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Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2022 21:37:02 -0700
From: <tlpyle...>
Subject: [NorWestLeps] East Klickitat Field Trip: Pale Crescent

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East Klickitat Co., 1 June 2022: RMP Field Report

Weary of the never-ending rain, gray, and cold of this worst butterfly spri=
ng in recent memory, I visited Klickitat County on June 1. I had intended t=
o make the trip in April, then May, but even the "sunny side" of the Cascad=
es has had largely hostile weather for weeks on end. My particular hope was=
to find the Pale Crescent ( Phyciodes pallida ), one of the last three Was=
hington resident butterflies I have yet to see within the state. I didn't h=
ave time to drive to the distant Snake River sites, so I intended to revisi=
t the much-nearer Klickitat County localities, none of them confirmed for d=
ecades.

June First was forecast for full sun and temperatures into the eighties, bu=
t it dawned overcast at The Dalles and remained hazy all day, probably not =
exceeding 75 F. First I checked a draw east of Maryhill Mansion where John =
Hinchliff found the species in 1981, but this had been utterly altered by c=
attle and grass and there were no hostplants, the native wavy-leaved thistl=
e ( Cirsium undulatum ). A Stan Jewett data site from 1953, east of there, =
was garbled=E2=80=94the record did not match the ground. The third legacy s=
ite I checked was Paul Handy's record from John Day Dam in 1970. That's a b=
ig area, but on the little road from the dam down to the Railroad Island bo=
at launch on the Columbia, I channeled my inner Stewart Wechsler and spotte=
d several healthy stands of C. undulatum on the roadside and in the dry sto=
ny ground beneath basalt rimrock and scree. The air was certainly warm enou=
gh for flight and there were loads of nectar, mostly buckwheats and daisies=
. In spite of this, there were no butterflies at all apparent, until I nett=
ed one fresh female Acmon Blue ( Plebejus acmon ) visiting rabbitsfoot clov=
er ( Trifolium arvense ). Amazing that this was the sole butterfly of the d=
ay so far. Then, down at the boat launch, a small yellow sulphur or female =
orange tip flew over plantain and purple vetch

Going back down the road, I spotted a robust thistle with some 30+ buds (no=
ne in bloom, though some were elsewhere). Searching the well-defended plant=
I found three skeletonized leaves, each with a compact silken nest down th=
e midvein. Two of these were open and empty, with bunches of small frass re=
maining at the lower end. The third was still loosely sealed, and I could s=
ee a caterpillar within. I gently opened the silk, not wanting it to drop o=
ff=E2=80=94difficult, as the leaves are very rigid and thorny. It appeared =
melitiid rather than vanessid to me=E2=80=94 not a painted lady. It was nea=
rly an inch long (~25 mm). This is too big for Phyciodes mylitta , and acco=
rding to James & Nunnallee, is approaching the usual pupation size for P. p=
allida. The dorsal pattern and tubercles resembled the illustrations in Jam=
es & Nunnallee, though the orange marking was not as bright. If this was in=
deed a larva of P. pallida , it is the first modern confirmation for the sp=
ecies in Klickitat Co. in 41 years. It should be confirmed with adults and/=
or reared material next spring. (Or maybe later this year? Record dates and=
James & Nunnallee both suggest that, while most records are for the early =
spring, there is some reason to believe there may be occasional, non-diapau=
sing, perhaps facultative double voltinism. I suggest that this caterpillar=
is likely the offspring of early spring adults that sneaked in a bit of br=
eeding on the very few clement days this spring, and that it will produce a=
July-flying adult. Especially after all the rain, it might be worth lookin=
g, for someone who could stand the midsummer heat in the eastern Gorge.)

Feeling good about perhaps having found the target species, I checked two m=
ore sites still farther east. The first is the wooded swale east of Rooseve=
lt that I called the "Fish Patch" in Chasing Monarchs for its reliability a=
s a site for migrating and breeding monarchs. David James wrote in G'num th=
is month that after the big rise in California winterers this year, monarch=
s should be arriving in Washington again, beginning in June. I'd hoped to g=
ive him supporting evidence, but flooding of the swale and succession by wi=
llows and Russian olives seem to be blotting out most of the milkweed of bo=
th species, and I saw only a couple of Cabbage Whites ( Pieris rapae ), tho=
ugh the afternoon was at last fully sunny and hot.

Finally, I checked one of my favorite canyons, Rock Creek, between Roosevel=
t and Rufus. After the extreme drought of last year it was a pleasure to se=
e the hills still greenish in June, and the wildflowers in the lower canyon=
where the rimrock comes almost down to the road were spectacular, mostly b=
uckwheats, penstemons, and yellow composites. I found some of the thistle h=
ere, too, but again no butterflies=E2=80=94until almost six o'clock, when t=
hey decided to come out for the last of the sun: half a dozen Ochre Ringlet=
s ( Coenonympha californica ) and a couple of (probably) Becker's Whites ( =
Pontia beckerii ) motoring down the roadside. I was watching a beautiful li=
ttle western side-blotched lizard ( Uta stansburyana ), salmon-pink below a=
nd doing little push-ups on basalt boulders right beside me, when some blue=
s showed up. And right at 6:30 p.m., I spied three pairs of Columbia Blues =
( Euphilotes columbiensis ) in copulo atop arrowleaf buckwheat heads, two o=
f the pairs on the same inflorescence; and one random male frantically tryi=
ng to get in on the action, bugging all the others. Across the road, four w=
hite pelicans paddled through the sparkles on Rock Creek Lake just before t=
he sun dived beneath the western ridge,

