Topping the list is the first report of regional Ocola Skippers, a southern migrant that we’ve been watching for the past week as numbers began to build in the Carolinas and VA. And sure enough, the first sightings (multiple) came this week in Prince Georges Co., so Ocolas should be showing up elsewhere this weekend and next week. Perhaps 2016 will be a repeat of last summer, with a really good influx of Ocolas in August.
Elsewhere, it’s been pretty quiet. King’s Hairstreak has not yet been reported, and last week’s Little Yellows seem to have been a one-hit wonder. Also MIA among the pierids are Cloudless Sulphurs and Sleepy Orange. No Giant Swallowtails have been noted either, nor have Palamedes, but I suspect the latter is only absent because nobody has visited its stronghold along the Pocomoke River – it should be flying now.
But Harvester is out in a new brood, as is White M Hairstreak, which if flying with Gray Hairstreak, Summer Azures, and Eastern Tailed-blue. Red-banded Hairstreak is likely to rebound shortly as well. Pink-edged Sulphur is flying in its high-altitude bog habitats in WV. Observers in Cumberland Co NJ tallied an amazing 67 Checkered Whites earlier this week.
Satyrs are having a field day (pun intended), especially Common Wood Nymph. Northern Pearly Eye and Appalachian Brown are well represented in many sightings over the past week or so. Other nymphalids are flying too; Viceroy, Red-spotted Purple, and anglewings among them. Fresh Meadow Fritillaries are out again, with fading Great Spangleds and still-fresh Aphrodite and Atlantis Fritillaries. Silvery Checkerspots are emerging again, although it does not look like a large flight. Monarchs were reported widely again this week but mostly as singletons or caterpillars.
Skipper-wise, Common Checkered is being reported now, although it’s still not been a good season for grass skippers. Peck’s is flying, in low numbers, and there were scant reports of Crossline and Tawny-edged Skippers. Northern and Southern Broken-dash are conspicuously absent this week, with the exception of Northerns in various NJ locales. Zabulon is coming on its last brood of the summer.
If you make it into the field this next week despite the heat, please let us know for the next Forecast by commenting here at https://leplog.wordpress.com/ or posting to Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.