Thursday, July 26, 2012

Butterfly Update

Butterfly numbers are still low, but I’m seeing several different species.  The Olive Hairstreak is trying to outdo its first brood success and is becoming more abundant every day.

Other Hairstreaks are quite noticeably absent.  Besides the Olives and two Edwards’, this Gray Hairstreak is the only other of that group that I’ve seen so far this summer.  Many Hairstreak species are normally common here.  It’s disturbing to have them so obviously absent.

Great Spangled Fritillaries are still around in very low numbers.  They’re appearing just one at a time instead of in their usual flocks.

Pipevine Swallowtails are still the most abundant of the Swallowtail group.

Tiger Swallowtails began showing up just a few days ago. 

Silvery Checkerspots seem more common this year.  That may be because the number of Pearl Crescents, which the Silvery Checkerspots resemble, is way down.  It’s hard to see the Silvery Checkerspots when Pearl Crescents are constantly flying by.

Little Wood Satyrs are becoming more abundant, but are still less common than normal.

I got this out of focus shot of a ragged Carolina Satyr after following the butterfly for several minutes.  First sight led me to believe it was another Little Wood Satyr, but it had a little different look that made me want to get a closer look.  It lit just long enough for me to get one quick shot from a position much too far away.  Then it took off over an embankment and easily evaded any further pursuit.  Carolina Satyrs are rather rare in this area, so I guess I’ll go back out and see if I can find a nicer looking individual and get a clear shot.

Skipper numbers seem to be about normal this year.  This Northern Broken Dash is one of many that appear to have emerged in unison. 

Almost as suddenly, every dark skipper is a Wild Indigo Duskywing.  They are gathering just about everywhere they can find a bit of mineral laden moisture.

The Southern Golden Skipper is one of many skippers that will hold fore and hind wings at different angles to expose all sides simultaneously.  This always fascinated me as a child and each time I saw one, I couldn’t keep from thinking about the inside of a cat’s eye marble.  Of course, back then I didn’t have any camera or binoculars, so I had to employ some pretty nifty stalking skills to get a close view. 


  1. Hi Steve..Great collection of butterfly..real beauties, wish we had the Pipevine,or if we do I have never seen one!!
    Cat eye marble is a good comparison for that last one..nice!!
    Golly gee half inch of rain didn't do much did it!
    we are getting a little dry here, but not like that!!
    I did avoid the snake post and saw where someone said it was a real beauty..Okay that his opinion not mine : }
    Did you get my email back to you ??!

  2. Good info about and images of these beauties.

  3. Hi Grace. We managed to accumulate another 1.5 inches of rain from four separate storms in the past two days. We could still use much more.

    Thanks Pat.