Mid-Atlantic Butterfly Field Forecast for the Week of 2018 June 23

Coral Hairstreak seen and photographed by Kevin Heffernan in Howard Co MD [2018 June 14,]

HIGHLIGHTS:  Oak Hairstreak, Long Dash, Banded Hairstreak, Striped Hairstreak, Coral Hairstreak, Long Dash, Atlantis Fritillary, Aphrodite Fritillary, Gray Comma, Salt Marsh Skipper, Two-spotted Skipper, Baltimore Checkerspot, Giant Swallowtail

As I look out my office window this afternoon, I think I see a premonition of weather to come for the weekend, which again is likely to be far from ideal butterflying weather.  Good thing so many of us were out in the field last weekend!

And as predicted the spike in summer butterflies materialized with the sunshine, led by the emergence of many FOY hairstreaks, including Coral, Banded, Striped, and Oak (in NJ).  In part this is a reflection of peak bloom of their preferred nectar hosts, milkweeds (dogbane, common, swamp, butterflyweed), and mints (mountain mint in particular).  But also look for them on blooming sumac.  Few other lycaenids are on the wing now; no coppers or azures other than Summer Azure were tagged this week.  Eastern Tailed-blue is flying but in sparse numbers.

Anglewings came out with a vengeance over the weekend, including very fresh Gray Comma and many Eastern Commas.  Other nymphalids also rocked the weekend, such as fresh Baltimore Checkerspots and the Great Fritillaries trifecta in Garrett Co.: Aphrodite, Atlantis, and Great Spangled.  Meadow Fritillary and Silver-bordered Fritillary are also flying, the latter is smaller numbers than most years, apparently.  Little Wood Satyr borders on abundant in some locations; missing so far this year is Common Wood Nymph.  Common Ringlets have emerged.  Both of our local emperors were noted this past week, Hackberry and Tawny.  Red-spotted Purple and Viceroy continue; fresh Red Admirals were reported.  A few sightings of Common Buckeye also trickled in, as well as singleton sightings of Monarch.  A new population of Harris’ Checkerspot with individuals ranging in wear from fresh to ragged was logged in western MD.  Silvery Checkerspot is peaking in the western counties and already beginning to drop off in Piedmont locations.  Northern Crescents in Garrett Co. were few and quite worn.

Pink-edged Sulphur (in WV) topped the list of interesting whites and sulphurs this week.

Swallowtail sightings of the past week include Zebra, Black, Spicebush, and Pipevine.  A Giant Swallowtail was picked up on the Sky Meadows (VA) count.

Skippers were well represented, with Salt Marsh Skipper in MD and NJ and Two-spotted Skipper in NJ included in the week’s sightings.  Hoary Edge in MD and a quite probable (but worn) Pepper and Salt Skipper in Garrett Co MD rounded out the list of new or very interesting skipper species reported this week.  Long Dash was also flying well; Zabulon and Hobomok numbers have peaked and many individuals are already tattered and worn.

BUTTERFLY COUNTS scheduled in the next two weeks include Western Montgomery Co. (rescheduled to Sunday owing to weather), Island Ford (VA), and eastern Frederick/western Carroll (MD).  See the master LepLog calendar for details:  https://leplog.wordpress.com/2018-field-trip-and-annual-count-calendar/

A number of butterflies are still AWOL for the year, so if your paths cross with them let us know what you see here at https://leplog.wordpress.com/ or by posting to Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.

[Update:  And sure as the sun rises, someone will have seen one of the butterflies that is AWOL on the Forecast.  Common Wood Nymph is out, as seen and photographed June 16 by Shirley Devan near Lightfoot VA at the Yorktown Battlefield:

06-20-2018 Common Wood-Nymph at Yorktown Battlefield - 1

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Mid-Atlantic Butterfly Field Forecast for the Week of 2018 June 16

2018 June 8 Aaron's Skipper_MD-Talbot Co-Bruceville Rd at Miles Crk

Aaron’s Skipper, a butterfly of coastal wetlands, in Talbot Co MD [2018 June 8, photo by REB]

 HIGHLIGHTS:  Aaron’s Skipper, Broad-winged Skipper, Appalachian Brown, Emperors, Harris’ Checkerspot, Black Dash, Delaware Skipper, Sachem, European (Essex) Skipper, fresh anglewings, Common Buckeye, Sleepy Orange

The first sunny, warm weekend in what seems like months is on tap for us this weekend, so I expect a much more robust reporting next week!

