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Date: Wed, 7 Aug 2019 13:04:44 -0400
From: Sharon Stichter <sharonstichter2...>
Subject: [MassLep] Fw: [NEleps] Best butterfly year in decades

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From: mailto:<NEleps-noreply...>=20
Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2019 9:46 AM
To: 'Norbert' ; 'Harry Pavulaan' ; 'Northeasternlepidopterists' ; 'Lepstalk=
' ; <nyleps...>=20
Cc: <epeyton...> ; 'Peter DeGennaro'=20
Subject: RE: [NEleps] Best butterfly year in decades

=20

Interesting discussion. I=E2=80=99m thinking it depends on latitude. At lea=
st in the NE US, there were hard freezes in late fall 2018, when snow cover=
was low/non-existent, that may have led to mortality. In general terms, o=
ur big numbers near NYC this summer were mostly southern emigrant species =
=E2=80=93 American Snouts, Common Buckeyes, Red Admirals, Painted Ladies, l=
ately Cloudless Sulphurs, etc., whereas resident species, here and to the n=
orth of us, have generally been present but scarce. This is consistent with=
Harry=E2=80=99s amazing results from further south, where the generally =
=E2=80=9Cnormal=E2=80=9D year was sustaining, but the hard freeze shock wou=
ld have been milder or absent. It=E2=80=99s also consistent with Norbert=E2=
=80=99s more northerly observations (assuming there were fall cold spikes i=
n Calgary as well).


I note that some of our species in especially low numbers (GS Fritillaries,=
some skippers, etc.) overwintered as larvae, where unblanketed cold shock =
might be more acute. But no real statistics on this.


No single factor ever explains everything, of course, but I agree with Harr=
y that the less inclement March/April period on the East Coast seems to hav=
e made it possible for butterflies to have a good season, at least in the m=
id-Atlantic.


Wonder what the fall broods will look like=E2=80=A6

Rick Cech


From: <NEleps...> <NEleps...> On Behalf Of 'Norbert=
' <nkondla...> [NEleps]
Sent: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 8:49 AM
To: 'Harry Pavulaan' <harrypav...>; 'Northeasternlepidopterists' <=
<neleps...>; Lepstalk <TILS-leps-talk...>
Subject: RE: [NEleps] Best butterfly year in decades


=20

Great to hear of a place on our continent that is having a good butterfly y=
ear. It seems that mostly what I see on the internet are reports of very po=
or butterfly years. In my home area around Calgary, Alberta this has been t=
he poorest butterfly year I have seen in my life.


From: <NEleps...> [mailto:<NEleps...>] On Behalf Of H=
arry Pavulaan <harrypav...> [NEleps]
Sent: August 6, 2019 6:55 PM
To: Northeasternlepidopterists; <valeps...>; VA-MD-DE-Bugs@yahoo=
groups.com
Subject: [NEleps] Best butterfly year in decades


=20

That's my informed opinion, but for the area from Sterling to Leesburg, Lou=
doun County, VA., I am seeing the best numbers of butterflies in decades. =
I attribute this to the first "normal" fall/winter/spring sequence also in =
decades.


Just to summarize, the following species are seeing very good numbers:


Zebra Swallowtail (Neographium marcellus) - strong flights all season along=
the Potomac River woodlands.


Spicebush Swallowtail (Pterourus troilus) - a slow start but now irrupting =
in the Potomac River woodlands.


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Pterourus glaucus) - largest irruption I've seen=
in many years. Reports regionwide indicate same happening.


Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) - interestingly, a very strong showing here af=
ter a few years of low counts, common everywhere.


Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice) - the colony at Ida Lee Park in Leesburg=
, normally the only place I find them reliably in numbers, is living up to =
its reputation.


Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe) - the big surprise and best year ever in thi=
s region for this species. Over the past month, I have seen them virtually=
everywhere here in Loudoun County. They are common where they are usually=
seen as one or two on a good day. My garden, with its patch of Senna mar=
ilandica, has seen a continuous presence of a male and two females for two =
weeks straight (same individuals), though others were here as early as earl=
y July. The male has set up a territory which he patrols very precisely ev=
ery day, even chasing off a Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) today, near =
the Senna patch. He even has a favorite perch where he rests for about 15 =
minutes at a time. Every day, I remove multiple eggs and caterpillars off =
the Senna plants to protect them from predators. Of 50 chrysalids, two hat=
ched today and were released out back. We'll see if they stay when I relea=
se the other 48. =20


Of the Nymphalids, the following are showing much stronger broods than in m=
any years: American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis), Red Admiral (Vanessa atal=
anta), Buckeye (Junonia coenia) and Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis =
astyanax). Of the Red-spotted Purple, I am finding multiple first instar c=
aterpillars on their little threadlike perches at the ends of Black Cherry =
leaf tips. My potted Cherry has dozens of eggs on leaf tips.


