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List: Carolina-Leps
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2021 20:19:19 -0400
From: Jan Hansen (via carolinaleps Mailing List) <carolinaleps...>
Subject: Bladen County Butterflies-April 6

I made a trip down to the Bay Tree Lake State Natural area this morning, wi=
th the specific goal in mind of studying and photographing Holly Azures. I =
won=E2=80=99t say the trip was a bust as I did encounter 8 Holly Azures in =
the nearly 3 hours I spent there, but they were certainly not abundant and =
also flighty and uncooperative for photos. The area has scads of Ilex vomit=
oria and zero Ilex opaca, and between the abundance of this host plant and =
the scarcity of spring form Summer Azure in the Coastal Plain, I felt comfo=
rtable that the azures present at this site would be Holly. I was hoping to=
then be able to compare my photos with previous photos I have of spring fo=
rm Summer Azures, and along with information previously provided by Harry P=
and Harry L, attempt to come up with some relatively diagnostic sight crit=
eria that might be useful in areas where both species occur. But as the say=
ing goes=E2=80=A6.the best laid plans=E2=80=A6.and you know the rest. Howev=
er from the poor photos I did obtain and from the observations I made, I wa=
s able to discern three characters that jived with field marks for Holly Az=
ure mentioned by Harry Pavulaan:

1) The dark markings on the underside of the wings seem reduced and fewer =
in number than on Summer Azure photos I have taken.

2) There were no dark edges on the margins of the hindwing, which I see in =
my spring form Summer Azure photos

3) They appeared to be noticeably smaller than spring form Summer Azure.

I=E2=80=99m sure we will all be happy later in the year when the only azure=
s flying will be Summer! Unfortunately I=E2=80=99ll have to deal with Echo =
Azure in a few weeks during my trip to Colorado. Perhaps we should rename t=
he whole complex the Inescapable Azure.=20

Complete list for today is as follows:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail-3
Spicebush Swallowtail-9
Palamedes Swallowtail-28
Cloudless Sulphur-3
Sleepy Orange-1
Red-banded Hairstreak-1
Holly Azure-8
Sleepy Duskywing-2

Jan Hansen