specialties – Hessel’s Hairstreak, Lace-winged Roadside-skipper, Creole Pearly-eye, and Gemmed Satyr in particular – if they’re on the wing.

Things are still looking pretty cold and barren in western Maryland this weekend; look for anglewings and Mourning Cloaks, and the occasional errant tortoiseshell. West Virginia Whites are probably at least a week out still, given sufficient warmth, as are most Falcates and Olympia Marble. In Green Ridge State Forest, the west- and south-facing slopes without trees often heat up early, so if it turns out warm and sunny over the weekend one might find early Silvery Blues, elfins, early duskywings (including Dreamy and Sleepy), Cobweb Skipper and Juniper Hairstreaks, but chances are much better the closer we get to May 1.

Enjoy the warm weather and don’t forget to post or send your sightings for the next Weekend Forecast! In the meantime, visit us at http://leplog.wordpress.com/ and on Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.

Tom Ostrowski's 2014 March 21 sighting of Eastern Comma in Chapman State Park, Charles Co MD

Tom Ostrowski’s 2014 March 21 sighting of Eastern Comma in Chapman State Park, Charles Co MD

Another dicey weekend forecast is shaping up after our week of wintry weather: somewhat warming temperatures but rain – sometimes chilly rain – on Saturday and Sunday. These March forecasts are tricky, though, so we might get a combination of temperatures near normal (50’s-low 60’s) and some sunshine, most likely on Sunday. But it’s not looking good.

Just before the latest cold snap, though, a lot of new FOYs cropped up throughout the East.

Here in Maryland we saw the emergence of the first non-adult-overwintering butterflies, Cabbage White in Howard Co. and an unidentified sulphur in Montgomery Co. at Dickerson Conservation Park. Eastern Commas were seen in a number of places locally, including the US National Arboretum and Charles Co.

Eastern Comma and Mourning Cloak sightings extended well up through PA, to NY, and into CT last weekend. To the south, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, azures, and a strong flight of Juvenal’s Duskywings were abroad in South Carolina, with Palamedes Swallowtail, Gemmed Satyr and Red-banded Hairstreak all observed in Francis Marion National Forest. Henry’s Elfin and White M Hairstreaks were reported in both Carolinas, and a Great Purple Hairstreak joined continuing White M Hairstreaks near Spartansburg SC.   Meanwhile, in the Raleigh NC region the first Falcate Orangetips were out.

Given a few more days of temperatures in the 60’s, the next two weeks could bring cherry blossoms and the first azures to the DC area, along with orangetips, Cabbage Whites, sulphurs, and possibly early elfins. My own prediction for this spring will be that we’ll have a lot of activity compressed into a short period – early fliers will emerge late and mingle with mid-season and late-season spring species.

Hope to see you in the field looking for them, and be sure to share your sightings on your favorite listserv (especially if that favorite listserv happens to be MDLepsOdes on Google Groups!).

Just in time for the 2014 season, I’ve made revisions to the  Field Trip Checklist for Butterflies of Maryland I first put together in 2012.  It reflects a number of changes in status from Dick Smith’s work and the field observations several of us made during our Big Butterfly Year last season.  It also corrects some typos and omissions from the 2012 version.

It’s designed to be printed back-to-back on one sheet and folded as a tri-fold, like most checklists.  If you find additional errors or omissions, let me know and I can correct it.  I printed several hundred for use of Maryland lepidopterists the first time; I’ll wait and see if there are any changes before I order another printing.

Three cloaks in nature, courtesy N Kondla

Three cloaks in nature, courtesy N Kondla

Ross Layberry, writing in Ontario Lepidoptera in 2009, raises the prospect of full subspecies status for what has typically been considered a single species, Mourning Cloak, with no subspecies.  As many of you know, Mourning Cloak has a very wide distribution across the northern hemisphere, including Asia, Europe and North America, and the absence of speciation has always been thought rather remarkable.

Layberry and Canadian colleague Norbert Kondla are collecting information about sightings of the two U.S. “variations” of Nymphalis antiopalintnerii and hyperborea.  Both variations occur in Canada and in New York at least, with the typical eastern woodland species, lintnerii, presumed to be the one we have in the mid-Atlantic.  But looking at the defining characteristic – a deep chocolate brown color for lintnerii, and a light reddish cocoa for hyperborea – I wonder if we should be paying more attention to Mourning Cloaks we see in the mid-Atlantic. As Layberry asks in his paper, when was the last time you took a good, close look at Mourning Cloak?

