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Date: Mon, 06 Jun 2022 21:57:47 -0700
From: <tlpyle...>
Subject: Re: [NorWestLeps] East Klickitat Field Trip: Pale Crescent

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_Euphilotes columbiae_, of course, not "_E. columbiensis"_!=20

RMP

On 2022-06-06 9:37 pm, <tlpyle...> wrote:

> East Klickitat Co., 1 June 2022: RMP Field Report
>=20
> Weary of the never-ending rain, gray, and cold of this worst butterfly sp=
ring in recent memory, I visited Klickitat County on June 1. I had intended=
to make the trip in April, then May, but even the "sunny side" of the Casc=
ades has had largely hostile weather for weeks on end. My particular hope w=
as to find the Pale Crescent (_Phyciodes pallida_), one of the last three W=
ashington resident butterflies I have yet to see within the state. I didn't=
have time to drive to the distant Snake River sites, so I intended to revi=
sit the much-nearer Klickitat County localities, none of them confirmed for=
decades.=20
>=20
> 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 no=
t exceeding 75 F. First I checked a draw east of Maryhill Mansion where Joh=
n Hinchliff found the species in 1981, but this had been utterly altered by=
cattle and grass and there were no hostplants, the native wavy-leaved this=
tle (_Cirsium undulatum_). A Stan Jewett data site from 1953, east of there=
, was garbled--the record did not match the ground. The third legacy site I=
checked was Paul Handy's record from John Day Dam in 1970. That's a big ar=
ea, but on the little road from the dam down to the Railroad Island boat la=
unch on the Columbia, I channeled my inner Stewart Wechsler and spotted sev=
eral healthy stands of _C. undulatum_ on the roadside and in the dry stony =
ground beneath basalt rimrock and scree. The air was certainly warm enough =
for flight and there were loads of nectar, mostly buckwheats and daisies. I=
n spite of this, there
were no butterflies at all apparent, until I netted one fresh female Acmon =
Blue (_Plebejus acmon_) visiting rabbitsfoot clover (_Trifolium arvense_). =
Amazing that this was the sole butterfly of the day so far. Then, down at t=
he boat launch, a small yellow sulphur or female orange tip flew over plant=
ain and purple vetch=20
>=20
> Going back down the road, I spotted a robust thistle with some 30+ buds (=
none in bloom, though some were elsewhere). Searching the well-defended pla=
nt 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. The third was still loosely sealed, and I could=
see a caterpillar within. I gently opened the silk, not wanting it to drop=
off--difficult, as the leaves are very rigid and thorny. It appeared melit=
iid rather than vanessid to me--_not _a painted lady. It was nearly an inch=
long (~25 mm). This is too big for _Phyciodes mylitta_, and according to J=
ames & Nunnallee, is approaching the usual pupation size for _P. pallida_. =
The dorsal pattern and tubercles resembled the illustrations in James & Nun=
nallee, though the orange marking was not as bright. If this was indeed a l=
arva of _P. pallida_, it is the first modern confirmation for the species i=
n Klickitat Co. in 41
years. It should be confirmed with adults and/or reared material next sprin=
g. (Or maybe later this year? Record dates and James & Nunnallee both sugge=
st that, while most records are for the early spring, there is some reason =
to believe there may be occasional, non-diapausing, perhaps facultative dou=
ble voltinism. I suggest that this caterpillar is likely the offspring of e=
arly spring adults that sneaked in a bit of breeding on the very few clemen=
t days this spring, and that it will produce a July-flying adult. Especiall=
y after all the rain, it might be worth looking, for someone who could stan=
d the midsummer heat in the eastern Gorge.)=20
>=20
> Feeling good about perhaps having found the target species, I checked two=
more sites still farther east. The first is the wooded swale east of Roose=
velt that I called the "Fish Patch" in _Chasing Monarchs_ for its reliabili=
ty as a site for migrating and breeding monarchs. David James wrote in _G'n=
um_ this month that after the big rise in California winterers this year, m=
onarchs should be arriving in Washington again, beginning in June. I'd hope=
d to give him supporting evidence, but flooding of the swale and succession=
by willows and Russian olives seem to be blotting out most of the milkweed=
of both species, and I saw only a couple of Cabbage Whites (_Pieris rapae_=
), though the afternoon was at last fully sunny and hot.=20
>=20
> Finally, I checked one of my favorite canyons, Rock Creek, between Roosev=
elt and Rufus. After the extreme drought of last year it was a pleasure to =
see the hills still greenish in June, and the wildflowers in the lower cany=
on where the rimrock comes almost down to the road were spectacular, mostly=
buckwheats, penstemons, and yellow composites. I found some of the thistle=
here, too, but again no butterflies--until almost six o'clock, when they d=
ecided to come out for the last of the sun: half a dozen Ochre Ringlets (_C=
oenonympha californica_) and a couple of (probably) Becker's Whites (_Ponti=
a beckerii_) motoring down the roadside. I was watching a beautiful little =
western side-blotched lizard (_Uta stansburyana_), salmon-pink below and do=
ing little push-ups on basalt boulders right beside me, when some blues sho=
wed up. And right at 6:30 p.m., I spied three pairs of Columbia Blues (_Eup=
hilotes columbiensis_) _in copulo_ atop arrowleaf buckwheat heads, two of t=
he pairs on the same
inflorescence; and one random male frantically trying to get in on the acti=
on, bugging all the others. Across the road, four white pelicans paddled th=
rough the sparkles on Rock Creek Lake just before the sun dived beneath the=
western ridge,=20
>=20
> Data:
>=20
> WA: Klickitat Co. Railroad Island Boat Launch road, Columbia River, just =
above John Day Dam. 45.723013, -120.700621 _Phyciodes pallida_, one prob. =
5th instar larva, on _Cirsium undulatum_; _Plebejus acmon,_ 1 fresh female =
on _Trifolium arvense_. 1 June 2022=20
>=20
> WA: Klickitat Co. Rock Creek, one km above SR 14. 45.712690, -120.463577_=
Coenonympha californica_, 6; _Euphilotes columbiensis_, 3 prs in copulo, 3=
+ males, on _Eriogonum compositum_. 1 June 2022=20
>=20
> R. M. Pyle=20
>=20
> 6 June 2022=20
>=20
>=20
=20