Data :

WA: Klickitat Co. Railroad Island Boat Launch road, Columbia River, just ab=
ove John Day Dam. 45.723013, -120.700621 Phyciodes pallida , one prob. 5th =
instar larva, on Cirsium undulatum ; Plebejus acmon, 1 fresh female on Trif=
olium arvense. 1 June 2022

WA: Klickitat Co. Rock Creek, one km above SR 14. 45.712690, -120.463577 Co=
enonympha californica , 6; Euphilotes columbiensis , 3 prs in copulo, 3+ ma=
les, on Eriogonum compositum. 1 June 2022

R. M. Pyle

6 June 2022


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<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"text-align: center;" align=3D"cente=
r" style=3D"margin:0px;"><span style=3D"font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115=
%; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;serif&#39;;">East Klickitat =
Co., 1 June 2022: RMP Field Report<br/><br/></span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin:0px;"><span style=3D"font-si=
ze: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;=
serif&#39;;"><span style=3D"mso-tab-count: 1;">=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=
=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0 </span>Weary of the never-ending ra=
in, gray, and cold of this worst butterfly spring in recent memory, I visit=
ed Klickitat County on June 1. I had intended to make the trip in April, th=
en May, but even the &#34;sunny side&#34; of the Cascades has had largely h=
ostile weather for weeks on end. My particular hope was to find the Pale Cr=
escent (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Phyciodes pallida</em>),=
one of the last three Washington resident butterflies I have yet to see wi=
thin the state. I didn&#39;t have time to drive to the distant Snake River =
sites, so I intended to revisit the much-nearer Klickitat County localities=
, none of them confirmed for decades.</span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin:0px;"><span style=3D"font-si=
ze: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;=
serif&#39;;"><span style=3D"mso-tab-count: 1;">=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=
=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0 </span>June First was forecast for =
full sun and temperatures into the eighties, but it dawned overcast at The =
Dalles and remained hazy all day, probably not exceeding 75 F. First I chec=
ked a draw east of Maryhill Mansion where John Hinchliff found the species =
in 1981, but this had been utterly altered by cattle and grass and there we=
re no hostplants, the native wavy-leaved thistle (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-fon=
t-style: normal;">Cirsium undulatum</em>). A Stan Jewett data site from 195=
3, east of there, was garbled=E2=80=94the record did not match the ground. =
The third legacy site I checked was Paul Handy&#39;s record from John Day D=
am in 1970. That&#39;s a big area, but on the little road from the dam down=
to the Railroad Island boat launch on the Columbia, I channeled my inner S=
tewart Wechsler and spotted several healthy stands of <em style=3D"mso-bidi=
-font-style: normal;">C. undulatum</em> on the roadside and in the dry ston=
y ground beneath basalt rimrock and scree. The air was certainly warm enoug=
h for flight and there were loads of nectar, mostly buckwheats and daisies.=
In spite of this, there were no butterflies at all apparent, until I nette=
d one fresh female Acmon Blue (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">P=
lebejus acmon</em>) visiting rabbitsfoot clover (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font=
-style: normal;">Trifolium arvense</em>). Amazing that this was the sole bu=
tterfly of the day so far. Then, down at the boat launch, a small yellow su=
lphur or female orange tip flew over plantain and purple vetch</span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin:0px;"><span style=3D"font-si=
ze: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;=
serif&#39;;"><span style=3D"mso-tab-count: 1;">=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=
=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0 </span>Going back down the road, I =
spotted a robust thistle with some 30+ buds (none in bloom, though some wer=
e elsewhere). Searching the well-defended plant I found three skeletonized =
leaves, each with a compact silken nest down the midvein. Two of these were=
open and empty, with bunches of small frass remaining at the lower end. Th=
e third was still loosely sealed, and I could see a caterpillar within. I g=
ently opened the silk, not wanting it to drop off=E2=80=94difficult, as the=
leaves are very rigid and thorny. It appeared melitiid rather than vanessi=
d to me=E2=80=94<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">not </em>a paint=
ed lady. It was nearly an inch long (~25 mm). This is too big for <em style=
=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Phyciodes mylitta</em>, and according to =
James &amp; Nunnallee, is approaching the usual pupation size for <em style=
=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">P. pallida</em>. The dorsal pattern and t=
ubercles resembled the illustrations in James &amp; Nunnallee, though the o=
range marking was not as bright. If this was indeed a larva of <em style=3D=
"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">P. pallida</em>, it is the first modern conf=
irmation for the species in Klickitat Co. in 41 years. It should be confirm=
ed with adults and/or reared material next spring. (Or maybe later this yea=
r? Record dates and James &amp; Nunnallee both suggest that, while most rec=
ords are for the early spring, there is some reason to believe there may be=
occasional, non-diapausing, perhaps facultative double voltinism. I sugges=
t that this caterpillar is likely the offspring of early spring adults that=
sneaked in a bit of breeding on the very few clement days this spring, and=
that it will produce a July-flying adult. Especially after all the rain, i=
t might be worth looking, for someone who could stand the midsummer heat in=
the eastern Gorge.)</span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin:0px;"><span style=3D"font-si=
