This week, Long-tailed Skippers continued to show up sporadically across the region, fed I suspect by the substantial irruption of this species in South Carolina and points south. Some observers there have been seeing 20 or more at a time. Clouded Skipper and Ocola are out in considerable numbers, and these could grow considerably in the next couple of weeks the way they have in VA and the Carolinas. We should also be looking for first and second instars of Brazilian Skipper where adults and mature caterpillars/pupae have been found. They could pump out a final brood before frost. Common Checkered-skippers are likely now in the appropriate habitat where their mallow caterpillar hosts are found.
Little Yellow is showing up after a summer’s absence in states to our south, so it should be looked for here in stands of partridge pea, especially on the Eastern Shore. Cloudless Sulphur numbers seem to be spiking upwards. Surely someone’s going to shout out about a Checkered White before frost!
Good numbers of White M’s are still being reported, as are small population spikes of Eastern Tailed-blue and continuing Great Purple Hairstreak. Both Great Purple and coppers (Bronze and American) hang on well into October. There are also fresh Red-banded Hairstreaks on the wing and some Gray Hairstreaks as well.
There’s a small spike too of late Pearl Crescents, too (far as I can determine this brood has no confounding cocyta-group Northerns). Some fresh Red-spotted Purples (including one closely approaching White Admiral from the Baltimore area) are flying now; they and our anglewings and cloaks will all be coming to trays of rotting fruit if you leave them out in the coming sunny autumn days. They will likely be joined by American Snout, which is reported widely and sometimes as multiple individuals. We have reliable numbers of Variegated Fritillaries, but it’s Common Buckeyes that look to boom in the next week or so — some local reports note high numbers already on the wing. A fresh Great Spangled Fritillary was reported from the MD Piedmont!
Keep your eye out for Queens among the bumper crop of Monarchs; multiple sightings in the midwest and an earlier sighting in NJ suggest they may be experiencing a slight northward push this season. That would be an excellent way to wrap up the 2018 season!
The weekend, for a change, looks glorious. Perfect butterfly weather. Don’t waste it.
FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON: While I won’t be sending out Forecasts, I will share or post any interesting local sightings on Google Groups at MDLepsOdes, so send them along to me! And of course, if they’re really exciting I’ll write something up for LepLog too. Look for new Forecasts next April.