Mid-Atlantic Weekend Lep Field Forecast for 2015 May 2-3

West Virginia White puddling along Lake Logan Rd in Haywood Co NC [2015 April 25, photo by REB]

West Virginia White puddling along Lake Logan Rd in Haywood Co NC [2015 April 25, photo by REB]

The lep picture has not changed appreciably since last weekend; few new FOYs reported despite the generally good weather (unexpectedly!) last Sunday and early this week.Locally, there’s an uptick in swallowtail sightings for both Zebra and Eastern Tiger.  Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is flying in only modest numbers again this year, as it did in 2014.  Pipevine and Spicebush have been rather harder to find, although both were flying well in south central Virginia last weekend.  Black Swallowtail finally made appearances this weeked in the DC area and I expect many more sightings will come this weekend.Spring Azure is out to complement the earlier-emerging spring form of Summer Azure; Appalachian Azure should be flying in moist forest areas where its larval host, black cohosh, hasn’t been mowed down by deer. Dusky Azure, where it is found, will likely be nectaring on wild geranium adjacent to its larval host plant, goatsbeard.Eastern Tailed-blue and Pearl Crescent both emerged this past week and should build into early May.

Wild Indigo Duskywing is now out, marking the third duskywing around now without a cell spot on the wing (with Sleepy and Dreamy and possibly Columbine, although the latter’s distribution in the mid-Atlantic is unclear). Horace’s and Juvenal’s are still out; look for the spot on the leading edge of the ventral HW to ID Juvenal’s. Silver-spotted Skipper is emerging too, and Common Roadside-skipper is flying in VA. Appalachian Grizzled Skipper should still be out in its very limited habitat, having been reported in numbers in Alleghany Co VA a week ago.

All three common(-ish) elfins are flying now — Pine, Henry’s, and Brown — and Eastern Pine is having a remarkably strong flight this spring. Hoary Elfin is likely about in NJ (where its host is bearberry); it should also be looked for in western mountain bogs where the larvae are believed to utilize trailing arbutus. I plan a foray to the Eastern Shore of MD this weekend to look for Frosted Elfin, which should be laying eggs on lupine buds and emerging flowers.  Or quite possibly on baptisia, a presumed alternate host.

American Ladies and a single Painted Lady were reported, while Mourning Cloak and anglewings are beginning to decline in numbers. It’s likely that Gray Comma is flying in the western mountains but no one has weighed in with a sighting yet.

In the hairstreak category, look this weekend for Gray, White M and Red-banded — all have been reported locally.  Juniper Hairstreak is also having a good year; we saw more than a dozen in the red-cedars the Travilah Serpentine Barrens in western Montgomery Co (Potomac) MD this week.

Whites and sulphurs are flying but in generally low numbers. Falcate Orangetip is about finished for the year after a rather anemic spring flight; presumably Olympia Marble is also mostly done for the season. Cabbage (Small) White, Orange Sulphur, and Clouded Sulphur were all reported recently but not in large numbers. Last week’s Sleepy Orange remains the only local sighting so far;  West Virginia White was flying well in the Great Smokies (and should be in the local mountain forests too) as I drove through there last weekend on my return from a memorable trip that included Giant Yucca-skipper, Gemmed Satyr, and Goatweed Leafwing in extreme eastern TN.

Dick Smith is leading a butterfly hike in Soldiers Delight near Baltimore on Sunday: targets there are Cobweb and Dusted Skippers, although we suspect it’s early this season for Dusted. Details at https://leplog.wordpress.com/2015-season-mid-atlantic-count-and-field-trip-calendar/

Weather Underground promises a glorious weekend, so 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.

This entry was posted in Forecasts, general butterfly news, sightings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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