The BIG winner in irruptions this year is the Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne=
nycteis) - Generally known not to be common, and usually somewhat uncommon=
most years, this year has seen a repeat of the last two years, with this y=
ear being the biggest irruption I've seen. My usual 1/2 mile walk in Veter=
an's Memorial Park, in Leesburg, produced counts of THOUSANDS of swarming m=
ales along the dirt access road in July and also out in a field of white cl=
over, itself unusual behavior. Females were swarming my flower beds, 20 on=
one day. Presently, my naturalized stand of Wingstem (host plant) is slow=
ly being defoliated by many THOUSANDS of young caterpillars. A very conser=
vative estimate is at least 10,000 (in countless leaf webs) in an area of a=
bout 80' x 40' in the forest. This week I will need to relocate many of th=
ese (literally by the bucket load) to Veteran's Park where there is abundan=
t host. Due to rapid rate of growth, I believe we may again see a third br=
ood this year. Anybody in the northern Virginia area interested in raising=
Silvery Checkerspots, write to me off-group. Bring a bucket with lid.


Of the Skippers, the following are also showing much stronger broods than i=
n many years: Silver Spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus), Zabulon Skipper =
(Poanes zabulon) which is now irrupting in huge numbers here, and Peck's Sk=
ipper (Polites peckius) also irrupting. Conversely, the usually very commo=
n Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) is in a slump again this year, with only o=
ccasional singletons showing up in my garden. I might have seen a dozen al=
l year!


Harry Pavulaan













However, there are some blaring absences. It's odd how some species are do=
ing so well this year yet others are doing a no-show. Great Spangled Friti=
llary is conspicuously absent. The Hairstreaks as well. I have yet to see=
a Red-banded Hairstreak.


