Annual Update: Butterflies of North Carolina

Good news from the Carolinaleps listserv this week:  Harry LeGrand and Tom Howard have just posted the latest installment in annual updates to the butterflies of North Carolina.  This “21st Approximation” is a compilation of information about all of the 176 butterfly species that have been recorded in North Carolina, as of the end of 2013.

Here’s Harry’s announcement:

>>Fellow outdoors folks:

Today — while many or most of us are home due to snow or ice — is a good
time to announce that Tom Howard and I have finished the annual update to
the “Butterflies of North Carolina” website and the corresponding PDF. This
update contains all records through the end of 2013. Click on the “21st Approx.” link on the left for the entire PDF; about half of the species accounts have had slight to moderate edits to them.

Or you can go directly to the 201 pages of the PDF.

Last year was an odd one for butterflies in NC — fairly exciting in the
western half of the state, but farther eastward it was quite slow, and it
was hard to find a lot of skippers in the Coastal Plain. All of this was
despite good to above normal rainfall, so the depressed numbers in the East
might have been a carry-over from drought effects in previous years. Also,
2013 was a poor one in general for strays, and a lot of migrants went
missing or were hard to find. Thankfully, there was a late push of southern
migrants to the southern coast in September and early October — lots of
Zebra Longwings, a few White Peacocks and Queens, and strays of Tropical
Checkered-Skipper and Mimic being highlights (plus a first ever Julia in
SC). And, there were a number of notable skipper records across the state,
highlighted by significant records for Two-spotted, Yehl, and Berry’s
skippers, among others.

As I say each year, it is getting harder and harder to add new county
records, as more folks are getting afield and filling in holes in county
range maps. But, there are still many species that go unreported each year
— such as Golden Banded-Skipper, Early Hairstreak, Dotted Skipper, and
Rare Skipper — so I hope folks can intentionally look for, or accidentally
stumble on, such rarities.

Good butterflying in 2014 — and don’t forget to post your sightings to the
carolinaleps listserve (so that they can get entered in the database for
the annual updating).

Harry LeGrand (and Tom Howard)<<

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