Despite the list above, we are somewhat in the butterfly doldrums of early summer now, after the first flush of spring brooded-multivoltine species and univoltine spring butterflies has petered out.  A few new summer FOY species came in this week, but the next two weeks should bring a new peak of butterfly diversity and abundance.

Among the FOYs this past week though was Appalachian Brown, and additional Northern Pearly-Eyes were seen too.  Little Wood Satyr is pretty common throughout the region; Carolina Satyr undoubtedly is out too.  Viceroy and Red-spotted Purples are in flight, and finally the first report of summer brood anglewings, a Question Mark and several Eastern Commas.  Great Spangled Fritillary is out, and looks to be having a good flight so far; Meadow Fritillary second brood is flying and Silver-bordered Fritillary is out in WV (so probably also in similar habitats in w MD and VA).  Harris’ Checkerspot showed up in Garrett Co., and Frederick Co was added to the list of western MD counties that can now claim Northern Crescent.  The second brood of Pearl Crescents is emerging, and a large flight of Silvery Checkerspots is winding down. Monarchs are still sailing through in small numbers, which is expected — most will have overflown us on their way to more northerly milkweed fields.  Both emperors, Hackberry Butterfly and Tawny Emperor, were reported.  No new sightings of Snout to accompany last week’s solo sighting — this is an unexpectedly scarce butterfly this year.  American Ladies were widely, but singly, reported; several singleton Variegated Fritillaries were on the rolls this week.  Common Buckeye showed up on the coast.

Skipper-wise, the coastal skippers are the big news for the week, with Broad-winged Skippers and Aaron’s Skippers on MD’s Eastern Shore and Delaware Skipper inland in the Catoctins and coastally in NJ.  Black Dash is flying in western MD; both Zabulon and Hobomok continue to stake out sunny glades along woodland paths in the mid-Atlantic, although both are beginning to show wear.  FOY Sachem was reported as well.  The first European (Essex) Skipper observations came in from western MD and WV; fresh emergence was reported in NJ, too.  Other grass skippers reported this week include Swarthy, Little Glassywing, Crossline, Dun, and Least.  Observers in western MD would do well to keep their eyes open in marshy areas for Two-spotted Skipper, observed just last year in mid-June a bare half mile from the MD Garrett Co. border with WV.  [I’m going to be out looking for these over the weekend, so if you’re in extreme southwestern Garrett Co MD give me a shout!]

Milkweed and dogbane are reaching peak bloom across the Eastern Shore and also doing well in the more mountainous west; this is the signal for the expected annual explosion of hairstreaks.  Only faded Gray Hairstreak and Red-banded Hairstreak made the list this week, but I expect both greater numbers and diversity for the rest of June.  The great, great likelihood that any azure you see for the rest of the season will be Summer Azure, which is out in a fresh brood.  Bronze Copper is out in NJ.  And Bog Copper is flying in NJ so probably in the western MD and WV bogs as well.

Swallowtails currently flying include all the common species; Giant is being seen all across New England, where it is enjoying great population spikes in the past decade, but none yet from MD.  No reports yet of Palamedes in MD either although they are flying well in the Great Dismal Swamp.

Little to report for whites and sulphurs except that sulphurs continue to experience poor flights.  Cabbage (Small) White is recovering numbers from an anemic spring flight.  Sleepy Oranges are just emerging from a known colony site in NJ.

UPCOMING COUNTS:  The always-interesting annual count for Sky Meadows (VA) is this weekend, and for western Montgomery Co MD is next weekend.  See details in the LepLog master calendar from the top navigation on the home page.

Drag dad out with you butterflying this weekend  let us know what you see here at https://leplog.wordpress.com/ or by posting to Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.

