The best action was in the mountains this week, apparently, with Silver-bordered Fritillary and Harris’ Checkerspot both on the wing in Allegany Co. MD. They were sharing flight space with many newly emerged Great Spangled Fritillaries and Baltimore Checkerspots. Here and in other parts of the region, both Tawny Emperor and Hackberry Emperor are flying well, and fresh-brood Pearl Crescents are out. Silvery Checkerspot was not reported this week but has been lately, so presumably is still flying. Of the vanessids, only American Lady and Red Admiral are being reported locally; Viceroy, Red-spotted Purple and Monarch are flying.
Finzel Swamp in western MD had good numbers of huge floppy Appalachian Tiger Swallowtails on the wing. Elsewise, swallowtail accounts were unremarkable – we should be expecting the long-tailed summer brood of Zebra Swallowtail shortly.
Skippers had an uptick, too, with huge numbers of Long Dash and European Skippers in the meadows at Finzel. Among them were also Hobomok Skippers (including the dark Pocahontas female form), Least Skipper, Northern Cloudywings, Silver-spotted Skipper, and Zabulon Skippers. There also were a couple of inexplicably very worn Little Glasswings in the mix. Green Ridge State Forest had Hoary Edge. We are still expecting our outpouring of summer Sachems to add to the ID challenge of summer skippers.
Banded Hairstreak appeared this week, the only new addition to the 2014 hairstreak tally. Another Sleepy Orange turned up, but so far Little Yellow is maintaining its disappearing act begun in 2014.
Little Wood Satyr numbers are way up, and Common Wood-Nymph made its FOY appearance this week. Northern Pearly-eye is also flying well. While Carolina Satyr hasn’t been reported, it’s almost certainly on the wing locally too. I also expect that Appalachian Brown is out.
Forecasts for the weekend and next week: Edwards Hairstreak should emerge, as should first brood Bronze Copper (although this has been a difficult butterfly to find in recent years in our area). Variegated Fritillaries should begin to pour in from the south. Striped and Coral Hairstreaks should be on the wing. And beach vacationers should be seeing Common Buckeyes along the coast.
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