Alert Update July 2008
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Last Updated:  01 August, 2008 10:58 AM


 


Welcome to Lepidoptera Alert.  


 

Report from OAP, 31 July 2008,
This has been an unusual year for weather and phenology. The weather appears to have affected the flight period, and possibly the emergence of some (most) Michigan species. An examination of the facts at the end of the year should be enlightening!
Now for August.


Report from Kyle E. Johnson, 28 July 2008,
Attached are 2 images of a possible (Satyrodes appalachia) collected from the Pine Creek Peatland in Roseau County, Minnesota, a mere step shy of the Manitoba border [the butterfly was flying in both MN & MB before it was collected!]


Possible Appalachian Eyed Brown (Satyrodes appalachia), ventral view, 
Pine Creek Peatland in Roseau County, Minnesota,
date?
photograph by Kyle E. Johnson copyright ©  2008  


Possible Appalachian Eyed Brown (Satyrodes appalachia), dorsal view,
Pine Creek Peatland in Roseau County, Minnesota,
date?
photograph by Kyle E. Johnson copyright ©  2008  

Second opinions would be greatly appreciated; currently I have no access to reference specimens.  The hindwing pm line is more sinuous than the average S. eurydice, but perhaps not quite as sinuous as the typical S. appalacia???

If it turns out to be S. appalachia this should be a fair range extention to the NW in Minnesota, but more importantly Canada as it has never been recorded as far west as Manitoba (I believe, anyway).

*****

Reply from Robert Dana, MN DNR, 500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25, St. Paul, MN 55155, 651 259-5086, Fax: 651 296-1811
Email: robert.dana@dnr.state.mn.us
28 July 2008

Looks like appalachia to me. Was it flying in shaded habitat? I collected appalachia in the Chippewa NF several years back in a black ash swamp, with some tamarack.

Nice find! I've wondered how far NW it might extend. I didn't find it in Kittson Co. I'm not sure we have any records for it out in the (former) prairie part of MN.

Speaking of the prairie part of MN, I finally found larvae of Schinia indiana in southwest MN (in a site where we have observed adults over a number of years). The first one was brought to my attention by a wasp, who was in the midst of killing it on a prairie phlox plant. Right after that I found another feeding on the nearly ripe seeds of phlox. I collected it live and a day later it burrowed into the soil in the container. We'll see what comes out. I don't have any images to send as I use a film camera and it will be a bit before I can scan the slide.

*****

Reply from George Balogh, 29 July 2008,
I agree with Robert although without making reference to illustrations or specimens.
Is this the only specimen?  Always more convincing if you can come up with a series and in the appropriate habitat.  
But perhaps it is to late to look for more this season?

Most interested in The Schinia indiana larval find.  I am not familiar with the larvae but must admit I never looked for them.  
On what dates were they collected?  
If you have good images I'm sure Dave Wagner would be most interested in adding them to his library.

*****

Reply from Robert Dana, 29 July 2008,

I observed these larvae on 26 July. I suspect these were among the last of this year's cohort that were still feeding. 
I subsequently examined a large number of phlox plants and though found some with feeding damage matching 
that on the plants with the larvae I found no more larvae. 
This year's phenology was so abnormal that the date shouldn't be used directly for guidance. 
Things were quite late in SW MN, up to 2 wks for some species--e.g., didn't see H. dacotae until around 4 July, 
whereas in past years I've seen the 1st ones around 19 June. I observed a couple of worn dacotae on 26 July--pretty late! 
Wish I had been able to examine the phlox plants at this site about a week earlier.

I don't know how my images will turn out. 
I photo'd the intact larva "in situ" and planned to do more careful photography back at the field house where I could set up tripod, etc, but it finished up and dug into the soil before I got to this. 
Although I haven't seen the larva of this moth before, the ones I found match the specimen figured in Hardwick's book, 
and one in an image lent to me by Ron Panzer. And they were feeding on the seed capsules of Phlox pilosa
just as indiana is supposed to do. So I'm pretty confident these larvae are indiana.

If any of my images turns out to be good, I'll contact Dave Wagner. I've been meaning to contact the Moth Photographers Group folks about their interest in much better images of S. indiana adults than the one they have on their site.

*****

Reply by Kyle E. Johnson, 31 July 2008,
Thanks for the replies.  The specimen came from likely habitat, a somewhat rich shady tamarack swamp with scattered black spruce & white cedar; I collected one a couple years ago in similar habitat in Vilas County, northern Wisconsin.  Perhaps a bit late this year, but I will try to nab a few more specimens, especially from the Manitoba side (for a proper provincial record).  Also congratulations to Robert for the Schinia indiana larval find (I hope to see this species some day...not common on the Sphagnum!)


Report from Julie Craves, 27 July 2008,

While out looking for dragonflies, Darrin O'Brien and I found a Coenonympha tullia inornata in Northville. It was near a retention basin at an office complex on the northeast corner of 5 Mile and Beck Roads. It looked pretty fresh. There are lots of weedy feeds in this complex; good thing, since most of the best remaining habitat in this remaining region has been converted to a subdivision of McMansions and a 120 municipal park with 3 ball fields, 11 soccer fields, and a lacrosse field -- none of which we have ever seen being used!
This individual got away from me after I photographed it so I didn't get a voucher. This is the 4th Inornate Ringlet we've found in Wayne Co. since 2003, all in different locations.


