Mid-Atlantic Butterfly Field Forecast for the Week of 2016 August 6

A White-M Hairstreak found in Talbot Co MD and photographed by Erica Weick on 2016 Aug 3 in her backyard.

A White-M Hairstreak found in Talbot Co MD and photographed by Erica Weick on 2016 Aug 3 in her backyard.


I missed most of this past week in the field in Maryland and environs myself, out chasing butterflies in Minnesota’s Northwoods. Nice leps, but low numbers and diversity. But then again, that’s pretty much the story in the mid-Atlantic still – nice sightings, few and far between, and generally low numbers.

The satyrium hairstreaks have come and gone, but there are reports this week of Red-banded and Gray around the region, and a surprising White-M in Talbot Co. MD on the Eastern Shore. Eastern Tailed-blue numbers are modest, while Summer Azure is likely waning for its last hurrah of the summer although these long-lived individuals are still around.

A little bit of a pick-up of anglewings, with at least one report of Mourning Cloak and multiple reports around the area of Comma and Question Mark (trending toward the former). Gray Comma was reported from northern NJ.

Both emperors, Hackberry and Tawny, were reported widely across the region where hackberry trees are abundant, and where they are flying with American Snout this week.

A few Monarchs are lingering; the flight south has not yet begun. Viceroy and Red-banded Purple are out. As for fritillary action, Diana seems to be flying strongly in the mountains, and females are now out along with the males. Fresh Meadow Fritillaries are flying, but populations of greater frits – Great-spangled, Aphrodite, and Atlantis – are about petered out. Variegated Fritillaries are around but not in the huge numbers we sometimes see in late summer.

Another brood of Pearl Crescent is upon us, as well as a new emergence of Silvery Checkerspot, but the only large numbers of the latter came from PA. Common Buckeyes are around but, well, not that common so far this season.

Among the satyrids, reports came in this week of Appalachian Brown, Northern Pearly-Eye, and Common Wood Nymph, but no reports of either Carolina or Little Wood Satyrs.  Common Ringlets are flying north of here in NJ and NY and presumably in the Canaan Valley/Spruce Knob locations of WV.

Whites and sulphurs are building numbers from anemic early-season populations, and this month Cabbage (Small) Whites, Clouded Sulphurs, and Orange Sulphurs are all back to usual numbers for this time of year. Very little migration so far of Cloudless Sulphurs, which are showing up regularly in VA and the Carolinas (although a report of caterpillars on senna in southwest PA came in), or of Little Yellow and Sleepy Orange.

Not a lot of skipper action either, although female Zabulon emerged this week to join the recent sightings of males, and Sachem numbers are on the rise. Otherwise, for grass skippers, many – Peck’s, Crossline, Tawny-edged, both Broken-dashes, Dun, and Little Glassywing – are out but in small numbers. No further reports of Ocola, and no reports yet this year for Clouded or Long-tailed Skippers. Least Skippers are commonly reported but not in large numbers. Wild Indigo Duskywing and Silver-spotted Skippers seem to be practically the only large skippers on the wing this week; singleton reports were made of Horace’s Duskywing. Marsh skippers like Broad-winged, Dion, and Delaware are having very good flights currently, and Saltmarsh Skippers is bordering on abundant in some coastal habitats. A final brood of Hayhurst’s Scallopwing has emerged.

Several Harvester reports from several locations in southern PA. American and Bronze Coppers are on the wing.

Giant Swallowtails to the south (Outer Banks) and to the north (PA, NJ, NY) but not here. Zebra Swallowtails are just past peak flight for their last generation of the season; the other usual swallowtail suspects – Spicebush, Pipevine, Eastern Tiger – are showing wear.

The next week or so might see some of the southern migrants, so keep an eye out and if you see them, 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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One Response to Mid-Atlantic Butterfly Field Forecast for the Week of 2016 August 6

  1. bluebrightly says:

    I miss all those butterflies! I will have to be content with the local Tweeters list, a birding resource. You do a wonderful job.

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