Saturday, May 7, 2016

Brukner Nature Center Butterfly Transit Report for April 24, 2016

Our official season got off to a slow start.  The butterflies were around.  We were all seeing them.  But the weekends, when we could get together and count were cold or wet or both for the first two weeks of April.

The first day we walked was April 17.  The day was warm enough (80 degrees at 2 PM) but the butterflies must have been napping.  We listed flowers instead.  The bluebells were in full bloom and we saw hundreds, maybe thousands of spring beauties.

On April 24, Tom and I went to a play so we missed the walk.  I wished I could be in two places at once.  It was a beautiful day for butterflies.  The butterflies recorded were 2 Cabbage Whites, 2 Eastern Commas, Henry's Elfin, Pearl Crescent, 3 Question Marks, 5 Red Admirals, and a Tiger Swallowtail.

Jackie Watkins was the photographer of the day.

Is this a Henry's Elfin?  Henry's Elfin (Callophrys henrici) Wingspan 0.9-1.2 inches (2.3-3.0 cm)
Henry's Elfins primarily host on Redbuds (Cercis canadensis) when they are in bloom.

Silhouette of a Henry's Elfin

 An unidentified Duskywing (Erynnis)

There are eight Duskywings found in Ohio.  All of them have somewhat similar markings.  It usually takes an expert to positively identify them.

 Another view of the Duskywing

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Wingspan 2.25-3.00 inches (5.7-7.6 cm)

The Question Mark is one of the Anglewings which have irregular wing edges.  It has a silver dot and curved line on the underside of the hind wing which looks a bit like a ?.  This is one of the species that can be found feeding on rotting fruit, dung, and carrion as well as sap.

Underside of Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) Wingspan 1.75-2.5 inches (4.4-6.4 cm)

This is another species that frequently visits sap flows, dung, and fermenting fruit.

We have been watching for Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia) and today the group found them.


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