Harry LeGrand and illustrator Tom Howard have just posted their annual accounting of the species of butterflies of North Carolina, updated annually for the past 18 years. It is not considered to be a “publication,” according to Harry, but is intended to be a guide or “handbook” for butterfly watchers and others interested in butterflies, as there is, as yet, no published book on the butterflies of North Carolina.
Harry also reports that “with each passing year there are fewer and fewer new county records (check below each species’ range map for “New for 19th: …”). Obviously, we are doing better at filling in vacant county “holes” for the more common species. The bad part is threefold: 1) most of those handful who “chase” butterflies across the state for seeing or photographing have already done so, years ago, and are staying close to home these days; 2) with each passing year, one is less likely to travel to a neighboring county to fill in “dots” on the maps, as you have already done so; and 3) the rising cost of gas – predictions are over $4/gallon in a month, and possibly $5 later in the year – is keeping some folks closer to home. But – the flight charts are getting more and more populated each year – remember that I enter every record that comes across “carolinaleps listserve”, and the State Parks folks enter their sightings into a Parks database. Thus, flight brood patterns are becoming better defined each year.”
“There are only a few completely revised species accounts, such as for Olympia Marble. For most, I left the text alone, or made a few tweaks. One new item: The USFWS is no longer using the Federal Species of Concern (FSC) designation. So, I removed that from the species accounts and the Table of Contents,” he adds.