Inornate Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia inornata), Northville, Wayne Co., 
northeast corner of 5 Mile and Beck Roads. 27 July 2008.
photograph by Julie Craves copyright ©  2008  


Inornate Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia inornata), Northville, Wayne Co., 
northeast corner of 5 Mile and Beck Roads. 27 July 2008.
photograph by Julie Craves copyright ©  2008  


Report from Roger Kuhlman, 25 July 2008,

On July 17 I was with Barb Barton and Mike Sanders from Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) in a fen in Jackson County looking for rare Michigan Butterflies. We found Mitchell's Satyrs (Neonypha mitchellii) still flying probably all females along with old Powesheik Skipperlings (Oarisma powesheik) [Sorry about the poorer quality photo of O. powesheik]. 


Powesheik Skipperlings (Oarisma powesheik), 17 July 2008, fen in Jackson County.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008
 

Despite much searching we were not able to find any Swamp Metalmarks (Calephelis mutica). The sting of this important miss was assuaged a bit by finding one Dukes' Skipper (Euphyes dukesi) among many Broad-winged Skippers (Poanes viator) in a shaded and forested Carex lacustris area. For good measure I had my first Buckeye of the year wing by me on the fen.


Dukes' Skipper (Euphyes dukesi), 17 July 2008, fen in Jackson County.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008


Dukes' Skipper (Euphyes dukesi), 17 July 2008, fen in Jackson County.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008

On the way home to Ann Arbor I stopped off at a Roadside Rest stop on I-94 just east of Chelsea and got a nice photo of Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus communis) nectaring on Fleabane. Three or four Checkered Skippers have been hanging out at this rest stop for about two weeks now and probably indicate a relatively widespread occurrence of the species in southeast Michigan is taking place again this year.


Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus communis) nectaring on Fleabane, 17 July 2008, 
Roadside Rest stop on I-94 just east of Chelsea.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008

Sunday July 20 I was back to the Matthaei Botanical Gardens to look for Dukes' Skipper for a second time this year. 

http://www.lsa.umich.edu/mbg/ 

My previous visit on July 14 had produced no Dukes'. Despite intensive searching, no Dukes' Skippers were found again. Other spots in Ann Arbor that had had Dukes' Skipper in the past also turned up empty. Last year no location in Ann Arbor or any other location in Washtenaw County produced Dukes' Skipper. It looks like we have lost the species here. Hopefully it will only be on a temporary basis and in coming years Dukes' will return to Ann Arbor.
 
Despite not finding Dukes' Skipper the lacustris meadows did produce one Dion Skipper (Euphyes dion) among the very abundant Broad-winged Skippers (Poanes viator). Dion Skipper is a fairly uncommon butterfly in southeast Michigan and is usually found as singles. It is always exciting to find.


Dion Skipper (Euphyes dion), 20 July 2008, Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008


Dion Skipper (Euphyes dion), 20 July 2008, Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008

 
20 July 2008, Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008


20 July 2008, Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008

On July 22 I visited the Nature Conservancy's preserve of Ives Road Fen in Lenawee County. 

http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/michigan/preserves/art17126.html 

In previous years I had found a total of three of the very rare Swamp Metalmark (Calephelis mutica) at this site. This year along with Chuck Person from the Nature Conservancy we combed various sections of the fen there but we could not find a Swamp Metalmark. Swamp Thistle is doing well at the site so I guess there is always hope the butterfly is still there but overlooked or not flying at the time of my visit.
 
Swamp Metalmark is such a beautiful butterfly, it would be a terrible shame to lose this species from Michigan. It is a total mystery to me why the Michigan Department of Natural Resources lists Swamp Metalmark as only a species of special concern. I believe it is so rare in the state that it deserves a state-endangered status the Karner Blue and the Mitchell's Satyr has. Probably both Karner Blue and Mitchell's Satyrs each outnumber Swamp Metalmarks in Michigan by more than 10 to one.
 
The Ives Road Fen trip was not a total loss as I found a delightful Common Sootywing (Pholisora catullus), a couple of Painted Ladies (Vanessa cardui), many Meadow Fritillaries (Bolaria bellona) and Coral Hairstreak (Satyrium titus) at the site, 34 total species.
 
Roger Kuhlman, Greater Washtenaw Butterfly Survey, Ann Arbor, Michigan
 
ps. On July 23, Mike Sanders from MNFI revisited the Jackson County fen we had been to on July 17 and found two Swamp Metalmarks there. Wow! Great! As far as I know these are the only two Swamp Metalmarks found in Michigan this year.


