Mid-Atlantic Field Lep Forecast for Memorial Day Weekend 2015

Fresh American Lady at Soldiers Delight [2015 May 13, photo by REB]

Fresh American Lady at Soldiers Delight [2015 May 13, photo by REB]

For the first time in what seems like months we have a superb weekend shaping up weather-wise for the Memorial Day holiday. The rains today coupled with warm weather should bring a host of new emergences, including additional hairstreaks, satyrs, and others.

Top spots this week included Pepper and Salt Skipper in Maryland, Indian Skipper, Least Skipper, Viceroy, and Carolina Satyr.

While the early azures are winding down or gone already, some of the later azures are just now making an appearance, including Appalachian Azure. At high elevations to the west and south, Northern Azure and Cherry-gall Azure should be flying this week or next. Holly Azure is flying in New Jersey but I have no reports more locally. For the rest of us, it’s about time to resign ourselves to the fact that the only azures we’ll be seeing the rest of the season will either be summer-form Summer Azure or misidentified Eastern Tailed-blues!

Dogbane is budding, so hairstreak season should commence between now and the end of the month: Striped and Banded Hairstreaks among them, and Great Purple Hairstreak on Delmarva. Bronze Copper could be flying anywhere you’d look for Great Purple Hairstreak; American Copper has been out for about two weeks already.

Dusted Skipper seems to be having an exceptional year, with double-digit sightings at Soldiers Delight to complement the Cobweb Skipper already flying there. They’ll both continue through the weekend. A completely unexpected find this week was Pepper and Salt Skipper in Frederick Co on Catoctin Mountain, historically a location for this species but absent (or unreported) from there for almost 50 years [see more at https://leplog.wordpress.com/2015/05/20/pepper-salt-surprise/%5D. Indian Skipper and Hobomok Skippers (males only) were flying there as well.  Least Skippers are beginning to fly but not in numbers yet.

A few more Black Swallowtails were reported this week, but this species still is not experiencing good numbers this spring. Our first local Giant Swallowtail sighting showed up on the Maryland Biodiversity Project website from Allegany Co MD. Palamedes Swallowtail is flying on the Eastern Shore of VA.

Harvesters were out and about at a number of locations this week, including Rock Creek Park in the District. Little Wood Satyr and Carolina Satyr are both in flight.

Pearl Crescents are already looking a little tattered from their first brood, but there are overlapping broods so you will be able to see them in all conditions for the rest of the summer. Viceroy is out, and Red-spotted Purples increasingly reported. Northern Pearly-eye has emerged. Fresh American Ladies are on the wing, and many patches of pussytoes this week have webs of their caterpillars promising a substantial summer flight. Fresh Red Admirals are also out, although in very modest numbers still.

Predictions this weekend and next week are for American Snout, Great Purple Hairstreak on Delmarva, Appalachian Brown in wet woods and swamps across the area, Silvery Checkerspot most anywhere in the region, and Hoary Edge in the western MD counties.

Enjoy the long weekend, and if you spot them, please remember to share your sightings with us using the comment function on LepLog.wordpress.com or join us for discussion on Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.

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

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