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Mid-Atlantic Butterfly Field Forecast for the Week of June 9

2j018 June 7 Indian Skipper_MD-Frederick Co-Sand Flats ponds

Indian Skipper at the Sand Flats ponds near Gambrill SP, MD [2018 June 7, photo by REB]

HIGHLIGHTS:  Dun Skipper, Delaware Skipper, Aaron’s Skipper, European (Essex) Skipper, Bronze Copper, Harris’ Checkerspot, Hackberry Emperor, Hoary Edge

Not a lot of FOY butterflies came over the electronic transom this week from MD and VA; the uptick in skippers comes mostly from sightings in NJ.  More locally, Dun Skipper is out in force, and anyone seeing these very fresh skippers is bound to be impressed by how little the name does justice to the butterfly, with shimmery deep purples and bronzes over the dark wings and that mantle of pea green on the thorax.  But Dun it is.  Least Skippers were noted (but not in any numbers; looks to be a rather poor first brood for this butterfly).  Silver-spotted Skippers are out and fresh but even where they normally are abundant are not that common.  One lookalike Hoary Edge was spotted in Green Ridge SF at their normal location on Hoop Pole Road.  Indian Skippers were flying and very fresh in the grasses around the ponds in Frederick Watershed Forest (and amazing to think I saw Indian Skippers also very fresh just yesterday 400 miles to north with Karner Blues in Albany Pine Bush Preserve!).  Zabulon and Hobomok Skippers are well out now, while the duskywings generally are done with (at least the univoltine ones), although I did find a late Dreamy Duskywing still flying in the Catoctin Mountains.  Northern Cloudywing was reported widely but in modest numbers.  European (Essex) Skipper is on the wing in the western counties of MD and in WV (as well as PA and NJ).  Aaron’s and Delaware Skippers were both reported in NJ so should probably also be flying in coastal marshes (Aaron’s) and more widely across the region in varied habitats (Delaware).

We’re mostly between broods of swallowtails; fresh Eastern Tigers are just beginning to crank up, while Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail is winding down.  The dark swallowtails are beginning new flights (Black Swallowtail has been flying well already; Spicebush and Pipevine are at the beginning of a second brood).  Fresh Zebra Swallowtails are out, trailing their longer summer tails.  No reports yet this season of Palamedes in the mid-Atlantic north of the Great Dismal Swamp.

It’s the calm before the hairstreak storm, which should blow up in earnest in about 10 days as milkweed and dogbane come into bloom.  Red-banded Hairstreak is the only hairstreak reported this week; a single tattered Appalachian Azure was reported, and otherwise everything coming in has been Summer Azure.  Another week without American Copper.  Bronze Copper was ticked on the NJ lists.

Whites and sulphurs continue to struggle; a slight rise in Cabbage (Small) Whites appeared to be happening this week, but Clouded and Orange Sulphurs are few, and none of the “exotic” sulphurs was noted.  Checkered White was absent from the reports.

Observers continue to expand the range of Northern Crescent (P. cocyta-group) with a specimen documented in Frederick Co MD this week.  WV held Harris’ Checkerspot (probably also flying in western MD).  Viceroy is now out, as are good numbers of Red-spotted PurplesSilvery Checkerspot is still reported flying.  Silver-bordered Fritillary is almost certainly on the wing, and last week’s Great Spangled Fritillary report was repeated this week.  Hackberry Emperor was also on the rolls.

UPCOMING COUNTS:  Sky Meadows VA, June 16 (details at https://leplog.wordpress.com/2018-field-trip-and-annual-count-calendar/)

Another soggy weekend is on tap, but if you get out before the rains, or find a drowned butterfly or three, let us know what you see here at https://leplog.wordpress.com/ or by posting to Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.

