Butterfly Field Forecast for the Week of the Fourth of July 2017


Male Diana Fritillaries were out on the dirt Forest Service roads around Bath Co. VA this week [2017 June 30, Limekiln Rd, photo by REB]

The “butterfly doldrums” in the mid-Atlantic typically runs from about mid-June to mid-July, when population explosions of last-brood locals are augmented by interesting southern migrants.  But this week we’re solidly in the doldrums, with just a few new highlights to share for folks heading out of the long weekend.

Among the FOYs is Diana Fritillary, flying in VA along the Appalachian spine with Aphrodite and Great Spangled Frits (Atlantis has also been reported in adjacent WV).  Elsewise it’s mostly quiet on the nymphalid front, with dwindling reports of Little Wood Satyr and only scattered observations of Northern Pearly Eyes, Appalachian Browns, and Common Wood Nymph.  Word from Ft. Indiantown Gap is that the Regal Fritillary show there is behind schedule so may still put on a good show this weekend and next.

It hasn’t been a very good year for hairstreaks numbers-wise, although all the normal Satyrium species are being seen still — Banded, Striped, and Coral among them.  Red-banded and Gray Hairstreaks were seen in scattered reports.  And a new brood of Olive (Juniper) Hairstreaks appears to be on the wing.  Eastern Tailed-blue numbers are still rather anemic; Summer Azure continues flying rather well.  Edwards’ Hairstreak was reported in decent numbers this week from their Frederick Watershed redoubt.  And field observers should take note that this weekend is historically the peak of the limited King’s Hairstreak flight on the Eastern Shore.  No rarity hairstreaks have been reported this year — Hickory, Oak, or Acadian, for example.

American Coppers are still/again on the wing.  Bog Copper was not found on a survey of Garrett Co bogs last weekend, even in its go-to WV known location in TWC’s Cranesville Swamp.


Notable Nectar:  Knapweeds, viper’s bugloss and teasel top the list of new nectar sources this week.  Milkweeds and dogbanes are at peak and/or declining over most of the region.  In Garrett Co, the milkweed of the moment is green milkweed, A. viridiflora, in peak bloom.

On tap for tomorrow is the Maidens, VA NABA Count.   If you join the counters there and find something interesting, or you tear yourself away from the pool or beach over the holiday, you can leave your sightings as a comment here at  https://leplog.wordpress.com/ or by posting to Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.

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