Clearing the deck for another field season! Not sure what everyone else will be doing, but I’m concentrating on figuring the range and behavior of some of our lesser-known species, including Appalachian Grizzled Skipper, Mottled Duskywing, Dusky Azure, and Chermock’s Mulberrywing. Also interested this season in the population dynamics of Olympia Marble in MD, especially its larval host; the potential that a cryptic woodland black swallowtail species may be present in the Appalachians (a la Joann’s Swallowtail, P. joannae, in the Ozarks); whether the coastal marshes in MD and DE host populations of Common Wood Nymph are what the folks in New England think may be a subspecies or full species; and finding other flight-time aberrant colonies of Little Wood Satyr for Harry Pavulaan’s ongoing research. An ambitious summer!
But I won’t be posting a ticker log as in previous seasons — just a few of the notable sightings, mid-Atlantic and otherwise.
Rick’s 2015 Notable Sightings
Olympia Marbles were flying early this year in Green Ridge State Forest [2015 April 13, photo by REB]. Also noted ovipisition on a new host plant in this small population.
Silvery Blue pair in copula in Green Ridge State Forest. Another early emerger this year [2015 April 13, photo by REB]
Classic Sleepy Duskywing, flying with Dreamy and Juvenal’s Duskywing near Covington, VA [2015 April 18, photo by REB]
Eastern Pine Elfin was one of the elfin trifecta we had for the day . The others were Brown and Henry’s. [2015 APR 18, Alleghany Co VA; photo by REB]
Appalachian Grizzled Skipper on Dandelion [2015 APR 18 in Alleghany Co VA; photo by REB]
Success! My first Yucca Giant-skipper taking a break from buzzing the yuccas [2015 APR 20, Hamilton Co TN; photo by REB]
Goatweed Leafwing, a consolation prize early in the hike at Enterprise Park South near Chattanooga for finding no giant-skippers [2015 APR 20, Hamilton Co TN; photo by REB]
Gemmed Satyr on Bakewell Mountain in east TN. Quite possibly my favorite satyrid [2015 Apr 24, photo by REB]
West Virginia White, one of more than a dozen I saw along the back roads in Potomac State Forest [2015 May 9, photo by REB]
Appalachian Swallowtail puddling along Harry Norris Rd extension down to Sideling Hill Creek [2015 May 8, photo by REB]
A surprising Pepper and Salt Skipper in Frederick Co MD, basking on a black cohosh leaf. Note the strongly checkered fringes on the wings [2015 May 20, photo by REB]
Hobomok Skippers were actively working the blackberry bushes along the ponds at the Sand Flats. [2015 May 20, photo by REB]
Indian Skipper at the Salt Flats in Frederick Municipal Watershed Forest [2015 May 20, photo by REB]
Dusted Skipper, country record for Worcester Co. Observed by me and Beth J at the Foster Tract near Snow Hill. [2015 May 22, MD: Worcester Co, photo by REB]
Southern Cloudywings were numerous at the Foster Tract when Beth J and I visited May 23. [2015 May 23, MD: Worcester Co, photo by REB]
Canadian Swallowtails were flying but not very common in both Crex Meadows WI and Sax-Zim Bog on my Northwoods sojourn in June [2015 June 1, Crex Meadows]
Arctic Skippers were flying at Crex Meadows when Beth Johnson and I visited, this one on 2015 June 1.
Gorgone Checkerspot, a life butterfly for me, at Crex Meadows WI [2015 May 31]
Another lifer for both me and Beth J, Karner Blue. They weren’t common yet, and the ones that were flying were laying low because of the stiff breezes and partly cloudy skies. [2015 May 31, Crex Meadows WI]
The life sightings just kept coming on this Northwoods trip. Northern Crescent at Crex Meadows, 2015 May 31.
Persius Skipper, a life butterfly at Crex Meadows WI [2015 May 31]
I’ve been looking for Mottled Duskywing in Maryland for the better part of the last decade with no success, so was glad to finally see one in the wild at Crex Meadows WI [2015 June 1]
Just couldn’t get enough of Karner Blues once we started seeing them at Crex Meadows [2015 June 1]
Dusted Skippers were common and obliging on the Crex refuge [2015 June 1, Crex Meadows NWR]
2015 June 5 Puddling Canadian Tigers MN-St Louis Co-Sax Zim
The most common skipper at Sax Zim was Pepper & Salt along the snowmobile trails [2015 June 6, Sax Zim Bog
A very worn Aaron’s Skipper on buttonbush along Newbridge Road. Wouldn’t have thought Aaron’s if Tom hadn’t pointed out the diagnostics.
[2015 June 21, MD:Dorchester Co]
A birthday weekend trip for me with Tom to Whittingham WMA in extreme n NJ produced boatloads of this life butterfly, Hickory Hairstreak. [2015 June 28, Whittingham WMA NJ]
Hundreds of Striped and Banded Hairstreaks mingled with the Hickory Hairstreaks at Whittingham WMA in NJ [2015 June 29]
Tawny Emperor taking up salts from the parking area at Whittingham WMA, NJ [2015 June 29]
Our second northern NJ stop along Canal Road produced this Dion Skipper [2015 June 30]
The Canal Road stop also gave up a life butterfly for both me and Tom, Eyed Brown, along the boardwalk and adjacent palustrine meadows. [2015 June 29]
Delaware Skipper was also flying at Canal Road NJ. [2015 June 30]
Edwards’ Hairstreak in the scrub oak fields in Frederick Municipal Forest near the Sand Flats ponds. [2015 July 1]
Aphrodite Fritillary along Snaggy Mountain Road in Garrett Co MD [2015 July 1]
Bog Copper at Cranesville Swamp on the WV side. [2015 Jul 1]
A modest flight of Northern Metalmarks this year in Green Ridge State Forest MD. [2015 Jul 1]