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Etiquette for the Field — 10 Tips

field+trip

Even more so than birding or botanizing, butterfly observation benefits from multiple eyes in the field as we look for interesting leps.  But it also poses some challenges for group outings. Here are the 10 etiquette guidelines we try to follow on our field forays:

  1.  We don’t have trip leaders as much as trip facilitators; still, please don’t get ahead of the facilitator unless s/he explicitly sends you ahead to scout.
  2. Please stay within easy earshot of the main group; having to shout or repeat information disrupts the entire group experience.
  3. On our trips we learn as much from each other as from the trip facilitator, but all the participants will appreciate if you keep the non-trip chatter to a minimum so others can concentrate on why we’re in the field.
  4. Photographers are key to documenting butterfly diversity, but the first priority is making sure everyone who wants to gets eyes on the butterfly without the aid of a camera.
  5. After you see the butterfly in question, if there are others who haven’t please step back so others can take a look.
  6. Once you have your photo, step back so others can get theirs.  You get a second bite at the apple after everyone else has had a chance.
  7. Please don’t walk in front of someone aiming binoculars or a camera, or get between people and the butterfly they’re viewing.
  8. Please don’t cast your shadow on the butterfly (they often spook easily).
  9. Absolutely don’t crush the surrounding vegetation (or your fellow trip participants’ feet) in your eagerness to get a photo (especially if you’re using your cellphone to do so).
  10. Share what you know, but know what you share.  Personal experiences with butterflies are the heart of field observation.

 

Posted in Events and Meetings, Field Trips/Annual Counts, general butterfly news, Identification tips, sightings | Leave a comment

Some Boreal Butterflies

2018 June 3 Jutta Arctic 2_NY-Franklin Co-Bloomingdale Bog

Jutta Arctic along the hiking trail at Bloomingdale Bog, Franklin Co NY. [2018 June 3, photo by REB]

Even though the search for Early Hairstreak was a bust, and the weather has been spectacularly awful for butterflies (which is why birding and botanizing are such great alternatives for field excursions — both have been terrific here in the Adirondacks!), I did get up close and personal with a number of boreal butterflies over the past few days.  Seeing more of these northwoods species will help if the field trip to Finzel Swamp — Maryland’s own little frost pocket of the Adirondacks — isn’t a victim to rain this coming weekend.

Jutta Arctic tops the list.  In the months while I was planning this trip I scoured the internet for locations, behaviors, and timing for Jutta Arctic, which I’d never seen before.  My first stop in searching for this bog species (the host plant is sedges, but specially Tussock Cotton-sedge, Eriophorum vaginatum), was along the boardwalk at the VIC, the interpretive center operated by Paul Smiths College and the home base for the Great Adirondack Birding Celebraton (GABC).  Saturday morning I was part of a group that went up Whiteface Mountain (socked in by drizzle and cold fog all morning) for crippling views of Bicknell’s Thrush and some other northwoods bird specialties; it wasn’t until after lunch and the keynote speaker back at the VIC that the sun came out in force.  So I headed down to the Boreal Life boardwalk, where the species has been seen in previous years.

The ode predation pressure on the Boreal Life boardwalk must have been intense, with Twin-spotted Spiketails patrolling the path and clouds of mature Chalk-fronted Corporals literally all around me.  I suspected if there had been any Juttas (and I hadn’t seen reports yet this season from up here) they would have been an ode lunch already.  I saw all of one butterfly along the trail, a Hobomok Skipper, and a few Canadian Tiger Swallowtails in the parking lots.

Sunday’s morning trip was to the famed Bloomingdale Bog, one of the most extensive boreal bogs in the US.  It’s bisected by an old railroad bed that gives terrific access to the heart of the bog, much of it a balsam fir-spruce-larch assemblage but with regular crossings of open bog favored by bog butterflies.  The day was sunny, even at 7 am; the GABC field trip here targeted Gray Jay, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and Black-backed Woodpecker, among others (success on the jay and flycatcher!).  As the day warmed a little, we began finding some butterflies — Arctic Skippers, Spring Azures, two Brown Elfins, and a number of Canadian Tiger Swallowtails.

