Mid-Atlantic Butterfly Field Forecast for Week of 2016 July 30

Duo of Delaware Skippers in the Florio Wildlife Area in Sussex Co DE [2016 July 25, REB]

Duo of Delaware Skippers in the Florio Wildlife Area in Sussex Co DE [2016 July 25, REB]

A few new species are showing up now, in addition to second or third broods of other species.

The last week saw FOYs of Cloudless Sulphur in MD and DE, and fresh sightings of Little Yellow and Sleepy Orange. Checkered White has been hard to find this season, but Cabbage (Small) White is rebounding from a rather sparse couple of earlier broods.

All the expected swallowtails – Zebra, Eastern Tiger, Pipevine, Black, Spicebush – are freshly on the wing. I haven’t been to check for Palamedes yet but it, too, I suspect is zipping around the Hickory Point swampland.

Fresh Red-banded, Gray, and White M Hairstreaks were reported around the region this past week. MIA so far this season has been Great Purple Hairstreak, although it’s hard to know if their absence is owing to a real scarcity or the increasingly aggressive roadside mowing regimes on the Eastern Shore, pushing the Great Purples to nectar farther from easy-to-view roadways. We still haven’t seen King’s Hairstreak this year in the one location where it is usually found near the MD/DE line (I went again Monday to no avail, and other observers visited later this week and also came up empty), but it was picked up on the Chippokes Annual Count in Surry Co VA count recently. A great location for hairstreaks at this time of year is the now-blooming Devil’s Walking-stick, the huge inflorescence of which can often harbor a dozen or more hairstreaks, a Snout or two, and multitudes of flies, bees, and beetles.  Fresh Olive (Juniper) Hairstreaks are out in a new brood too.

True to last week’s Forecast prediction, Zabulon Skippers emerged with a vengeance this week, overwhelmingly males so far. Peck’s Skippers also saw a major uptick in sightings. And following up on a report of a new location in DE, the Woodland Beach area, observers found dozens of Delaware Skippers, multiple Bronze Coppers, a few Aaron’s Skippers, and literally thousands of Broad-winged Skippers. Northern Broken-dash numbers climbed this week, especially coastally, as did numbers for other grass skippers.

Common Wood Nymph is enjoying an excellent flight just now. Red-spotted Purples are out again, along with the occasional Comma or Question Mark. Red Admirals are on the rise, fresh and common near fresh nettles. One of the first Painted Ladies this year was sighted in Howard Co MD; American Ladies were again reported throughout the region.

We’re likely to get a break in the heat, but that’s predicted to be accompanied by plenty of rain. If you make it out into the field, please let us know for the next Forecast by commenting here at https://leplog.wordpress.com/ or posting to Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.

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