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Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2022 11:25:45 -0400
From: Steve Mirick <smirick...>
Subject: [MassLep] The Zabulon Skipper invasion into NH in 2022!

2022 saw the first significant range expansion into New Hampshire for=20
the Zabulon Skipper.=C2=A0 The Zabulon Skipper is a small species of=20
butterfly found in the southeastern United States that ranged=20
historically as far north as southern New England.=C2=A0 It has 2 broods an=
d=20
somewhat resembles the Hobomok Skipper (which only has 1 brood).=C2=A0 The=
=20
species has shown a steady range expansion north and east along the=20
eastern seaboard of the United States, possibly associated with climate=20
change.=C2=A0 According to Sharon Stichter's web page=20
(http://www.butterfliesofmassachusetts.net), the first documented record=20
for Massachusetts came from Longmeadow in 1988. For the next 20 years,=20
most of the records were from this (south-central) section of the State,=20
but Zabulons began expanding again during the years of 2012, 2013, and=20
2014 reaching as far as Essex County, MA.=C2=A0 Since then, it appears to=
=20
have increased at a slower rate, but still following specific regions of=20
MA.=C2=A0 A recent examination of records for Zabulon Skipper in iNaturalis=
t=20
shows an interesting correlation with the Hudson and Connecticut River=20
Valleys as well as the coastline:

https://flic.kr/p/2nDQKr1

Although there may be other records, the first and only record that I=20
know of from New Hampshire prior to 2022 was on August 30, 2020 when=20
Jason Lambert found 2 (a male and female) in the Seabrook Forest area of=20
South Hampton near the Massachusetts border.=C2=A0 There are no earlier=20
records found on eButterfly or iNaturalist.=C2=A0 No Zabulons were found at=
=20
this or nearby locations during 2021 and I can't find any other records=20
from last year.

Things changed during 2022!=C2=A0 During 2022, there were a minimum of 34=
=20
Zabulon Skippers reported from 17 locations across 11 towns and 3=20
counties in New Hampshire.=C2=A0 The reports were were primarily from=20
Rockingham County; however, there was one report from nearby in=20
Hillsborough County (Hollis) and one record from nearby southern=20
Strafford County (Durham).=C2=A0=C2=A0 Surprisingly, none were reported in=
=20
iNaturalist from southern Maine; however, it seems likely that they were=20
present from border towns in Maine at least, since there were numerous=20
records from Portsmouth and Rye in NH.=C2=A0 Most of the reports of Zabulon=
=20
Skipper came from early to late August with dwindling numbers reported=20
in September.=C2=A0 Many of the locations below hosted regular sightings of=
=20
Zabulon Skippers and the actual number of individual butterflies is=20
likely much higher.

Anecdotally, Tom Murray reports that 2022 was a big year for Zabulon=20
Skippers in Worcester and Middlesex Counties in Massachusetts and Mark=20
Faherty reports their continued expansion onto Cape Cod this year.=C2=A0=20
Seems like 2022 was a big year for them.

Steve Mirick
Bradford, MA


SUMMARY OF 2022 SIGHTINGS IN NH - Gathered through iNaturalist,=20
eButterfly, Flickr, etc.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------=
---------------------------------------------
Total individuals from maximum counts at any given time at all sites - 34
Total towns where reported - 11
Total counties where reported - 3
First (and only) spring sighting - 1 in Derry, May 29, 2022.
First sighting of fall - August 1, 2022 in Hollis
Last sighting of fall - September 11, 2022 in Exeter (as of 9/22. We'll=20
see if any later reports come in.)

Hillsborough County
----------------------------
Hollis (BBA Great Meadows) - 1

Rockingham County
---------------------------
Derry (Walnut Hill Road) - 1
Derry (Robert Frost Farm) - 1
Derry (Goodhue Road) - 1
Derry (Broadview Farm) - 2
Exeter (Paul's Garden) - 3
Merrimack - 2 (Bob's yard)
Newmarket - 1 (Johnson Drive)
Plaistow - 2 (Sweet Hill Farm)
Portsmouth (Jim's Garden) - 1
Portsmouth (Prescott Park) - 1
Portsmouth (Urban Forestry Center) - 1
Rye (Goss Farm) - 7 (Highest count of 7 on 8/29)
Rye (Odiorne) - 4
Salem (Kyle's yard) - 1
South Hampton (Seabrook Forest) - 4

Strafford County
-----------------------
Durham (Wagon Hill Garden) - 1

Thanks to Chis McPherson, Laurie Sheppard, Paul Lacourse, Bob Janules,=20
Jim Sparrell, T. Cullinane, Mike Thomas, and Kyle Wilmarth for these=20
reports.=C2=A0 Apologies if I missed a few butterflies or people!


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