Sent from Outlook


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<BODY style=3D"BACKGROUND-COLOR: #fff" dir=3Dltr>
<DIV dir=3Dltr>
<DIV style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 12pt; FONT-FAMILY: 'Calibri'; COLOR: #000000">
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV=20
style=3D'FONT-SIZE: small; TEXT-DECORATION: none; FONT-FAMILY: "Calibri"; F=
ONT-WEIGHT: normal; COLOR: #000000; FONT-STYLE: normal; DISPLAY: inline'>
<DIV style=3D"FONT: 10pt tahoma">
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV style=3D"BACKGROUND: #f5f5f5">
<DIV style=3D"font-color: black"><B>From:</B> <A=20
title=<3DNEleps-noreply...>=20
href=3D"mailto:<NEleps-noreply...>">mailto:NEleps-noreply@yahoog=
roups.com</A>=20
</DIV>
<DIV><B>Sent:</B> Wednesday, August 07, 2019 9:46 AM</DIV>
<DIV><B>To:</B> <A title=<3Dnkondla...>=20
href=3D"mailto:<nkondla...>">'Norbert'</A> ; <A title=3Dharrypav@hotma=
il.com=20
href=3D"mailto:<harrypav...>">'Harry Pavulaan'</A> ; <A=20
title=<3Dneleps...>=20
href=3D"mailto:<neleps...>">'Northeasternlepidopterists'</A> ; <=
A=20
title=<3DTILS-leps-talk...>=20
href=3D"mailto:<TILS-leps-talk...>">'Lepstalk'</A> ; <A=20
title=<3Dnyleps...>=20
href=3D"mailto:<nyleps...>"><nyleps...></A> </DIV>
<DIV><B>Cc:</B> <A title=<3Depeyton...>=20
href=3D"mailto:<epeyton...>"><epeyton...></A> ; <A=20
title=<3Ddegennap...> href=3D"mailto:<degennap...>">'Peter DeGenn=
aro'</A>=20
</DIV>
<DIV><B>Subject:</B> RE: [NEleps] Best butterfly year in=20
decades</DIV></DIV></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV></DIV>
<DIV=20
style=3D'FONT-SIZE: small; TEXT-DECORATION: none; FONT-FAMILY: "Calibri"; F=
ONT-WEIGHT: normal; COLOR: #000000; FONT-STYLE: normal; DISPLAY: inline'><S=
PAN=20
style=3D"DISPLAY: none">&nbsp;</SPAN> <!--~-|**|PrettyHtmlStartT|**|-~-->
<DIV id=3Dygrp-mlmsg style=3D"POSITION: relative">
<DIV id=3Dygrp-msg style=3D"Z-INDEX: 1"><!--~-|**|PrettyHtmlEndT|**|-~-->
<DIV id=3Dygrp-text>
<P>
<DIV class=3DWordSection1>
<P class=3DMsoNormal>Interesting discussion. I=E2=80=99m thinking it depend=
s on latitude.=20
At least in the NE US, there were hard freezes in late fall 2018, when snow=
=20
cover was low/non-existent, that may have led to mortality.&nbsp; In genera=
l=20
terms, our big numbers near NYC this summer were mostly southern emigrant=
=20
species =E2=80=93 American Snouts, Common Buckeyes, Red Admirals, Painted L=
adies, lately=20
Cloudless Sulphurs, etc., whereas resident species, here and to the north o=
f us,=20
have generally been present but scarce. This is consistent with Harry=E2=80=
=99s amazing=20
results from further south, where the generally =E2=80=9Cnormal=E2=80=9D ye=
ar was sustaining,=20
but the hard freeze shock would have been milder or absent. It=E2=80=99s al=
so consistent=20
with Norbert=E2=80=99s more northerly observations (assuming there were fal=
l cold spikes=20
in Calgary as well).<O></O></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><O></O></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal>I note that some of our species in especially low numb=
ers (GS=20
Fritillaries, some skippers, etc.) overwintered as larvae, where unblankete=
d=20
cold shock might be more acute. But no real statistics on this.<O></O></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><O></O></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal>No single factor ever explains everything, of course, =
but I=20
agree with Harry that the less inclement March/April period on the East Coa=
st=20
seems to have made it possible for butterflies to have a good season, at le=
ast=20
in the mid-Atlantic.<O></O></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><O></O></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal>Wonder what the fall broods will look like=E2=80=A6<O>=
</O></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal>Rick Cech<O></O></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><O></O></P>
<DIV>
<DIV=20
style=3D"BORDER-TOP: #e1e1e1 1pt solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0in; PADDING-TOP: 3=
pt; PADDING-LEFT: 0in; PADDING-RIGHT: 0in">
<P class=3DMsoNormal><B>From:</B> <NEleps...>=20
&lt;<NEleps...>&gt; <B>On Behalf Of </B>'Norbert' nkondla@telus.=
net=20
[NEleps]<BR><B>Sent:</B> Wednesday, August 7, 2019 8:49 AM<BR><B>To:</B> 'H=
arry=20
Pavulaan' &lt;<harrypav...>&gt;; 'Northeasternlepidopterists'=20
&lt;<neleps...>&gt;; Lepstalk=20
&lt;<TILS-leps-talk...>&gt;<BR><B>Subject:</B> RE: [NEleps] Best=
=20
butterfly year in decades<O></O></P></DIV></DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><O></O></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal>&nbsp; <O></O></P>
<DIV id=3Dygrp-mlmsg>
<DIV id=3Dygrp-msg>
<DIV id=3Dygrp-text>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: #1f497d">Great to hear of a plac=
e on our=20
continent that is having a good butterfly year. It seems that mostly what I=
see=20
on the internet are reports of very poor butterfly years. In my home area a=
round=20
Calgary, Alberta this has been the poorest butterfly year I have seen in my=
=20
life.</SPAN><O></O></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: #1f497d"></SPAN><O></O></P>
<DIV>
<DIV=20
style=3D"BORDER-TOP: #b5c4df 1pt solid; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0in; PADDING-TOP: 3=
pt; PADDING-LEFT: 0in; PADDING-RIGHT: 0in">
<P class=3DMsoNormal><B><SPAN style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 10pt">From:</SPAN></B><SP=
AN=20
style=3D"FONT-SIZE: 10pt"> <NEleps...> [mailto:NEleps@yahoogroup=
s.com]=20
<B>On Behalf Of </B>Harry Pavulaan <harrypav...> [NEleps]<BR><B>Sent=
:</B>=20
August 6, 2019 6:55 PM<BR><B>To:</B> Northeasternlepidopterists;=20
<valeps...>; <VA-MD-DE-Bugs...><BR><B>Subject:</B>=20
[NEleps] Best butterfly year in decades</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV></DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><O></O></P>
