Saturday, May 15, 2010

Red Admiral Explosion

The last three days have seen the emergence of a huge brood of Red Admirals Vanessa atalanta. We went for a butterfly walk today and saw approximately 75 individuals, along with...

  1. Question Mark Polygonia interrogationis (4)
  2. American Lady Vanessa virginiensis (2)
  3. Red-spotted Purple Limenitis a. astynax (1)
  4. Spicebush Swallowtail Papilio troilus (1, female)
  5. Orange Sulfur Colias eurytheme (5)
  6. Cabbage White Pieris rapae (5)
  7. Eastern Tailed Blue Cupido comyntas (2)
  8. Little Wood Satyr Megisto cymela (1)
  9. Pearl Crescent Phyciodes tharos (2)
  10. Common Sootywing Pholisora catullus (1)
  11. Tawny-Edged Skipper Polites themistocles (1)
  12. Sachem Atalopedes campestris (1)
  13. Silver-Spotted Skipper Epargyreus clarus (3)
  14. Horace's Duskywings Erynnis horatius (4)

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta


Tawny-Edged Skipper Polites themistocles

Horace's Skipper Erynnis horatius

Red-Tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sudden Hops Death

The hops vine last year netted 30 Polygonia interrogationis adults. This year, it came up strong and then suddenly died. C'est tragique. Read more...

Soldier's Delight 5/5/10

Soldier's Delight is a state park in Baltimore Co., MD. Its geology is unusual in that its rock formations are primarily serpentine, resulting in unusual flora, resulting in unusual fauna.

The big finds at Soldier's Delight are Falcate Orangetips and Elfins. Unfortunately I saw none of these, although a posted sign in the visitor's center announced that FOs had been seen on the butterfly walk of 5/2/10. The Orangetip hostplant, Lyre-Leaved Rockcress, was everywhere.

The other local specialty was out in force, however: Cobweb Skippers.

Cobweb Skipper Hesperia metea --

All in all, there were about 15 of these, including a female being chased by a quite amorous male. In the end, he chased her up my camera strap!



There were also several duskywings, including at least one Horace's:

Horace's Duskywing Erynnis horatius -- Duskywings are a pain to identify, but the short, naked palps (mouth parts) on this individual are convincing evidence that this is neither a Dreamy nor Sleepy Duskywing. *sigh*

Several Swallowtails were out: a Tiger and two Spicebush.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Pterourus glaucus (older references have Papilio glaucus)

Also seen: two Orange Sulfurs Colias eurytheme, c. 20 Pearl Crescents Phyciodes tharos (many in a strongly marked spring form), and an American Lady Vanessa virginiensis.