Report from Darrin O'Brien & Julie Craves, 22 July 2008,
Julie Craves (my wife) and I captured a male Cloudless Sulphur (/Phoebis sennae eubule)/ at Munson Park in Monroe, MI on Sunday, July 20, 2008. This park is adjacent to Custer Airport. We initially found this butterfly near the overgrown ditch that
parallels the woodlot at the north end of the park.  Adjacent to the woodlot and ditch are large fields with native wildflowers, 
but are being overrun by some variety of thistle.
I've attached a photo of the individual.  This voucher will be deposited in the UMMZ collection in Ann Arbor.


Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae eubule) at Munson Park in Monroe, MI on Sunday, 20 July 2008.
photograph by Julie Craves & Darrin O'Brien copyright ©  2008  

Response by Roger Kuhlman:
Cloudless Sulphur is an excellent find for southeast Michigan. Your Cloudless Sulphur now makes five straight years at least one Cloudless Sulphur has been found in one or more of the four southeast Michigan counties--Wayne, Washtenaw, Monroe, and Lenawee. Prior to 2004 Cloudless Sulphur had only been seen once in eight previous years in southeast Michigan. An interesting change. I was hoping to see one again this year either at Point Mouillee or Crosswinds Marsh but I have not been to either site lately.
 
Now we need to find something even more outlandish like Mexican Yellow or Sleepy Orange.


Report from OAP and Dwayne Badgero, 22 July 2008,
Dwayne and I traveled to Newaygo, Montcalm, and Allegan counties in search of the Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) on 18 July 2008. The following photos show some of what we encountered. We did not see any Ottoe Skippers! This species reached peaks of surveyors seeing more than two dozen on a single day back in 1953, 1957, 1960, 1967, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1977, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1991. In recent years only single specimens were seen at any one location as in 2001 and none to my knowledge have been observed since. However, one must realize that no surveys were taken by members of the Michigan Entomomogical Society - Michigan Lepidoptera Survey since that time during the peak of the recognized flight period. This year the historical sites have been surveyed systematically. And none have been observed in Allegan, Barry, Montcalm, or Newaygo counties during these surveys. Sites in St. Joseph and Kent counties have not been surveyed in 2008. 
[See: http://web4.msue.msu.edu/mnfi/abstracts/zoology/Hesperia_ottoe.pdf for Michigan Natural Features Inventory abstract pertaining to this species.]

Note the abundance in odd numbered years! I will attempt to do an organized survey for this species in 2009!


MNA Newaygo Cactus Prairie, Newaygo Co., 18 July 2008, view from NW to SE.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


MNA Newaygo Cactus Prairie, Newaygo Co., 18 July 2008, Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa).
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


South side of 56th St., East of Oak Street, Newaygo Co., 18 July 2008, freshly emerged second brood 
American Copper (Lycaena phlaeas hypophlaeas) at historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


South side of 56th St., East of Oak Street, Newaygo Co., 18 July 2008, is historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa) on South side of 48th St., West of Oak Street, Newaygo Co., 18 July 2008,
is historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site.
photograph
by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008
 


Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa) visited by insect on South side of 48th St., 
West of Oak Street, Newaygo Co., 18 July 2008, is historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site.
photograph
by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008
 


Orange Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa) is nectar source for Coral Hairstreak (Satyrium titus),
on South side of 48th St., West of Oak Street, Newaygo Co., 18 July 2008, is historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site.
photograph
by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008
 


South side of 56th St., Section 11, Newaygo Co., is historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site.
photograph
by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008
 


Dwayne surveys on electric powerline contiguous to private property on Gates Rd., Montcalm Co.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Karner Blue male, second brood, Gates Rd., Montcalm Co., 18 July 2008.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Karner Blue female, second brood, Gates Rd., Montcalm Co., 18 July 2008.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


L to R: Dwayne R. Badgero, Frank Hunt meet at Miller Rd., historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site,
Miller Rd., Montcalm Co., 18 July 2008.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Fall Witch Grass (Digitaria cognata) and Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) 
at historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site, Miller Rd., Montcalm Co., 18 July 2008.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site, Miller Rd., Montcalm Co., 18 July 2008.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Fall Witch Grass (Digitaria cognata) and Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) 
at historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site, Miller Rd., Montcalm Co., 18 July 2008.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Freshly emerged second brood American Copper (Lycaena phlaeas hypophlaeas
at historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site nectaring on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), 
18 July 2008, 115th Street, Allegan Co.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Northern Broken Dash (Wallengrenia egeremet), at historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site,
18 July 2008, 115th Street, Allegan Co.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  

 


Dwayne R. Badgero surveys at historic Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) site,
18 July 2008, M89, Allegan Co.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Report from Roger Kuhlman, 20 July 2008,
Some of the Powesheik photos I sent you were taken at Embury Swamp in Park Lyndon North Washtenaw County. The names of the photos tell which location O. powesheik came from. "GCF" means it was from Goose Creek Fen. "PLN" means it was from Embury Swamp in in Park Lyndon North.