Norbert sent along the illustrations in this post to amplify the point.  As he notes in an email to me this morning, the question is whether lintnerii and hyperborea are genetically distinct taxa, and then how many species actually comprise the complex we now know as Mourning Cloak.    His comment on the specimen I posted Saturday from Calvert Co. is that this is textbook hyperborea.

2009 Layberry_Possible subspecies of the Mourning Cloak is available in the LepLog library for your perusal.  If you have clear, upperside photos or vouchers of either variant and would like to be in touch with Kondla, his email is nkondla@telus.net.

Three Cloaks PDF

A box of hyperborea type Mourning Cloaks -- note the very reddish cocoa ground color

A box of hyperborea type Mourning Cloaks — note the very reddish cocoa ground color

A box of lintnerii-type Mourning Cloaks -- note the very dark, almost black ground color

A box of lintnerii-type Mourning Cloaks — note the very dark, almost black ground color

Jan Meyer sent in this pic of a lintnerii-type cloak taken 6/6/2010 on Hawksbill Mtn in Shenandoah NP in VA.

2010 Mourning Cloak by Jan Meyer taken June 6 in Shenandoah NP VA

2014 Mar 15 M Cloak ACLT Calvert Co 2014 Mar 15 Comma ACLT Calvert CoA great day to be out wandering the trails at the American Chestnut Land Trust in Prince Frederick, Calvert Co.  Had the full trifecta of adult-overwintering nymphalids:  1 Question Mark, 1 Mourning Cloak, 7 Eastern Commas.  This will be hard to repeat for a week or more, it appears from the weather forecast.

West Virginia White -- photo courtesy wisconsinbutterflies

West Virginia White — photo courtesy wisconsinbutterflies

Ohio doctoral student Sam Davis and her advisor are asking for help from field lepidopterists to share their data on first appearances for West Virginia White:

>>I hope you’re as excited as I am for the coming spring! As part of my thesis, and to benefit everyone interested in the WVW butterfly, I’m trying to develop a model to predict emergence for the butterfly.

I have the dataset that’s been shared here by Cathi, but I need more points to really start to develop a trustworthy model.  I’m trying to use growing degree days (GDD) and other climatic variables to predict when these guys will come out. If I can develop a model, that means less guessing for us, and better monitoring.

Here’s what I need: I need dates/times and locations of first appearances of the West Virginia White butterfly in your area. I don’t need all of the days you saw them, just the first :) For locations, GPS coordinates would be best, so that I can use those to find the nearest weather station to download climatic information. You can use google to find the GPS coordinates (if you can point to it on a map) — email me, and I can tell you how.

I know you may have submitted all of your records to Cathi already, but if you know of anyone outside of this list, or you have a few rogue records (like, outside of the LEAP monitoring area) that you could send along, that would be great. The “perfect” dataset for me would be one where we have emergence (first sighting) dates for multiple years at a single location.

Please, please, please! Send this along to other lists, to other butterfly enthusiasts, museum coordinators (historical records would be fine for this!), anyone that you think may be able to help.

Send your responses directly to me at samantha.davis.52988@gmail.com

Thank you! Have a great day!

Sam(antha) Davis

Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Candidate

Wright State University

Dayton, OH 45435<<

Despite the very chilly day tomorrow and the increasing chances of snow next week, local butterflies are starting to pop out, with sightings of Mourning Cloak in Gambrills State Park last weekend at High Knob. Sunny skies and temps in the upper 50′s F on Friday and similar highs with partly cloudy skies on Saturday should be warm enough to support additional emergence both days, especially among anglewings and cloaks, but it will all depend on the cloud cover whether we see anything flying.  The advance forecast for Sunday is for temps to barely hit 50 F.

Meantime, in the Carolinas, the season is already well underway with Sleepy Orange, spring form Summer Azure, Cabbage White, Colias sulphurs,and anglewings all out. In fact, in what we can hope will soon be a mid-Atlantic-wide phenomenon, azures have set an early date for emergence in the Greenville NC area.

1024px-Sachem_Skipper_femaleSharon Stichter posted today to the Massleps listserv an interesting observation about the 2013 explosion of Sachem in Massachusetts and other parts of the Northeast.  She’s updated the Sachem page at Butterflies of Massachusetts, per her note below:
“In 2012 and 2013 Sachem had a dramatic influx into Massachusetts. It was “all over” Cape Cod and the south coast. Check out the updated species account at http://www.butterfliesofmassachusetts.net/sachem.htm to see two new Maps which show the quick range expansion, plus the new earliest and latest sightings through 2013.  I welcome comments, corrections, etc. Please send to sharonstichter2@comcast.net.

