The least skipper was one of seventeen skipper species added to our log in May.
Our current butterfly year continues to look like a good one — and might even be shaping up as better than last year’s excellent butterfly season.
As of the last day in May this year more than forty observers have contributed approximately 2500 reports of more than 10,000 individual butterflies, and we have found 62 species so far.
Species seen in adult form as of 5-31-11:
4 swallowtails: pipevine, black, tiger, and spicebush.
4 pierids: cabbage white, falcate orange-tip, clouded sulfur, and orange sulfur.
16 lycaenids: American copper, bronze copper, brown elfin, hoary elfin, frosted elfin, Henry’s elfin, eastern pine elfin, juniper hairstreak, Hessel’s hairstreak, gray hairstreak, red-banded hairstreak, eastern tailed-blue, blueberry azure, holly azure, Edward’s azure, and summer azure.
15 nymphalids: variegated fritillary, pearl crescent, question mark, eastern comma, mourning cloak, American lady, painted lady, red admiral, common buckeye, red-spotted purple, viceroy, hackberry emperor, little wood-satyr, and monarch.
23 hesperids: silver-spotted skipper, southern cloudywing, northern cloudywing, Hayhurst’s scallopwing, sleepy duskywing, Juvenal’s duskywing, Horace’s duskywing, wild indigo duskwing, common checkered skipper, common sootywing, least skipper, swarthy skipper, cobweb skipper, Peck’s skipper, tawny-edged skipper, crossline skipper, little glassywing, sachem, zabulon skipper, Aaron’s skipper, dun skipper, dusted skipper, and saltmarsh skipper.
May was a particularly good month, when we collected more than 1500 observations of more 5800 individual butterflies and found (or refound) 61 of the 62 species seen so far this year. Only Edward’s azure, a tough ID at all times, was not reported in May; and we added 23 FOY species, including two on the very last day of the month (hackberry emperor and salt-marsh skipper).
For a brief overview, go to our live log and click on the “NABA Codes & Notes” tab, which lists all species seen this year (and in 2009 and 2010) with their early and late dates.
For a more detailed, sorted spreadsheet of all May 2011 reports, go here (and click to enlarge). FOYs for May are highlighted in blue:
For a sorted spreadsheet of all reports for 2011 so far, go here (and click to enlarge):
Contributing observers and participants this year so far (as of 5/31/11) include: Cynthia Allen, Dave Amadio, Denise Bittle, Joanna Burger, Marcus Christodoro, Jesse & Jack Connor, Mike Crewe, Glen Davis, Jim Dowdell, Rhea Doherty, Sam Galick, Jon Gelhaus, Michael Gochfeld, Jean Gutsmith, Chris Herz, Bert Hixon, Brian Johnson, Doug Johnson, Sandra Keller, Will Kerling, Chris Kisiel, Chip Krilowicz, Kathleen Lapergola, John Lawrence, Tony Leukering, Angela Marzi, Stephen Mason, Patti Murray, Fred Pfeifer, Tom Reed, Eric Reuter, Bret Roberts, Patty Rourke, Dale Schweitzer, Barb Sendelbach, Jim Springer, Pat & Clay Sutton, Harvey Tomlinson, Chris Tonkinson, Guy Tudor, Jessica & Shawn Wainright, and Chris & Paula Williams. That’s at least forty-six of us — and if someone’s name is missing, let me know.
Keep exploring and keep those reports coming, everyone!