Report from Harry D. King, 18 July 2008,
I want to share my Flickr photos with you.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/diana_fritillary_hunter/


Report from Brenda Dziedzic, 14 July 2008,
The Karner Blue was released at the Petersburg SGA on 9 July 2008. "The Detroit Zoo and Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released captive-reared federally endangered Karner blue butterflies at the Petersburg State Game Area (PSGA) in Monroe County on Wednesday, July 9, at 11 a.m. The release is part of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Plan and PSGA Master Plan. 
[OAP: see article http://www.zandavisitor.com/newsarticle-213-Detroit_Zoo_and_Michigan_DNR_Release_Karner_Blue_Butterfies ]



Karner Blue (Lycaeides melissa samuelis), male, released at Petersburg SGA, Monroe Co., 09 July 2008.
photograph by Brenda Dziedzic copyright ©  2008


Karner Blue (Lycaeides melissa samuelis), female, released at Petersburg SGA, Monroe Co., 09 July 2008.
photograph by Brenda Dziedzic copyright ©  2008


Karner Blue (Lycaeides melissa samuelis), release at Petersburg SGA, Monroe Co., 09 July 2008, and those in attendance.
Detroit Zoo Associate Curator of Invertebrates, Laura Palombi.(center: blonde, blue shirt, white trousers, back to camera) was instrumental in the raising of the butterflies from adult through egg, larva, pupa, and to adults that were released! 
photograph by Brenda Dziedzic copyright ©  2008


Report from Brenda Dziedzic, 14 July 2008,
18 May 2008 I found a Copper Underwing moth- Amphipyra pyramidoides larva on my Red Osier Dogwood.


Copper Underwing moth- Amphipyra pyramidoides larva on my Red Osier Dogwood, 18 May 2008.
photograph by Brenda Dziedzic copyright ©  2008

8 days later.

Copper Underwing moth- Amphipyra pyramidoides larva on my Red Osier Dogwood, 26 May 2008.
photograph by Brenda Dziedzic copyright ©  2008

28 May 2008 it made it's pupa 


Copper Underwing moth- Amphipyra pyramidoides, pupa. 29 May 2008.
photograph by Brenda Dziedzic copyright ©  2008

4 weeks and 5 days later, 30 June 2008, it eclosed 


Copper Underwing moth- Amphipyra pyramidoides, adult eclosed 30 June 2008.
photograph by Brenda Dziedzic copyright ©  2008


Copper Underwing moth- Amphipyra pyramidoides, adult eclosed 30 June 2008.
photograph by Brenda Dziedzic copyright ©  2008


Report from Brenda Dziedzic, 12 July 2008,

This Hairstreak was nectaring on my Swamp Milkweed yesterday (Westland, Wayne Co.).  It looks like it could either be a Hickory or Banded Hairstreak, confirmation is that it is a Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus falacer).


Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus falacer), Westland, Wayne Co., 11 July 2008.
photograph by Brenda Dziedzic copyright ©  2008

Report from Harry D. King, 11 July 2008,
DIANA FRITILLARY TRIP JULY 2008  

Greene Mountains Tennessee July 11, 2008. I arrived around 4 o’clock in the afternoon under sunny skies and temperatures in the 80’s. This was about 2 ½ week later than 2007, the Butterfly Weed that had been so common and in full bloom last year was hardly present at all, what few Milkweed were past their peak and just not much in the way of flowers of any kind. Only two Diana were observed and neither was in the best of shape. 


Male Diana July 11, 2008, Greene Mountains , Greene County , Tennessee  
photograph by Harry D. King copyright ©  2008

From here I drove to Rich Mountain Road , Madison County, North Carolina . This road near Hot Springs starts on rt. 209 and goes to the top of Rich Mountain the other direction leads to Mill Ridge. The only butterfly seen on Rich Mountain Road was a female Diana resting in the middle of the road about 1 ½ mile from the starting point. Other than chips out of the front wing tips quite a perfect specimen, I took several pictures before she flew back into the forest. All mountain roads were loaded with Rhododendrons in full bloom. After leaving here I visited Mill Ridge where I saw only one lone male.


Female Diana resting on Rich Mountain Road, Madison County, North Carolina, July 11, 2008
photograph by Harry D. King copyright ©  2008


Milkweed patch atop Mill Ridge near Hot Springs , Madison County, North Carolina
photograph by Harry D. King copyright ©  2008

Then on to Hammon Den Road on July 12th but that was a wash out as well as Curtis Creek Road , just no flowers for nectar.  The mountain was great from the higher elevations on Curtis Creek .


Higher Elevation on Curtis Creek Road , July 12, 2008
photograph by Harry D. King copyright ©  2008


Report from OAP and Dwayne R. Badgero, 10 July 2008,
We are headed to Allegan SGA and other sites for Hesperia ottoe on 11 July 2008.
We will try to update recent excursions and the Allegan trip this weekend. 
Here is the update.