And now the big question: will we even get any Sachems this year after this
cold winter??!”

 

There are 30-some species in the Maryland butterfly fauna whose inclusion in the state’s butterfly list is based on very limited or questionable data, or represent species which may be extirpated in the state.  In order to help those of us who regularly go into the field to study butterflies and fill in the gaps for these species, or determine their veracity, Dick Smith has done a tremendous job of pulling together some resources to guide our field work on a good number of these.  Here, in rough phylogenetic order, is a rogue’s gallery of species whose status in Maryland is unknown or where additional data would be very helpful.  Unless otherwise noted, the data (including source of documentation) and comments are Dick’s.  Needless to say, if you have additional data on any of these we’d be grateful if you would share it!

     1.         Great Southern White

9/3/1980, New Bridge (Dorchester Co.), Bill Grooms and John Fales

10/20/1982, Somerset Co. (exact location not given), Bill Grooms and John Fales

5/21/1999, Cove Point (Calvert Co.), Richard Orr

    2.         Southern Dogface

9/8/1960, Liverpool Point (Charles Co.) , Robert Simmons and William Andersen.  This was the first sighting day of an apparent migrating cluster (50+) at this site.  It persisted in this vicinity for over two weeks.  The site was visited for many years after this event, but none were ever seen there again.

9/2/1980, 9/24/1980, 9/8/1982, Dorchester County (exact locations not given), Bill Grooms and John Fales

     3.         Large Orange Sulphur

9/16/1995, Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary (Anne Arundel Co.), Fred Paras

9/25/1995, Tacoma Park (Montgomery Co.), Samuel Pancake

     4.         Pink-edged Sulphur (only one Maryland record)

7/13/1985, Cranesville Swamp  (s. of Muddy Cr. Rd.)(Garrett Co.), Rich Waldrep.

[Tom Stock and I convinced ourselves we had a couple of Pink-edged Sulphurs in Garrett Co. a few years ago, but common sense prevailed and we think these were actually Orange Sulphurs – REB]

     5.         Barred Yellow (only one DC-Maryland area record)

7/24/1935, Soldiers Home Grounds (Washington, DC), Warren Wagner

     6.         Acadian Hairstreak (only one Maryland record)

7/10/1972, University of Maryland Baltimore County (s. edge of campus), Catonsville, Phil Kean

     7.         Hickory Hairstreak

7/10/1958, Grantsville (Garrett Co.), Robert Simmons and William Andersen

7/29/1988, Big Run Rd., Savage River State Forest (Garrett Co.), Dick Smith

?/?1980s, McKee-Beshers WMA (Montgomery Co.), Harry Pavulaan

     8.         Early Hairstreak

4/14/1977, west of Sandy Hook (Washington Co.), Robert Simmons and William Andersen

4/29/1992, Wallman (Garrett Co.), Dick Smith

5/8/1993, e. of Swallow Falls SP (Garrett Co.), Harry Pavulaan

7/21/2001, Garrett County (exact location not given), Fran Pope

     9.         Dusky Azure

4/9/1968, Dr. John Mason; 4/27/1978, William Andersen.  All records in the vicinity of Harpers Ferry and  Shinham Rds intersection (Shinham Rd. is now called Back Rd.), Dargan (Washington Co.).  The Dusky Azure was seen at this site until about 1980.  Shinham Rd. was formerly a dirt public road.  It was paved and widened sometime in the early 1980s, and the project apparently removed some critical stands of Goatsbeard, the butterfly’s larval host plant, as the butterfly was never found again at this site after that modification.

  10.         Little Metalmark (only one Maryland record)

Record from personal communication, John Fales to David Richardson in January 1957 (exact date of record not given), butterflies collected at Fort Washington (Prince Georges Co.).  I consider this record in error or an extreme stray because it is the farthest known northern record and hundreds of miles north of any other record for this species.

  11.         Diana

Record from personal communication, John Fales to Franklin Chermock in March 1951, observed in eastern Garrett County (exact date and location not given)

  12.         Regal Fritillary

The last colony of this species in Maryland occurred in the Fair Hill NRMA (Cecil Co.).  Counts of it were organized through Univ. of DE.  The last record I could find was 6/27/1993.  None have been found at this site since then.

