Mid-Atlantic Lep Field Forecast for the Weekend of 2014 Aug. 2-3

Brazilian Skipper photographed in 2012 in Raleigh NC [REB]

Brazilian Skipper photographed in 2012 in Raleigh NC [REB]

We’re well into second or even third broods for a number of our local species, and for some of these the later broods seem to be returning to near-normal numbers after sparse spring flights.

Last weekend at Occoquan NWR in Woodbridge VA, for example, there were high numbers of Red Admiral and two FOY for the area Sleepy Oranges (which have since been reported elsewhere in the area). A large flush of new, very fresh Silvery Checkerspots was also coming into flight. Also seen in large numbers there were Common Wood-nymphs and smaller numbers of other summer species. Of particular note were good populations of Appalachian Brown, which also was seen this week at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in the District.

Fresh Tiger Swallowtail numbers are building, and the current brood of Zebra Swallowtail seems substantial. Spicebush Swallowtail numbers seem to be lagging recent years, as do those of Black and Pipevine Swallowtails, but they’re being more regularly being reported over the past week.

The Red Admirals at Occoquan were clearly local, some still pumping their wings after emergence. But there is some hope for a push for southern migratory species, although the recent week of northerly winds hasn’t helped that cause much. American Lady and Painted Lady have been infrequently reported.

Biggest surprise recently was Brazilian Skipper (two, in different locations) at Cape May NJ and reported on the South Jersey Butterfly Blog, one from the NABA count and one individual sighting. Also on the wing in New Jersey recently were second brood Hessel’s Hairstreak (never a sure bet for a second brood), Checkered White, Rare Skipper, and Mulberry Wing. A very late Edwards’ Hairstreak report came in on the 24th from the Atlantic City Airport colony; Aaron’s and Broad-winged Skippers were still being reported in good numbers in coastal locations.

Ocola, Fiery, and Whirlabout Skippers continue to be reported in NC and southern VA but no more northerly sightings have been reported. Sachem numbers are rising here with the emergence of females to complement the earlier-emerging males; Peck’s numbers are also swelling. Hayhurst’s Scallopwing is emerging for its late summer flight.

Monarch numbers are building; reported on most field trips over the past two weeks, sometimes in double-digit numbers. One correspondent saw almost 70 in a single local location this past week.

Harvesters also are being reported around the region in their second brood, although it appears this species has staggered emergences across the region depending on the aphid situation. Fresh Juniper Hairstreaks, Red-banded Hairstreaks, and Gray Hairstreaks are also out currently.

The Great Dismal Swamp annual count last weekend had some notable species, including a probable Reversed Roadside-skipper in addition to the expected Great Purple Hairstreaks. That area also had recent King’s Hairstreak sightings at Chippokes State Park VA.

One local count this weekend is Loudon Co VA; there’s also a bioblitz at Catoctin Creek Park in Frederick Co MD. Plus a field trip in Berks Co PA. See LepLog for details on the VA and PA activities; contact Park Naturalist, Susan Matthews for info on the bioblitz at SMatthews@Frederickcounty.gov

Although it looks like a rather soggy weekend coming up, keep your eyes out for those southern migrants, especially on second-flush dogbane and on garden plants such as tall verbena and lantana. Please remember to post or send your sightings for the next Weekend Forecast. In the meantime, visit us at https://leplog.wordpress.com/ and on Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.

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