Goose Creek Grasslands, Lenawee Co., 11 July 2008. 
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008   


Goose Creek Grasslands, Lenawee Co., 11 July 2008.  
Dwayne Badgero surveys through the Spike-rush.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Goose Creek Grasslands, Lenawee Co., 11 July 2008. 
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta).
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Goose Creek Grasslands, Lenawee Co., 11 July 2008. 
Shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruiticosa).
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Allegan SGA, Allegan Co., 11 July 2008.
American Copper (Lycaena phlaeas hypophlaeas) on Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa).
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Allegan SGA, Allegan Co., 11 July 2008.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus glaucus), female, on Orange Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa).
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Allegan SGA, Allegan Co., 11 July 2008.
Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa).
The Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) flies when this plant is in bloom.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Allegan SGA, Allegan Co., 11 July 2008. Ottoe Skipper (Hesperia ottoe) historical site.
L to R: Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), Spotted Monarda (Monarda punctata), 
Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa), nectar sources for the Ottoe Skipper.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Allegan SGA, Allegan Co., 11 July 2008.
Edward's Hairstreak (Satyrium edwardsi edwardsi).
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008  


Report from Dwayne R. Badgero, 10 July 2008,
[Note from OAP: Dwayne and I have been so busy surveying during May and June and now in July, that we have not been able to keep up with our reports. Soo... here are some photos from Dwayne to document some of our excursions. ENJOY.]
All photographs in this report by Dwayne R. Badgero copyright ©  2008


Erynnis baptisiae, Golden Preserve, Oakland Co., 13 May 2008


Eastern Bluebird, Gates Road, Montcalm Co., 15 May 2008


Incisalia niphon clarki, Tamarack Rd., Montcalm Co., 15 May2008


E. olympia, Allegan SGA, 16 May 2008


Incisalia irus, Allegan SGA, 16 May 2008


Incisalia irus, Allegan SGA, 16 May 2008


USFS 3141, Chippewa Co, bog eye, 23 May 2008


Pieris virginiensis, Bliss Tower, Emmet Co, 29 May 2008


E. phaeton larva, Kern Rd., Oakland Co, 01 June 2008


Wild Columbine, Bliss Tower, Emmet Co., 06 June 2008


OAP showing his age, Bliss Tower, Emmet Co., 06 June 2008


OAP, Bliss Tower, Emmet Co., 06 June 2008


Amblyscirtes vialis, Otsego Co, 06 June 2008


Carterocephalus paleamon, Otsego Co., 06 June 2008


Carterocephalus paleamon, Otsego Co., 06 June 2008


Polites peckius, 31 Mile Rd & Dequindre powerline, 11 June 2008


Coenonympha tullia inornata, 31 Mile Rd & Dequindre powerline, 11 June 2008


MNA Big Valley fen, Oakland Co., 12 June 2008


Chlosyne harrisii, Rattalee Lake Rd., Oakland Co., 12 June 2008


Celestrina sp. and ants, Oxford, Oakland Co., 15 June 2008


Celestrina sp. and ants, Oxford, Oakland Co., 15 June 2008


Polites mystic, Rattalee Lake Rd., Oakland Co., 16 June 2008


Polites mystic, Rattalee Lake Rd., Oakland Co., 16 June 2008


Lycaena hyllus, Perryville Rd., Oakland Co., 16 June 2008


Lycaena hyllus, Perryville Rd., Oakland Co., 16 June 2008


Papilio troilus larva in Sassafras, 115th Ave., Allegan SGA, Allegan Co., 17 June 2008


Papilio troilus larva in Sassafras, 115th Ave., Allegan SGA, Allegan Co., 17 June 2008


Thorybes pylades, Whitefish Rd, Montcalm Co., 18 June 2008


Vanessa cardui, Whitefish Rd., and Cutler Rd., Montcalm Co., 18 June 2008


Karner Blue, male, on Lupine seed pod, Gates Rd., Montcalm Co., 18 June 2008,
last of the first brood.


Karner Blue, female, Gates Rd., Montcalm Co., 18 June 2008, last of the first brood.


Karner Blue, male, Gates Rd., Montcalm Co., 18 June 2008, last of the first brood.


Dwayne beating sheet for moths at Cherryhill, SEMBA meeting, 20 June 2008.


Beating sheet for moths at Cherryhill, SEMBA meeting, 20 June 2008.


Cycnia tenera in copula, Cherryhill, SEMBA meeting, 20 June 2008.


Black light and sheet at Cherryhill SEMBA meeting, 20 June 2008


Luna moth at Cherryhill SEMBA meeting, 20 June 2008
All photographs in this report by Dwayne R. Badgero copyright ©  2008


Report from Dr. Rebecca Baumbach, 10 July 2008,


Royal Walnut moth (Citheronia regalis), Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, 10 July 2008
photograph by Dr. Rebecca Baumbach copyright ©  2008


Report from Julie A. Craves, 10 July 2008,
I was very surprised yesterday, 9 July, to have a Zebra Swallowtail, Eurytides marcellus, zip by me in my Dearborn yard. I have never seen one in Wayne Co. The closest pawpaws to me are just a few along the Rouge River on the UM-Dearborn campus, about 3 miles or so as the lep flies.
I was also pleased that we had a Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes,   lay eggs on our garden rue (Ruta graveolens) this year for the first time; we now have 4 larvae in their last instars.