<P class=3DMsoNormal>&nbsp; <O></O></P>
<DIV id=3Dygrp-mlmsg>
<DIV id=3Dygrp-msg>
<DIV id=3Dygrp-text>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">That's my informed opinio=
n, but=20
for the area from Sterling to Leesburg, Loudoun County, VA., I am seeing th=
e=20
best numbers of butterflies in decades.&nbsp; I attribute this to the first=
=20
"normal" fall/winter/spring sequence also in decades.</SPAN><O></O></P></DI=
V>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">Just to summarize, the fo=
llowing=20
species are seeing very good numbers:</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">Zebra Swallowtail (Neogra=
phium=20
marcellus) - strong flights all season along the Potomac River=20
woodlands.</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">Spicebush Swallowtail (Pt=
erourus=20
troilus) - a slow start but now irrupting in the Potomac River=20
woodlands.</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">Eastern Tiger Swallowtail=
=20
(Pterourus glaucus) - largest irruption I've seen in many years.&nbsp; Repo=
rts=20
regionwide indicate same happening.</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">Cabbage White (Pieris rap=
ae) -=20
interestingly, a very strong showing here after a few years of low counts,=
=20
common everywhere.</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">Clouded Sulphur (Colias p=
hilodice)=20
- the colony at Ida Lee Park in Leesburg, normally the only place I find th=
em=20
reliably in numbers, is living up to its reputation.</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV=
>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nic=
ippe) -=20
the big surprise and best year ever in this region for this species.&nbsp; =
Over=20
the past month, I have seen them virtually everywhere here in Loudoun=20
County.&nbsp; They are common where they are usually seen as one or two on =
a=20
good day.&nbsp; My garden, with its patch of&nbsp; Senna marilandica, has s=
een a=20
continuous presence of a male and two females for two weeks straight (same=
=20
individuals), though others were here as early as early July.&nbsp; The mal=
e has=20
set up a territory which he patrols very precisely every day, even chasing =
off a=20
Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) today, near the Senna patch.&nbsp; He ev=
en=20
has a favorite perch where he rests for about 15 minutes at a time.&nbsp; E=
very=20
day, I remove multiple eggs and caterpillars off the Senna plants to protec=
t=20
them from predators.&nbsp; Of 50 chrysalids, two hatched today and were rel=
eased=20
out back.&nbsp; We'll see if they stay when I release the other 48.&nbsp;=
=20
</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">Of the Nymphalids, the fo=
llowing=20
are showing much stronger broods than in many years:&nbsp; American Lady=20
(Vanessa virginiensis), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Buckeye (Junonia co=
enia)=20
and Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax).&nbsp; Of the Red-spot=
ted=20
Purple, I am finding multiple first instar caterpillars on their little=20
threadlike perches at the ends of Black Cherry leaf tips.&nbsp; My potted C=
herry=20
has dozens of eggs on leaf tips.</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">The BIG winner in irrupti=
ons this=20
year is the Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) - Generally known not to=
be=20
common, and usually somewhat uncommon most years, this year has seen a repe=
at of=20
the last two years, with this year being the biggest irruption I've seen.&n=
bsp;=20
My usual 1/2 mile walk in Veteran's Memorial Park, in Leesburg, produced co=
unts=20
of THOUSANDS of swarming males along the dirt access road in July and also =
out=20
in a field of white clover, itself unusual behavior.&nbsp; Females were swa=
rming=20
my flower beds, 20 on one day.&nbsp; Presently, my naturalized stand of Win=
gstem=20
(host plant) is slowly being defoliated by many THOUSANDS of young=20
caterpillars.&nbsp; A very conservative estimate is at least 10,000 (in=20
countless leaf webs) in an area of about 80' x 40' in the forest.&nbsp; Thi=
s=20
week I will need to relocate many of these (literally by the bucket load) t=
o=20
Veteran's Park where there is abundant host.&nbsp; Due to rapid rate of gro=
wth,=20
I believe we may again see a third brood this year.&nbsp; Anybody in the=20
northern Virginia area interested in raising Silvery Checkerspots, write to=
me=20
off-group.&nbsp; Bring a bucket with lid.</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">Of the Skippers, the foll=
owing are=20
also showing much stronger broods than in many years:&nbsp; Silver Spotted=
=20
Skipper (Epargyreus clarus), Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon) which is now=
=20
irrupting in huge numbers here, and Peck's Skipper (Polites peckius) also=
=20
irrupting.&nbsp; Conversely, the usually very common Sachem (Atalopedes=20
campestris) is in a slump again this year, with only occasional singletons=
=20
showing up in my garden.&nbsp; I might have seen a dozen all=20
year!</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">Harry=20
Pavulaan</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black">However, there are some b=
laring=20
absences.&nbsp; It's odd how some species are doing so well this year yet o=
thers=20
are doing a no-show.&nbsp; Great Spangled Fritillary is conspicuously=20
absent.&nbsp; The Hairstreaks as well.&nbsp; I have yet to see a Red-banded=
=20
Hairstreak.</SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN style=3D"COLOR: black"></SPAN><O></O></P></DIV>
<DIV id=3DSignature>
<P>Sent from <A=20
href=3D"http://aka.ms/weboutlook">Outlook</A><O></O></P></DIV></DIV></DIV><=
/DIV></DIV></DIV>
<DIV>
<P class=3DMsoNormal><SPAN=20
style=3D"COLOR: white"><O></O></SPAN></P></DIV></DIV></DIV></DIV></DIV><!--=
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