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Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

<html><head><meta http-equiv=3D"Content-Type" content=3D"text/html; charset=
=3DUTF-8" /></head><body style=3D'font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana,Gen=
eva,sans-serif'>
<p><em>Euphilotes columbiae</em>, of course, not "<em>E. columbiensis"</em>=
!</p>
<p>RMP</p>
<div>&nbsp;</div>
<p><br /></p>
<p>On 2022-06-06 9:37 pm, <tlpyle...> wrote:</p>
<blockquote type=3D"cite" style=3D"padding: 0 0.4em; border-left: #1010ff 2=
px solid; margin: 0"><!-- html ignored --><!-- head ignored --><!-- meta ig=
nored -->
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"text-align: center;" align=3D"cente=
r"><span style=3D"font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times=
New Roman','serif';">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-s=
ize: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif';"><s=
pan style=3D"mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&=
nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Weary of the never-ending rain, gray, and co=
ld of this worst butterfly spring in recent memory, I visited Klickitat Cou=
nty on June 1. I had intended to make the trip in April, then May, but even=
the "sunny side" of the Cascades has had largely hostile weather for weeks=
on end. My particular hope was to find the Pale Crescent (<em style=3D"mso=
-bidi-font-style: normal;">Phyciodes pallida</em>), one of the last three W=
ashington resident butterflies I have yet to see within the state. I didn't=
have time to drive to the distant Snake River sites, so I intended to revi=
sit 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-s=
ize: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif';"><s=
pan style=3D"mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&=
nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>June First was forecast for full sun and tem=
peratures into the eighties, but it dawned overcast at The Dalles and remai=
ned 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 thi=
s had been utterly altered by cattle and grass and there were no hostplants=
, the native wavy-leaved thistle (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;=
">Cirsium undulatum</em>). A Stan Jewett data site from 1953, east of there=
, was garbled&mdash;the 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 <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">C. u=
ndulatum</em> on the roadside and in the dry stony ground beneath basalt ri=
mrock and scree. The air was certainly warm enough for flight and there wer=
e loads of nectar, mostly buckwheats and daisies. In spite of this, there w=
ere no butterflies at all apparent, until I netted one fresh female Acmon B=
lue (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Plebejus acmon</em>) visiti=
ng rabbitsfoot clover (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Trifolium=
arvense</em>). Amazing that this was the sole butterfly of the day so far.=
Then, down at the boat launch, a small yellow sulphur or female orange tip=
flew over plantain and purple vetch</span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin: 0px;"><span style=3D"font-s=
ize: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif';"><s=
pan style=3D"mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&=
nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Going back down the road, I spotted a robust=
thistle with some 30+ buds (none in bloom, though some were elsewhere). Se=
arching the well-defended plant I found three skeletonized leaves, each wit=
h a compact silken nest down the midvein. Two of these were open and empty,=
with bunches of small frass remaining at the lower end. The third was stil=
l loosely sealed, and I could see a caterpillar within. I gently opened the=
silk, not wanting it to drop off&mdash;difficult, as the leaves are very r=
igid and thorny. It appeared melitiid rather than vanessid to me&mdash;<em =
style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">not </em>a painted lady. It was near=
ly an inch long (~25 mm). This is too big for <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-st=
yle: normal;">Phyciodes mylitta</em>, and according to James &amp; Nunnalle=
e, is approaching the usual pupation size for <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-st=
yle: normal;">P. pallida</em>. The dorsal pattern and tubercles resembled t=
he illustrations in James &amp; Nunnallee, though the orange marking was no=
t 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 confirmation for the spe=
cies in Klickitat Co. in 41 years. It should be confirmed with adults and/o=
r reared material next spring. (Or maybe later this year? Record dates and =
James &amp; Nunnallee both suggest that, while most records are for the ear=
ly spring, there is some reason to believe there may be occasional, non-dia=
pausing, perhaps facultative double voltinism. I suggest that this caterpil=
lar 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 produc=
e a July-flying adult. Especially after all the rain, it might be worth loo=