Reply by Roger Kuhlman,
What an excellent sighting Zebra Swallowtail is for Wayne County. I am jealous of you getting to see such a beautiful butterfly. Thank you for sharing it with me. That makes only the third confirmed Zebra Swallowtail sighting we have had in the area of the Greater Washtenaw County Survey since 1994. Another one occurred at Crosswinds Marsh of southwest Wayne County in August 2004 and the first occurred in south Washtenaw County in 2000.
 
I don't know if any of these butterflies were local breeders. All could have been vagrants from the South. Our area certainly had breeding Zebra Swallowtails not too long ago. When the late Professor Herb Wagner was doing the bulk of his butterfly study, there were at least two spots where Zebra Swallowtail bred in the four southeast Michigan county area that I know of. Unfortunately the moist forest and river floodplain habitats that Paw-paw, the Zebra Swallowtail larval hostplant, likes have been severely degraded or destroyed over the past forty to fifty years. Losing this type of unique habitat is a tremendous environmental lost.
 
ps You should get photos of the Giant Swallowtail larva and post them on the Internet. I am sure a lot of people would be interested in them.


Report from Roger Kuhlman, 07 July 2008,
The two known Powesheik Skipper (Oarisma powesheik) sites in the southeast Michigan four county area both came through with the butterfly again this year. The first Powesheiks were seen on our Chelsea NABA Count in the Embury Swamp area on July 2. Before getting into their habitat that day, I really did not know whether we were going to find any Pows. Just two days earlier I had visited the best Powesheik site in the state of Michigan located in Jackson County--a place where I have seen over 100 Powesheiks flying at one time--and none had been flying then. On Wednesday morning when we got to the fen about 10:30am I spent quite a bit of time searching for a Powesheik until I saw one very weakly flying above the sedge and grass tops. The butterfly looked like it had just emerged. Gradually over the next hour and a half a few more would appear here and there until we counted nine for the day.

Having found nine Powesheiks at Embury Swamp July 2, I went to Goose Creek Fen on Saturday July 5 with the expectation to find Powesheiks easily. I thought I would just walk right out there to where I had found them last year and they would be there. Things were not that simple. My first pass through the flight area revealed not a single Powesheik and I became quite worried whether I would find any of the butterfly. I was in the northeast quadrant of the preserve (near a piled up stack of branches and close to the creek) when I noticed a very beautiful Grass Pink orchid and I went over to photograph it. After I took a picture of the orchid, I saw a very small skipper weakly drop into the sedges. It turned out to be my first Powesheik of the day. By systematically criss-crossing the appropriate habitat and spending about 2 hours I was able to locate four more Powesheiks for the day. What was really exciting was finding a mating pair. I first noticed them as they were perched on a Black-eyed Susan. The total of five Powesheiks seemed to me to be a pretty low total for Goose Creek Fen and I don't know if there are more Powesheiks to emerge or the population was just down this year.


Powesheik Skipper (Oarisma powesheik), Goose Creek Fen, 05 July 2008.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008


Powesheik Skipper (Oarisma powesheik), Goose Creek Fen, 05 July 2008.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008


Powesheik Skipper (Oarisma powesheik), Goose Creek Fen, 05 July 2008.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008


Powesheik Skipper (Oarisma powesheik), Embury Swamp, Park Lyndon North, 05 July 2008.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008


Powesheik Skipper (Oarisma powesheik), Embury Swamp, Park Lyndon North, 05 July 2008.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008


Powesheik Skipper (Oarisma powesheik), Embury Swamp, Park Lyndon North, 05 July 2008.
photograph by Roger Kuhlman copyright ©  2008


Report from Mark Churchill, 07 July 2008, 
Thought I’d share my July 4th weekend adventures with all of you.

On July 3rd my wife Olga and I headed up to the UP to visit the Shingleton area for greenish blues and northern blues. About 5 years ago Mo advised me to look for these species NE of Shingleton and now I finally got around to it! Actually I had been there 3 wks ago after visiting the 421 bog (another story) and found this site about 2 miles e of Shingleton. The site appeared to be where they’d logged about 20 years ago and there was a whole lot of what appeared to be dwarf bilberry. 

Anyway, after arriving at the Seney rest stop at 3am, my wife and I snoozed until 8 and headed to the Shingleton site. We drove north on the rough 2 track about 1 mile when I spotted a lone blue fluttering about at 8:45am! Sure enough it was a northern flying already this early in the morning. I got out and walked up and down the 2 track about 2 blocks each way thinking the blues must be allover the place. Such was not the case as only 7 more were seen up to 11am. 

I then decided to walk north a ways farther on the 2 track and came to a really cool looking power line w/2 track that ran through varying habitat. No sooner did I get there when I started finding n.b’s in large quantities. I found them puddling in groups as large as 12 and stopped counting at 100. Heading east the 2 track went through some nice wetland with lots of wild iris. Here I found several species of skippers, Harris Checkerspot, eyed browns, bog silver bordered fritillary’s and even an interesting cicada with some red coloring. Some female arctic skippers were still flying and most of the butterflies were fresh. After a couple of hours I finally headed back to my wife where she was patiently waiting for me. Wow, how did I ever get so lucky finding a wife like Olga?!

