Thursday, May 6, 2010

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.


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