2018 June 2 Spring Azure_NY-Franklin Co-Bloomingdale Bog

Spring Azure in Bloomingdale Bog, one of many that were busy working chokecherries and blueberries along the trail [2018 June 2, photo by REB]

2018 June 3 ?Spring Azure_NY-Franklin Co-Bloomingdale Bog

Azure on flowering chokecherry.  This dark variation is often treated as a separate species, lucia.  [2018 June 3, Bloomingdale Bog, photo by REB]

2018 June 3 Arctic Skipper_NY-Franklin Co-Bloomingdale Bog

Arctic Skipper at Bloomingdale Bog, already a little worn. These skippers were surprisingly common along the bog’s hiking trail [2018 June 3, photo by REB]

It wasn’t until we were on our way back along the trail and nearing the cars at the access point along Highway 55 that one of the other birders in the group asked, “What’s that dark butterfly?” flitting off into the trees.  It was a long and soggy chase, through spruce and then out into the open bog, jumping from hummock to hummock (and sometimes missing) until I finally caught up with a pristine Jutta Arctic.  I snapped a couple of pics, then pulled out my collapsible net and brought it back to show the rest of the group.  We all admired it for a bit before releasing it.

2018 June 3 Jutta Arctic 1_NY-Frankling Co-Bloomingdale bog

My lifer Jutta Arctic, being admired by a group of GABC birders on the Bloomingdale Bog trail. [2018 June 3, photo by REB]

One of our little group, however, was farther down the trail — and looking at a half dozen or so more Juttas dancing along the trail, landing for good photos and otherwise being very good candidates for study.  On dry land.  Cooperatively.  Even landing on us from time to time.  While I stood there with squelching hiking boots from my chase through the bog.

2018 June 3 Cottongrass sedge in Bloomingdale Bog

The sea of tufted cotton-sedge favored as a larval host for Jutta Arctic [2018 June 3, photo by REB]

2018 June 3 Jutta Arctic alley_NY-Franklin Co-Bloomingdale Bog

A regular Jutta Arctic alley, the hiking trail through Bloomingdale Bog near the Highway 55 entrance [2018 June 3, photo by REB]

2018 June 3 Jutta Arctic 3_NY-Franklin Co-Bloomingdale Bog

Yet another Jutta Arctic along the Bloomingdale Bog hiking trail [2018 June 3, photo by REB]

Later in the afternoon I was also able to find a couple more Juttas on the short boardwalk at Massawepie Lake farther west in the Adirondacks, where they seemed to coexist quite well with the emerging swarm of teneral corporal dragonflies.  The Juttas would come in and perch on the warm boardwalk planks literally surrounded by the large to medium sized dragonflies, which could easily have taken them but seemed to pay them no heed.

P1050154

Jutta on the boardwalk at Massawepie Lake NY [2018 June 3, photo by REB]

P1050172

The entire boardwalk was covered with these squadrons of Chalk-fronted Corporals in various stages of maturity. They seemed to pretty much ignore the Juttas [2018 June 3, photo by REB]

P1050153

The short boardwalk into the extensive open bog at Massawepie Lake, NY [photo by REB]

I suspect this will be the end of butterflying this trip; today is rainy and cold and tomorrow is forecast to be the same, which if true will put an end to plans to visit the Albany Pine Bush Preserve for Karner Blue on the way back to the airport.  Some of the other butterflies logged on this trip:

2018 May 31 Pepper and Salt Skipper 3_MA-Mt Greylock Reservation

Pepper and Salt Skipper on Mt Greylock [MA: Berkshire Co, 2018 May 31, photo by REB]

2018 June 1 West Virginia White_MA-Mt Greylock Reservation

West Virginia White nectaring on dandelion along Sperry Road [[MA: Berkshire Co, 2018 June 1, photo by REB]

2018 June 2 Hobomok Skipper_NY-Franklin Co-Paul Smiths VIC boreal trail

An old friend from home, Hobomok Skipper, which flies here in the Adirondacks without its southern congener, Zabulon [2018 June 1, Boreal Life Trail, Pauls Smith College VIC]

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FOMO on the Early Hairstreak

Early Hairstreak, Erora laeta (courtesy NABA)

Early Hairstreak, Erora laeta (courtesy NABA).  It’ll be awhile before I get to post my own photo.

Three-hundred-sixty-eight.

That’s how many steps it takes to walk around “the circle” at the end of Sperry Road on Mount Greylock in western Massachusetts, as close as one ever comes to a sure-fire place to see the coveted little hairstreak known as Erora laeta, the Early Hairstreak.