So we backed out of the hummocky grass where-upon my front bumper of my old 93 escort fell off! Dad blast it, now I’ve got to carry around a bumper along with all the other crap I’d packed into the car! 

We proceeded west to Munising watching for greenish blues along the roadways but saw none. I was looking for clovers but didn’t know what the host plant looked like. There were at least 3 species of clover. After a few hours of fruitless hunting we decided to look for a phone and see if we could get ahold of Dwayne and Owen. I had tried to call them from the Seney at 8am but couldn’t contact Dwayne. Pay phones seem to be getting scarce and we didn’t find one until halfway back to Shingleton. Driving along I noticed a payphone on the south side of 28 where a couple of fellas dressed like birders were using my phone. “Crazy birders” I mumbled under my breath. Well it turned out that those birders were none – other than Dwayne and Owen – what luck! 

I get out and greet the dynamic duo (I guess Dwayne will have to be Robin) J. They asked me if I’d seen any northern blues as they’d had no luck yet. I told them I’d seen ~150 of them and Owen says I must be exaggerating. Well, I just had to take them to my newly discovered spot and prove I wasn’t making things up! Dwayne gets yet another lifer and says I must be like Kyle, I see 10 but count only 1. Ha – vindicated! Owen thinks the site is yet another new Churchill spot but I’m pretty sure Mo (and probably Boloria Bob) knew about this spot long ago.


Northern Blue Butterfly (Lycaeides idas nabokovi) male, 04 July 2008, Alger Co.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008


Northern Blue Butterfly (Lycaeides idas nabokovi) female, 04 July 2008, Alger Co.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008

After this we drove around looking for more northern and greenish blues spots. Finding neither we headed back to Seney for a dinner and social hour. After an hour of eating low calorie pasties with gravy and  some cherry pie, Olga and I headed back to the power line to camp and set up a light sheet between the wet and “dry” areas. I tried to get Dwayne to come with me but he said he only had 2 hours of sleep. What a wimp! A true lepidopterist can get by on 2 hours of sleep a weekJ 

The mv/black lighting was lots of fun and many moths and mosquitos were out. No saturnids but 11 different species of sphingids came in but nothing rare. Probably the best being several immaculate Canadian sphinxs. I also got a nice St Lawrence tiger moth which I’d been casually after for some years now. 

The next morning we met up with the boys again to continue our search for northern blues and greenish blues. We didn’t find any but Dwayne caught a Two-spotted Skipper (Euphyes bimacula) which was only the second he’d caught on the trip and a lifer for him. I have not caught one yet! After an hour or so of this we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Owen and Dwayne continued west to continue to check the historic sites for blues and Olga and I decided to head back to do a few things Olga wanted to do, namely visit Sea Shell City and Harbor Springs. I wanted to stay and collect but Olga insisted we do something she wanted to do now (how selfish of her). I still managed to catch a few things on the way back but didn’t find any greenish blues even though I was actively watching for them. Their host plants were scarce as Owen had pointed out and I think they may not yet be out, being a few days behind the northern blues (which were immaculate for the most part with only 5 females spotted).


Alsike Clover (Trifolium hybridum), 04 July 2008, Schoolcraft Co., 
Alsike clover was cultivated in Sweden as early as 1750 and was introduced into North America in about 1834.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008


Mark Churchill at Walsh Grade, Schoolcraft Co., 05 July 2008.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008


Dwayne Badgero searching for Greenish Blue north side of M28, Schoolcraft Co., 05 July 2008.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008


Dwayne Badgero fords the Peshekee River in Marquette Co., in the McCormick Tract of the Ottawa National Forest,
in search of the Northern Blue. He was successful on 05 July 2008.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008


Northern Blues, male, tippling from the moist sandy soil. 06 July 2008, Alger Co.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008


Northern Blue, male, tippling from the moist sandy soil. 06 July 2008, Alger Co.
photograph by Owen A. Perkins copyright ©  2008

Had a good time in Harbor Springs watching all the rich folks and looking at simple $400 dresses. Luckily Olga is the kind of woman who loves to shop but rarely spends any money (like I said, how did I get so lucky?)! We continued south and looked around Petoskey a bit but it was 7pm and most of the stores were closed. Saw an outside wedding along the shore line though.

At Kalkaska, seeing how my mind is always working, I almost convinced Olga to set up camp while I black lighted for pini in a neat white pine grove. I was just about to drag the equipment out of the car when she realized what I was doing and put her foot down (like I said before, how selfish of her J)! Besides the car was making funny noises. I think it was just the way I had duct tapped the front bumper back onto the car but Olga was nervous about it – Ha! After 150,000 miles and catching air more than a few times, my Hummer Escort was starting to get cranky! 