king, 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-s=
ize: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif';"><s=
pan style=3D"mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&=
nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Feeling good about perhaps having found the =
target species, I checked two more sites still farther east. The first is t=
he wooded swale east of Roosevelt that I called the "Fish Patch" in <em sty=
le=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Chasing Monarchs</em> for its reliabili=
ty as a site for migrating and breeding monarchs. David James wrote in <em =
style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">G'num</em> this month that after the=
big rise in California winterers this year, monarchs should be arriving in=
Washington again, beginning in June. I'd hoped to give him supporting evid=
ence, but flooding of the swale and succession by willows and Russian olive=
s seem to be blotting out most of the milkweed of both species, and I saw o=
nly 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-s=
ize: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif';"><s=
pan style=3D"mso-tab-count: 1;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&=
nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span>Finally, I checked one of my favorite canyon=
s, Rock Creek, between Roosevelt and Rufus. After the extreme drought of la=
st year it was a pleasure to see 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 buckwheats, penstemons, and yellow composites=
. I found some of the thistle here, too, but again no butterflies&mdash;unt=
il almost six o'clock, when they decided to come out for the last of the su=
n: half a dozen Ochre Ringlets (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">=
Coenonympha californica</em>) and a couple of (probably) Becker's Whites (<=
em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Pontia beckerii</em>) motoring do=
wn the roadside. I was watching a beautiful little western side-blotched li=
zard (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Uta stansburyana</em>), sa=
lmon-pink below and doing little push-ups on basalt boulders right beside m=
e, when some blues showed up. And right at 6:30 p.m., I spied three pairs o=
f Columbia Blues (<em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Euphilotes col=
umbiensis</em>) <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">in copulo</em> a=
top arrowleaf buckwheat heads, two of the pairs on 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 spark=
les 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: 'Times New Roman','serif';"><br />Data</span></u></em><u><s=
pan style=3D"font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New =
Roman','serif';">:<br /></span></u></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin: 0px;"><span style=3D"font-s=
ize: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif';">WA=
: Klickitat Co. Railroad Island Boat Launch road, Columbia River, just abov=
e John Day Dam. </span><u><span style=3D"font-size: 9.0pt; line-height: 115=
%; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif'; color: #4285f4; background: white;"><=
span style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;</span></span></u><span style=3D"fo=
nt-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif';=
background: white;">45.723013, -120.700621</span><span style=3D"font-size:=
12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif';"> <em s=
tyle=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Phyciodes pallida</em>, one prob. 5th=
instar larva, on <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Cirsium undula=
tum</em>; <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Plebejus acmon,</em> 1=
fresh female on <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Trifolium arven=
se</em>. 1 June 2022</span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin: 0px;"><span style=3D"font-s=
ize: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif';">WA=
: Klickitat Co. Rock Creek, one km above SR 14. <span style=3D"background: =
white;">45.712690, -120.463577</span></span><em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-styl=
e: normal;"> Coenonympha californica</em>, 6; <em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-st=
yle: normal;">Euphilotes columbiensis</em>, 3 prs in copulo, 3+ males, on <=
em style=3D"mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Eriogonum compositum</em>. <span =
style=3D"mso-spacerun: yes;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>1 June 2022</p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin: 0px;"><span style=3D"font-s=
ize: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif';"><b=
r />R. M. Pyle</span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin: 0px;"><span style=3D"font-s=
ize: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif';">6 =
June 2022</span></p>
<p class=3D"DefangedMsoNormal" style=3D"margin: 0px;"><span style=3D"font-s=
ize: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: 'Times New Roman','serif';">&n=
bsp;</span></p>

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