Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Brukner Nature Center Butterfly Transit, September 11, 2016

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) Wingspan 1.75-2.40 inches (4.4-6.1 cm)

Thank you, Jim for this photo.

When I looked at my photos I realized I had not taken one photo of a Silver-spotted Skipper.  I could not believe it.  There were so many Silver-spotted Skippers that I didn't think of taking a photo of one.  It didn't seem important.  There would always be one more.  And then I entirely forgot to get that one photo.

"Oh, well, Phil probably took a photo."

But, no, he didn't.

There were lots of Silver-spotted Skippers the week of  September 3, and also the week of  August 28. But on September 11 there were so many that we were overwhelmed by their numbers.  The final number decided on for these skippers was approximately 127.  There could have been many more.  Every time anyone moved a few steps along the lane, he or she would report, "Another Silver-spotted Skipper, No, there are four, five, six."When a vehicle was driven up or down the lane, the skippers rose in uncountable  numbers from the vegetation.

Though we saw a multitude of Silver-spotted skippers, we saw only one of each of the following.

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) Wingspan 2.25-3.0 inches (5.7-7.6 cm)

The butterfly is named for the two tiny silver markings on the underside of its hind wing, a curve and a dot.

Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma)  Wingspan 2.0-2.4 inches (5.1-6.1 cm)

The comma has a commar shaped silver line on the underside of its hind wing.

American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) Wingspan 1.75-2.40 inches (4.4-6.1 cm)

This is a butterfly we rarely see.  I think it is the first one we've seen this year.  Ruth circled the distinguishing dot on the underside of the front wing.

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)  Wingspan 3.5-4.0 inches 8.9-10.2 cm)

We are beginning to see a few Monarchs in the area.  They are arriving a little later than usual.

Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) Wingspan 1.4-2.0 inches (3.6-5.1 cm)

This was a new butterfly to me when I started helping on the Butterfly Transit.  Its habits are similar to those of the Pearl Crescent (below) and looks much like it.  However the Pearl Crescent doesn't have the white spot surrounded by white on the hind wing.  Ruth marked the spot witrh an arrow.

Pearl Crescent(Phyciodes tharos) Wingspan 1.25-1.6 inches (3.2-4.1 cm)

This Pearl Crescent has a shadow across its hind wings but it is clear that it doesn't have the white spot encircled by black as the Silvery Checkerspot does in the photo above this one.  The Pearl Crescent is much more common in our area than the Silvery Checkerspot.  We saw 6.

We saw 2 Gray Hairstreaks.  We don't see them often and often we  see only 1.

Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) Wingspan 1.0-1.5 inches (2.5-3.8 cm)

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) Wingspan 1.5-2.0 inches (3.8-5.1 cm)

This is a butterfly we often see in the fields and on fallow land as we drive by.

Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta) Wingspan 0.80-1.25 inches (2.0-3.2 cm)

Our final count...
   Silver-spotted skipper...approximately 127
   Pearl Crescent...6
   Summer azure...2
   Silvery checkerspot...1
   Gray hairstreak...2
   Eastern comma...1
   Question mark...1
   Clouded sulphur...3
   Cabbage white...3
   American Painted Lady...1

We three photographers managed to get at least one photo of each one except for the Clouded sulphur.  I am pleased.

1 comment:

  1. You all did great, I am waiting for the Monarchs to be in the Mustard but maybe it is too late for them...we saw a few the other day.
    Thanks for the story about the children making a circle for every year...I would be tired this year! I am tired, birthdays take a lot out of you :(