Got home around midnight and I was already thinking of where to go collecting on Sunday. At 8am Olga got up to go to church while I pretended to be asleep. While she was gone I hurried to get through my most urgent tasks (you know, mounting specimens and feeding larvae). By 11:30 I announced to my wife I was going to Allegan to look for ottoe. Without complaint she wished me luck (wow, what a girl!). I checked out the Monroe St. site Dwayne told me about but no ottoe. I did catch one immaculate Edwards hairstreak and an immaculate clouded skipper. I went on to check several other sites where I knew there to be prickly pear cactus but no ottoe. As a matter of fact, that clouded skipper I’d caught earlier was the only skipper I’d seen the whole day. BUT – after the Monroe St site, I was driving north on 46th St watching the butterfly weed for cool stuff and seeing/catching a few aphrodites which I’d rarely caught down south for some reason when I noticed a very beat up swallowtail at butterfly weed with an Aphrodite. Almost ignoring the swallowtail I zeroed in on the fritillary. I thought to my self, as I was about to swing on the fritillary, that is a strange looking troilus. Huh, I thought, a pipevine swallowtail rag. A PIPEVINE SWALLOWTAIL!!!! Of course, since this is a former threatened species of Michigan, I didn’t collect it. But I will say that I need to speak to you Owen ;) !  This was the first I’d seen in Michigan. Wow, I was beginning to be glad I was out collecting. 

The rest of the day still proved to be interesting. I counted about 12 immaculate karner blues (7/6/08 Owen), many immaculate Edwards and coral hairstreaks, I new site (for me) that had an enormous amount of blooming prickly pear ( about a lush 300 yard swath, at least,  in nice diverse shortgrass prairie habitat – but no ottoe). I finished off the day catching a few immaculate male tawny emperors. Last week there were fresh hackberry emperors at this site, this week none! Mo, speaking of tawny emperors, I have some early date records for you from last year (tawny emperor 6/5/07, checkered skipper 5/30 to name a few).

As far as ottoe goes and the fact that I saw almost no skippers of any species, I think we are in-between broods of skippers now (at least in remnant prairie sites) and that next weekend is when we’ll start to see them come out (just as you predicted for ottoe Owen).


Report from Maria Albright, 07 July 2008,
Today while checking the site near the Rod and Gun club we noted 3 males and 1 female Karner Blue all very fresh.  We had checked the same locations on both Wed. and Thurs. last week so the flight began sometime over the holiday weekend. 

Happy surveying everyone.


Report from Robert D. Kriegel, 03 July 2008,

The good folks at Northern Illinois University are forecasting an insect migration event for the lower half of Michigan's lower peninsula for July 8th.  Insects are expected to be transported from Missouri and Oklahoma on a weather front moving to the northeast.

http://www.agweather.niu.edu/IMRFForecast.html

happy hunting, Bob Kriegel


Report from John Farmer, 02 July 2008, wrote to Chris Rickards in Australia,

Chris,
The attached pics show the trap I'm using.  I referred to it as the "Perkins" trap because it was made by Owen Perkins and his wife.  He gave it to me in hopes that I may one day catch a goatweed emperor in it here in my yard.  Still trying!
 
If you want to try to make one, let me know and I can provide dimensions and suggestions for materials.  However, I believe they are commercially available, but perhaps at prohibitively high prices.
As for bait, I save up fruit scraps in the freezer (bad grapes, strawberries, muskmelon, watermelon, plums, pears, peaches, etc.)  Thaw them up and blend them in a drink blinder together with some old wine, some blackstrap molasses, syrup of any brand.  You can add water to increase the volume.  I use whatever I happen to have on hand, and am not attentive to proportions.  I put it in an old plastic milk carton and keep it unrefrigerated in the garage, using a few liquid ounces at a time.  Owen simply adds beer to the bait container suspended beneath the trap any time the mix dries out and starts to harden.  I usually add a bit of the fresh stuff every morning without throwing out earlier days' bait until the container gets too gunked up.  Then I clean it.  At Owen's suggestion, I sometimes add a bit of my own urine to the mix (after blending and once it's in the milk carton...don't think my wife would like the thought of that ingredient in the blender.)
 
The trap is great for any of the anglewings (brush foots) in the neighborhood.  I've caught Morning Cloak, Red Admiral, Red-spotted Purple, Hackberry, Tawny Emperor, Compton's Tortiseshell, (can't recall catching any Milbert's, but I haven't seen any since I've been trapping), Gray and Eastern Commas, and Questionmarks.
 
Good luck, and don't hesitate to ask if you want to know more.
John

Reply from Christ Rickards, 06 July 2008

Hello again John,
 
Thank you for the info. I had made a trap like this before but without the internal funnel. It seems to work ok but what wasn't working was the bait. You are using the same bait I used to great success in Michigan, but that wasn't working here.
 
I stumbled on some info in a victorian butterfly book. Rotting meat and carnivore crap.
 
So after a trip to the butcher for a pile of old bones and some fishing around in the cat litter box I managed to get this picture...

Apatura ilea, the Lesser Purple Emperor. Not recorded from Brittany for 20 years or so.
photograph by Chris Rickards copyright ©  2008
 
It seems I have a colony in the back garden. They do not come down very often and don't use the tree trunk like those hackberry butterflies. Always above 20 feet, but big so you can see them when they fly... 
 
Thanks again John.  
Chris Rickards

 

 

 

 

 



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