MD-DNR Seeks Sightings Data for Species of Greatest Conservation Need

delaware-skipper-at-glades

Delaware Skipper, a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in MD, in The Glades, Garrett Co [2013 July 13, photo by REB]

Jennifer Selfridge, Invertebrate Ecologist for the MD DNR Natural Heritage Program, is seeking sightings and occurrence data for a number of butterfly species currently considered of Greatest Conservation Need.  Jennifer writes:

“We recently applied for and received a grant to update our survey records and determine range extent, habitat specificity, etc. for several wetland butterfly species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) in Maryland and several surrounding states including West Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington DC.  This year we are primarily focusing on stream-fed wetlands in the Piedmont, but I know a lot of you are and have been out and about surveying in Western Maryland as well.  After receiving records from a few of you, I thought that I would issue a request in general for data for some of these species.

Dick Smith has taken a look at our target species list; and as you will see he has noted that some of these species are very common in some locations in the state. However, the records in which I am primarily interested are for sites that represent new records or are for areas where the species has not been seen in many years. Basically, I am interested in updating historical records (or confirming that a particular habitat is no longer suitable and no longer supports the species, if that is the case), looking at areas where one or more of these species has declined, or including new records.

Please note also that the list may include some species that are not thought to occur in Maryland or that may seem especially rare here.  This is because we are working with other states that have different lists of rare species. In order to create a regional distribution map we are incorporating the records for the collective group of SGCN, regardless of whether or not they are actually on Maryland’s SGCN list specifically.

Thanks in advance for any information you are willing to share! This is a two-year project so will be continuing next year as well. Please scroll down for the species list along with Dick’s comments:

Cheers all,

Jen Selfridge

Office: 410-827-8612 x102

New Email Address: jennifer.selfridge@maryland.gov “       

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Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) Wetland Butterfly Species List, and Dick Smith’s Comments:

Two-spotted Skipper (Euphyes bimacula)

–          Known mainly only from eastern Garrett County in past 30 years.  Last record was 2001; none seen since then in spite of a lot of searching (may be MD extirpated due to global warming?)

Black Dash (Euphyes conspicua)

–          Locally common in Garrett County swamps and bogs.  Rare in Piedmont – any recent records here of high interest.  Only occurs near stands of Tussock Sedge.

Dion Skipper (Euphyes dion)

–          Known annually from central Dorchester County; records elsewhere of high interest.

Baltimore Checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton)

–          Locally common in Garrett County; isolated colonies in Montgomery County and northern Frederick and Washington Counties.  Records of wild colonies from elsewhere around the state of high interest.

Delaware skipper (Anatrytone logan)

–          Common in salt marshes of Eastern Shore (mainly lower Eastern Shore) and freshwater marshes of Garrett County.  Records at other sites around state of high interest.

Broad-winged Skipper (Poanes viator)

–          Abundant in phragmites stands in areas near the Chesapeake Bay.  Interest in occurrences well inland from the Bay.  Most interest in occurrences in inland areas in states north of Maryland.

Long Dash (Polites mystic)

–          Abundant in most Garrett County wetlands; records in other MD counties of high interest.

Harris’ Checkerspot (Chlosyne harrisii)

–          All records of interest.

Mulberry Wing (Poanes massasoit)

–          All records of interest.  Only occurs near stands of Tussock Sedge.

Eyed Brown (Satyrodes eurydice)

–          No substantiated records in Maryland – a northern species frequent in sedge marshes south to central PA.  Specimens of suspected Appalachian Brown in Garrett County and in northern Piedmont locations should be checked regularly to verify continued non-occurrence of Eyed Brown.

Silver-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene)

–          Frequent in selected Garrett County wetlands.  All MD records of interest.  Disappeared from MD Piedmont in early 1970s and Eastern Shore in early 1980s.  Specimens of suspected Meadow Fritillary in n. Piedmont and Eastern Shore locations should be checked regularly to verify continued non-occurrence of Silver-bordered.

Bog Copper (Lycaena epixanthe)

–          Occurs in selected mid and west Garrett County bogs.  All MD records of interest.  Note that well-known Cranesville Swamp viewing site for this species is actually in West Virginia.

Bronze Copper (Lycaena hyllus)

–          Dramatic decline in Maryland in past 10 years.  All recent Maryland records of interest.

Arctic Skipper (Carterocephalus palaemon)

–          No substantiated records in Maryland – a northern species occurring in selected sites south to northern PA.

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