  13.         Tawny Crescent

5/17/1925, 6/16/1929, Cabin John (Montgomery Co.) (these are the only Maryland records), Austin Clark

  14.         Northern Crescent

There are no substantiated records for this species in Maryland. [Dick notes in his Biological Summary and Checklist that Northern Crescent records do exist for PA, WV, and VA – REB]

  15.         Compton Tortoiseshell

There are several single, widely-separated sightings of this species around Maryland.  However, it is mostly known for occurrences in Allegany Co.  My sightings (all Allegany Co.) are as follows:

7/6/1990, Rocky Gap

7/4/1993, intersection of Ridge and Orleans Rds.

4/15/1995, along C&O Canal near Indigo Tunnel, Little Orleans

I have not seen it in Maryland since the last sighting above.

  16.         Milbert’s Tortoiseshell

7/7/1949, Frostburg (Allegany Co.), Franklin Chermock

9/20/2008, Finksburg (Carroll Co.), Fred Paras

The above two are the only Maryland records.

  17.         Gemmed Satyr

Let me quote from a letter I received from Paul Opler on November 4, 1982 regarding Maryland butterfly records.  “Cyllopsis gemma was reliably reported to George Krizek by Hugh Frampton.”  I learned from other Maryland lepidopterists later that the site was in the vicinity of the Romancoke Ferry Dock on southern Kent Island (Queen Annes Co.).  It was observed when the ferry, which received passengers from a dock at Annapolis, was still in operation.  I do not know if specimens were collected, but none exist today.  The first span of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened in 1952, and ferry operations ceased at that time, so the above sighting was prior to 1952.  I am suspicious of the sighting, since the species has never been reported from anywhere else in Maryland.  Some MES members think they may have been poorly-marked Little Wood-satyrs, since this latter species does have silvery hindwing markings.

  18.         Mitchell’s Satyr

Here is a key quote from the same letter as above from Paul Opler: “Neonympha mitchellii was reported by Clay Gifford to have been found in a bog or marsh across from the old railroad station on Fort Meade during World War II.  The specimens were since destroyed.”  A fancier at my office of old railroads once found a map of the railroad system in the Fort Meade area in the 1930s-1940s era.  The Fort Meade RR station on this map was alongside the current Midway Branch a few hundred yards north of the current Rte. 32.  I visited the site sometime in the 1990s and found that that part of Midway Branch was now a cement-lined waterway.  However, Midway Branch flows under and south of Rte. 32, passes through some marshy wetlands, and then eventually empties into Lake Allen on the current Patuxent Refuge North Tract.  I have inspected this area on several occasions for Satyrids, but the only marsh species I ever found was Appalachian Brown.

  19.         Dorantes Longtail (only one Maryland record)

9/19/2003, Dunkirk (Calvert Co.), Arlene Ripley.  This specimen was seen the day after Hurricane Isabel, whose path included the Bahamas, swept up the Chesapeake Bay into Maryland.  Unusual tropical butterfly records often occur in Florida after hurricanes, so it is probable that this Maryland record was carried in by the above hurricane.

  20.         Golden-banded Skipper

This species was known to occur at Great Falls (Montgomery Co.) in the vicinity of the C&O canal between Cropley and the Great Falls Park office during late May-early June and again in mid-July.  It was first discovered there by Austin Clark in the 1930s.  The last records I could find were by John Fales, Bill Grooms, and William Andersen in the 1982 season.  The species has never been seen there again since this time.  A suspect in the disappearance of this species at Great Falls was the application of gypsy moth spraying in the late 1980s.

  21.         Confused Cloudywing

There is the following account for this species in the Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, Vol 36, Nos. 8,9, Nov.-Dec., 1934, p. 263: ”Mr. Austin H. Clark noted the following recent additions to the butterflies known from the District of Columbia and vicinity …  He called attention to the fact that Thorybes confusis Bell was inadvertently omitted from his list of the butterflies of this region, although it has been recorded from Washington, Takoma Park, Md., and from along the canal in Maryland.”  Also, the following account from the same proceedings, Vol. 37, No. 8, Nov. 1935, p. 169: “Mr. Austin H. Clark recorded the capture by Mr. W. Herbert Wagner of the following previously unrecorded butterflies in the District of Columbia and vicinity during the season:…  Thorybes confusis, inadvertently omitted from the list of District butterflies, was rather common at Difficult Run [Fairfax Co., VA] from June 16 to July 7. (Author’s abstract.)”  (By the way, I’ve visited the Difficult Run area (between Rte 193 and the Potomac River) on several occasions in the 1990s and have never found Confused Cloudywing there.)  I have never heard of any records, later than the above account, of Confused Cloudywing in the C&O Canal area.

