A new photographic guide to butterflies of Howard County, MD, butterflies recently went live — and gives Maryland lep lovers a great site to study during the winter months. Tied to Dick Smith’s checklist and put together by members of the Howard County Bird Club and others, the site can be found at http://www.howardbirds.org/butterflies/HC_Butterfly_photos.htm
Site builders describe it this way:
“In addition to entertaining us with their bright colors and interesting life histories, butterflies serve as easily observed indicators of the biotic diversity and the true degree of unaltered natural environment retained in local areas. This is due to their attachment to an array of specialized host plants and to their notable sensitivity to environmental disturbances and introduced chemical agents during the larval stage. Thus, the variety of butterfly species obtained from a local survey and photographic record can contribute to an environmental understanding, and the survey and photographic activity can offer a pleasant pastime and beautiful photo-record for sunny spring and summer days spent outdoors.
There is a checklist available to aid in this endeavor by summarizing the known diversity and biological data on butterfly species at the Howard County level…
This web page is for people who are curious as to what a particular species looks like (in various forms) with several photos (including male and female if they are different). It may help them verify their identification of a butterfly they are looking at or photographed. And it is a way to enjoy the butterfly photos provided.
If you want more information and photos of a particular species, clicking on the common name will bring up the appropriate page from the Butterflies and Moths of North America web page. You may also want to go to BugGuide.
Information was compiled by Richard H. (Dick) Smith. All photos have been reviewed by Dick, and he has provided the margin comments as aids to identification.
This is a work in process, and will be periodically updated as more photos are sent to the web. For the list of butterfly species photos still needed, go to Photos still needed!”
Dick notes in a followup comment that “Rick, Thanks for posting this announcement of the Howard County, MD butterfly photo ID guide. A little history on the material might be of interest. In 1993, Joanne Solem asked me to prepare a handout list of the butterflies of Howard County for the Howard County Chapter of the Maryland Ornithological Society after John Fales and I earlier published a list of Howard County butterflies in The Maryland Naturalist (Vol. 33 (1989), No. 1-2, p-p. 30-34). The result of that request was an early version of the trifold handout entitled “THE BUTTERFLIES OF HOWARD COUNTY,MARYLAND A Biological Summary and Checklist.” I have updated it twice since 1993, once in 2000 and again in Feb. 2011. The latest version is available through a link at the above howardbirds.org link. Bob Solem, Joanne’s husband, is the howardbirds.org webmaster, and he has gone to incredible lengths to gather photos, prepare the structure, and assemble the photo ID guide. It is truly impressive. Much of the wording in Bob’s prolog above was extracted from the original checklist. All butterfly photos in the Howard County photo ID guide have been snapped exclusively in Howard County, MD. We are still missing photos of a lot of the resident butterfly species up here, so we are encouraging ardent nature photographers to check the above website for the photos that are missing and then come to Howard County to find those species, snap their pictures, and be the first to submit those to Bob for the ID guide”….Dick Smith Columbia, MD