How do I know this?  Because I walked this circuit at least 40 times on Thursday and another 30 or 40 on Friday.  In vain.

Thursday, I drove down from the airport in Albany, NY, about an hour away.  I’d done my research, friends who had seen the critter there were generous in their advice (Matt Orsie, Steven Glynn, that means you), and I was on my way to a certain destiny of seeing this teal-blue lycaenid with the rusty marks sipping away at salts on the gravel surface of Sperry Road.  And especially at “the circle” where it dead ends at a drop-dead (kind of literally) view from the overlook at Stoney Ledge.

Over the past couple of years, many of my lepping friends have made the hejira to Mount Greylock, all successfully (or let me put it this way, nobody confessed that they DIDN’T see it).

And this is when FOMO kicks in for me — Fear Of Missing Out.  Angst that my friends were seeing cool butterflies I was denied, and that somehow my life would be immeasurably enriched by seeing those same butterflies.  So I could also brag about them next time I run into them in the field or at a butterfly event.

So I found myself making a side trip to Mt Greylock en route to the Great Adirondack Birding Festival (in truth, it was in the opposite direction).  And in fact walking out Sperry toward the overlook my confidence was high, boosted by a chance run-in with members of the Massachusetts Butterfly Club who had just seen two pristine hairstreaks on the ground at “the circle”!  I picked up the pace.

So, too, however did the clouds, and by the time I reached the last quarter mile of Sperry Road’s 1.5-mile length, it was overcast.  And that’s where I met another lepster who I knew by reputation only, Igor Udod, who was already canvassing the end of the road.  Unsuccessfully, as it happens.  And my joining him didn’t help much.  We had great conversations about butterflies American and European, collecting and collectors, and some of our recent finds as we made round after round after round, and the clouds grew thicker and thicker and thicker.  After about an hour of this, Igor threw in the towel and went back to his car; I stayed another hour or so in the optimistic frame of mind that the sun would come out again.  It didn’t.

I trudged back to the car, disappointed.  Even though I’d seen some nice butterflies on the route, including Pepper and Salt Skippers and West Virginia White, and studied the local Canadian Swallowtails quite closely.

Still, I figured I’d blown my only chance this trip of seeing Early Hairstreak, since Friday was forecast to be cold, cloudy, and rainy.  And I needed to be in Lake Placid, three hours away, for a birding field trip for Bicknell’s Thrust on Saturday morning at 7 am.  So I slept in, ate a late breakfast/early lunch at Renee’s, a terrific diner popular with the Williams College crowd, and just as I was finishing up my corned beef hash the sun came out.  Hot. Bright. Brilliant.

I jumped in the car and raced back up Greylock and out Sperry Road.  The day was just spectacular — clouds of Canadian Swallowtails, annoying commonplace Pepper and Salts, more whites.  Some Spring Azures.

But no Early Hairstreaks.

There were good mammals — red squirrels, chipmunks, even a grumpy porcupine.  Botanizing was superb.

P1040984

Grumpy porcupine echoes my frustration on Sperry Road.

But still — no Early Hairstreaks.

And even though I spent a full three hours marching up and down Sperry Road and around and around “the circle” under beautiful blue skies until nearly 4 pm there would be no Early Hairstreaks.

On the long drive up to Lake Placid — through a wild thunderstorm and torrential rain — I thought a lot about FOMO and butterflying.  One of the reasons I stopped being so involved in the active birding community was the heavy emphasis on listing and other competitive antics.  After all, I didn’t want to have to feel the pressure to produce every time I went into the field with binoculars.  And I realized I’d fallen into the same trap with butterflies.

The reality is, the only FOMO I should feel should be about missing out on outdoor experiences writ large, not the grocery cart full of “needs” and “ticks” that used to be drive my heavy birding days.  And I should be afraid to miss out on time to reflect on and be enriched by the outdoor experience, not the “outdone” experience.  I should not get sucked into “Facebook Fatigue” — the feeling that everyone around you is having these amazing things happen to them except you, because they only post the good stuff to Facebook.

Brilliant insight, if I do say so myself.  Feeling thoroughly righteous and very proper, I arrived with a new attitude and open to all experiences — even dipping on good birds and butterflies with a carefree soul — at the GABC.