There are several later old records of this species elsewhere in Maryland (by Fales, Andersen, Simmons).  However, as I have found and the common name implies, the proper identification of this species has been confused in the past with first brood Southern Cloudywings.  The key to properly separating these was published in The International Lepidoptera Survey Newsletter Volume 3:1 September 2001, pp. 1-2. “Thorybes clarification” by Ron Gatrelle.  I have only had the opportunity to inspect the William Andersen collection.  Using Gatrelle’s  key, the only valid Maryland specimen of Confused Cloudywing I could find in this collection was from Hereford (Baltimore County) with date 5/25/1952.

22.         Mottled Duskywing

This species was found in several barrens areas around Maryland prior to the 1990s where New Jersey Tea, its larval host plant, also occurred.  Unfortunately, the flowers of this low-growing shrub are a favorite of deer, and most concentrations of it in Maryland have been eliminated due to deer browse.  The butterfly quickly disappeared from these areas too.  New Jersey Tea once grew thickly along several roadsides in Green Ridge State Forest (Allegany Co.) shale barrens.  Hoopole Rd. was one such area, but only a few isolated plants exist in this location at present.  In spite of many repeated searches, the last sighting of Mottled Duskywing in Maryland was from this location on May 14, 1990 by Phil Kean and Bob Gardner.

  23.         Zarucco Duskywing

The Maryland state record for this species is dated 9/11/1958, Turner (apparently in vicinity of current Oraville) (St. Mary’s Co.), Robert Simmons and William Andersen.  The identification for this specimen was later verified by Dr. John Burns at the Smithsonian.  Several old records exist for this species in Maryland, mainly in Southern Maryland in late summer, but many are unreliable due to the easy confusion of this species with Wild Indigo and Horace’s Duskwings.  I have not heard of any reliable records of this species in Maryland for over 25 years.

  24.         Persius Duskywing (only one Maryland record)

5/12/1955, Flintstone (Allegany Co.), William Andersen

  25.         Appalachian Grizzled Skipper

This species was frequent at many locations in Green Ridge State Forest and Flintstone (Allegany Co.) through the 1980s, the butterfly’s occurrence quickly dwindled there after the start of gypsy moth spraying there.  It has not been known from any other location in the state for the past 40 years.  Several references, published years after the start of the spray program at Green Ridge, note the butterfly larvae’s strong sensitivity to this.  The last known sighting was in Green Ridge on 5/4/2000 by Robert Dirig.

  26.         Dotted Skipper (only one Maryland record)

8/23/1973, Liverpool Point (Charles Co.), Dr. John Mason

  27.         Whirlabout

8/29/1979, St. Mary’s County (exact location not given), Bill Grooms

11/9/1984, Annapolis area (Anne Arundel Co.), Bill Grooms

9/1/2000, National Arboretum (Washington, DC), Richard Orr

  28.         Palatka Skipper (only one Maryland record)

8/7/1980, Bucktown (Dorchester Co.), Bill Grooms

I consider this record in error or an extreme stray because it is the farthest known northern record and several hundred miles north of any other record (Norfolk, VA area) for this species.

  29.         Eufala Skipper

8/23/1973, Liverpool Point (Charles Co.), Dr. John Mason

9/7/1991, Point Lookout (St. Mary’s Co.), Rich Waldrep.  This species was locally common at Point Lookout from early Sept. to early Oct. in 1991.  It has not been recorded at this location since then.

10/17/1998, Silver Spring (Montgomery Co.), Tom Stock

  30.         Two-spotted Skipper

This skipper was occasional in Garrett County swamps through the 1980s.  My last record was 6/19/1985, Wolf Swamp (Garrett Co.).  It has not been found at this location since then.  The last Maryland record was at a swamp near Avilton (Garrett Co.) in 2001.  Possibly extirpated now in Maryland due to boreal marsh vegetation changes from global warming.

  31.         Twin-spot Skipper

8/23/1979, Seneca (Montgomery Co.), Bill Grooms

8/31/1979, Worcester County (exact location not given), Bill Grooms

(These are the only two Maryland records.)

  32.         Brazilian Skipper

8/9/1911, A. B. Duckett; 9/16/1912 F.H. Chittenden, both in Washington, DC (both records from Clark, Austin H., 1932, “The Butterflies of the District of Columbia and Vicinity.” U.S. National Museum Bulletin No. 157. 337pp)

Prior to 1950, Druid Hill Park (Baltimore City), Franklin Chermock

9/5/2004, Andersontown (Caroline Co.), Harry Pavulaan

Okay, colleagues — Let’s hit the field this summer and figure out if some of these presumed extirpated species are still extant in the state, or find more records of accidentals and strays to round out the picture of their occurrence in Maryland!

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