ze: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;=
serif&#39;;"><span style=3D"mso-tab-count: 1;">=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=
=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0 </span>Feeling good about perhaps h=
aving found the target species, I checked two more sites still farther east=
. The first is the wooded swale east of Roosevelt that I called the &#34;Fi=
sh Patch&#34; in <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Chasing Monarch=
s</em> for its reliability as a site for migrating and breeding monarchs. D=
avid James wrote in <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">G&#39;num</e=
m> this month that after the big rise in California winterers this year, mo=
narchs should be arriving in Washington again, beginning in June. I&#39;d h=
oped to give him supporting evidence, but flooding of the swale and success=
ion by willows and Russian olives seem to be blotting out most of the milkw=
eed of both species, and I saw only a couple of Cabbage Whites (<em style=
=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Pieris rapae</em>), though the afternoon =
was at last fully sunny and hot.</span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin:0px;"><span style=3D"font-si=
ze: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;=
serif&#39;;"><span style=3D"mso-tab-count: 1;">=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=
=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0=C2=A0 </span>Finally, I checked one of my=
favorite canyons, Rock Creek, between Roosevelt and Rufus. After the extre=
me drought of last year it was a pleasure to see the hills still greenish i=
n June, and the wildflowers in the lower canyon where the rimrock comes alm=
ost down to the road were spectacular, mostly buckwheats, penstemons, and y=
ellow composites. I found some of the thistle here, too, but again no butte=
rflies=E2=80=94until almost six o&#39;clock, when they decided to come out =
for the last of the sun: half a dozen Ochre Ringlets (<em style=3D"mso-bidi=
-font-style: normal;">Coenonympha californica</em>) and a couple of (probab=
ly) Becker&#39;s Whites (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Pontia =
beckerii</em>) motoring down the roadside. I was watching a beautiful littl=
e western side-blotched lizard (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">=
Uta stansburyana</em>), salmon-pink below and doing little push-ups on basa=
lt boulders right beside me, when some blues showed up. And right at 6:30 p=
.m., I spied three pairs of Columbia Blues (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-styl=
e: normal;">Euphilotes columbiensis</em>) <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style:=
normal;">in copulo</em> atop arrowleaf buckwheat heads, two of the pairs o=
n the same inflorescence; and one random male frantically trying to get in =
on the action, bugging all the others. Across the road, four white pelicans=
paddled through the sparkles on Rock Creek Lake just before the sun dived =
beneath the western ridge,</span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin:0px;"><em style=3D"mso-bidi-=
font-style: normal;"><u><span style=3D"font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%=
; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;serif&#39;;"><br/>Data</span>=
</u></em><u><span style=3D"font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-famil=
y: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;serif&#39;;">:<br/></span></u></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin:0px;"><span style=3D"font-si=
ze: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;=
serif&#39;;">WA: Klickitat Co. Railroad Island Boat Launch road, Columbia R=
iver, just above John Day Dam. </span><u><span style=3D"font-size: 9.0pt; l=
ine-height: 115%; font-family: &#39;Arial&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;; color:=
#4285f4; background: white;"><span style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes;">=C2=A0</sp=
an></span></u><span style=3D"font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-fam=
ily: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;serif&#39;; background: white;">45.7230=
13, -120.700621</span><span style=3D"font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; =
font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;serif&#39;;"> <em style=3D"mso-=
bidi-font-style: normal;">Phyciodes pallida</em>, one prob. 5th instar larv=
a, on <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Cirsium undulatum</em>; <e=
m style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Plebejus acmon,</em> 1 fresh femal=
e on <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Trifolium arvense</em>. 1 J=
une 2022</span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin:0px;"><span style=3D"font-si=
ze: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;=
serif&#39;;">WA: Klickitat Co. Rock Creek, one km above SR 14. <span style=
=3D"background: white;">45.712690, -120.463577</span></span><em style=3D"ms=
o-bidi-font-style: normal;"> Coenonympha californica</em>, 6; <em style=3D"=
mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Euphilotes columbiensis</em>, 3 prs in copulo=
, 3+ males, on <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Eriogonum composi=
tum</em>. <span style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes;">=C2=A0=C2=A0</span>1 June 2022=
</p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin:0px;"><span style=3D"font-si=
ze: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;=
serif&#39;;"><br/>R. M. Pyle</span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin:0px;"><span style=3D"font-si=
ze: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;=
serif&#39;;">6 June 2022</span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin:0px;"><span style=3D"font-si=
ze: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: &#39;Times New Roman&#39;,&#39;=
serif&#39;;">=C2=A0</span></p>


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