Yeah, yeah — it didn’t last long.  Today I was snapping pics of butterflies in the boreal bog desperately hunting Jutta Arctic — another dip.  So far.  And I have Jutta FOMO in the worst way.

Posted in general butterfly news, sightings | 3 Comments

Mid-Atlantic Butterfly Field Forecast for the Week of 2018 June 2

Male Hobomok Skipper in classic pose showing the black veins running through the orange area of the dorsal hindwing; on Zabulon that orange patch is clear [2018 May 28, Yonkers Bottom, Green Ridge State Forest, photo by REB]

HIGHLIGHTS:  Hobomok Skipper, Viceroy, White Admiral, Northern Cloudywing, Common Roadside-skipper, Indian Skipper, American Snout, Great Spangled Fritillary

Well, another weekend where it looks like butterfly watchers in the mid-Atlantic will be dodging raindrops if not actual thunderstorms to provide fodder for next week’s Forecast.

The great Snout drought ended with an American Snout sighting near Ellicott City in MD this week.  Otherwise the nymphalid count is pretty stable, with just three other new additions:  a singleton White Admiral among the hundred or so Red-spotted Purples observed on Memorial Day in Green Ridge State Forest, a FOY Great Spangled Fritillary, and Viceroy from multiple locations.  Silvery Checkerspot is abundant in some places and absent from others where it is usually common.  Some fresh new Red Admirals were reported this week.  A second brood of Pearl Crescent is emerging on the Piedmont and Coastal Plain; the species flying right now in damp fields and stream edges in the western part of the state is probably still a “Northern” Crescent of the cocyta-group. Next weekend’s field trip to Finzel Swamp (weather permitting) will be looking for Baltimore Checkerspot, Harris’ Checkerspot, and Silver-bordered Fritillary, all of which should be flying by then if they aren’t already on the wing (they all seem to be flying here in the Adirondacks, where I am hanging out this weekend for the Great Adirondack Birding Celebration).  Monarchs have been reported throughout the mid-Atlantic.  Observers should look for both emperors this weekend and next week; I’m sure Tawny and Hackberry Emperors are flying.

A few new skippers to add for the year, notably Common Roadside-skipper and Indian Skipper.  Both Zabulon and Hobomok are having good flights currently.  Silver-spotted Skipper’s current brood is modest.  Least Skipper numbers are building; the trick is finding ditches and waterways that aren’t too flooded to watch for them!  Check out dewberry wherever it grows for Northern Cloudywing, which shows up each year about the time brambles are in full bloom (as it did this past week).

No new dramatis personae among the blues, coppers, and hairstreaks.  Fresh Summer Azures are out; Appalachian Azure should also be flying although it wasn’t reported this past week.  A few Gray Hairstreaks and Red-banded Hairstsreaks were also noted.  Elfins are over for the year.  But in the next week or 10 days we’ll begin seeing the summer Satyriums as dogbane comes into bloom:  Banded, Striped, and always hoped-for Hickory and Acadian Hairstreaks.

If the clouds of dancing white butterflies around the cabbages in my garden are any indication, the next generation of Cabbage (Small) Whites seems to have recovered somewhat from the anemic first generation.  Most other whites and sulphurs still seem to be in the doldrums.  Sleepy Orange is very hard to come by, West Virginia White seems to have had a small univoltine brood that has already petered out.  No recent sightings of Checkered White.

We’re beginning to see a second brood of Zebra Swallowtails out, and it looks like it could be substantial.  Spicebush Swallowtail had a small first flight, as did Eastern Tiger, both are beginning to show up again.  Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail could be encountered anywhere from Frederick west; look for large, lemon-yellow (as opposed to orange-yellow), floppy tiger swallowtails.  Black Swallowtail is being recorded sparingly; a new brood of Pipevines is flying around the Mall in DC courtesy of the abundant Aristolochia cultivars in the gardens there.

This week, if you see something (lepidopterous), say something — by commenting here at https://leplog.wordpress.com/ or by posting to Google Groups at MDLepsOdes.

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