Back in the day, when I was a graduate student in entomology at the University of Maryland in College Park (that was some 30 years ago), a number of us collected Meadow Fritillaries (then Boloria toddi, now Boloria bellona) in the powerline ROW that crosses University Boulevard just west of the main campus. The woods along Northwest Branch here still have a good amount of violet as larval food plant, and the ROW provides plenty of nectar sources, but the colony seems to be extirpated — or at least, they aren’t flying now, which they should be.
I spent a few hours there yesterday afternoon after watching installation of the new hot water heater (which seemed to have a built-in money meter). The ROW is especially rich these days, with waist-high grasses obscuring good amounts of red clover in full bloom and the beginning of a good flush of dogbane. Cabbage Whites were superabundant; there must have been a hundred in sight at any one time. Zabulon Skippers kept to the shaded areas along the trails. The first of the season’s Peck’s Skippers were common out in the tall grass, as were Least Skippers (it is a quite wet in places). Several Variegated Fritillaries had my pulse racing thinking I’d seen a Meadow Frit, but alas, was disappointed each time. One Red-banded Hairstreak held forth on a dogbane floret.
Not surprisingly, the first Peck’s started showing up in my College Park garden today, as did Spring (Summer) Azure and a Gray Hairstreak.
The full list is below:
|Pipevine Swallowtail||Battus philenor||Adult||1|
|Eastern Tiger Swallowtail||Papilio glaucus||Adult||2|
|Cabbage White||Pieris rapae||Adult||Superabundant|
|Clouded Sulphur||Colias philodice||Adult||Common|
|Orange Sulphur||Colias eurytheme||Adult||Common|
|Red-banded Hairstreak||Calycopis cecrops||Adult||1|
|Eastern Tailed-Blue||Everes comyntas||Adult||Common|
|Spring Azure||Celastrina ladon||Adult||2|
|Variegated Fritillary||Euptoieta claudia||Adult||4|
|Pearl Crescent||Phyciodes tharos||Adult||1|
|Eastern Comma||Polygonia comma||Adult||1|
|American Lady||Vanessa virginiensis||Adult||3|
|Painted Lady||Vanessa cardui||Adult||1|
|Red Admiral||Vanessa atalanta||Adult||1|
|Common Buckeye||Junonia coenia||Adult||3|
|Silver-spotted Skipper||Epargyreus clarus||Adult||2|
|Least Skipper||Ancyloxypha numitor||Adult||Common|
|Peck’s Skipper||Polites peckius||Adult||Common|
|Crossline Skipper||Polites origenes||Adult||1|
|Zabulon Skipper||Poanes zabulon||Adult||Common|