May Compilation (& a little bit of June)

Don Freiday found and photo’d this Appalachian brown at Peaslee WMA on May 20.

We had yet another excellent month of butterflying in May, 2012. Thirty-seven observers contributed a total of 1820 reports noting the presence of 63 species during the month. By May 31, we had found 65 species for the year in NJ’s southern counties.

You can click on the NABA Codes & Notes tab on our log for an updated compilation of all species reported so far this year, but here are some highlights.

FOY reports in May:

cloudless sulphur, 5-26-12
little yellow, 5-6-12

viceroy, 5-11-12
Appalachian brown, 5-20-12
little wood-satyr, 5-8-12
common wood nymph, 5-18-12

northern cloudywing, 5-11-12
southern cloudywing, 5-12-11
Hayhurst’s scallopwing, 5-14-12
common checkered skipper, 5-18-12

swarthy skipper, 5-23-12
crossline skipper, 5-13-12
tawny-edged skipper, 5-16-12
little glassywing, 5-20-12
Delaware skipper, 5-31-12
Aaron’s skipper, 5-15-12
dun skipper 5-19-12
saltmarsh skipper 5-29-12

The two species seen earlier this year but not in May were both lycaenids: blueberry azure and white-m hairstreak. The first apparently reached its late date in April (the first species to do so); we should see the white-m again in its usually much more numerous later-season broods.

Apparent late dates for the year (species that will probably not fly again in 2012):

falcate orangetip, 5-6-12
brown elfin, 5-12-12
Henry’s elfin, 5-13-12
eastern pine elfin, 5-19-12
Hessel’s hairstreak, 5-20-12? [2nd brood possible?]
blueberry azure, 4-15-12
holly azure, 5-25-12
hoary elfin, 5-6-12
sleepy duskywing, 5-10-12
Juvenal’s duskywing, 5-20-12?
cobweb skipper, 5-20-12
dusted skipper, 5-12-12

Other Notes:

We had only two records of clouded sulphur in May. Are we overlooking this hard-to-ID/lookalike species, or is it having a down year? Or both?

Meanwhile, cloudless sulphur seems ready to “recover” from last year’s amazingly poor showing (ten records all year in 2011). We have three reports already for a species that is not usually seen until July and is generally most numerous in late summer.

Eastern comma continues to be scarce this year (although some of the anglewing, sp. reports may have been commas, of course). We collected only three certain reports of the species (totaling four individuals) in April and only four reports (totaling five individuals) in May.

Red-banded hairstreak apparently continues its population boom in our area: 95 reports in May, totaling an estimated 1683 individuals.

Once again, gray hairstreak all but disappeared between its spring and summer broods – with a single observation for the month on May 17 in Cape May County (W. Kerling).

We have had only a single report of southern cloudywing this year so far — on May 12 at Bevan WMA in Cumberland County (B. Grant).

Two nymphalids and a skipper joined the cloudless sulphur in the second half of May to add to our long list of FOYs that have appeared more than two weeks early (a pattern we have seen throughout the year): common wood nymph on May 18, Appalachian brown on May 20, and little glassywing on May 20.

Meanwhile, here comes June:

The new month has already brought us five lycaenids and one skipper new for 2012.

bog copper, 6-3-12
coral hairstreak, 6-3-12
banded hairstreak, 6-5-12
striped hairstreak, 6-2-12
northern/oak hairstreak, 6-1-12
broad-winged skipper, 6-4-12

Our contributing observers in May 2012:

Cynthia Allen, Dave Amadio, Pat Amadio, Sylvia Armstrong, Denise Bittle, Jesse Connor, Jack Connor, Mike Crewe, Rhea Doherty, Jim Dowdell, Don Freiday, Sam Galick, Jon Gelhaus, Bill Grant, Jean Gutsmuth, Chris Herz, Karen Johnson, Sandra Keller, Will Kerling, Chip Krilowicz, Tony Leukering, David Lord, Stephen Mason, Michael O’Brien, Bridget O’Connor, Patrick O’Connor, Tom Reed, Mike Russell, Jim Springer, Clay Sutton, Pat Sutton, Chris Tonkinson, Chris Williams, Paula Williams, Jessica Wainwright, and Shawn Wainwright.

Thanks to each of you, and if I missed someone, please let me know.

Keep exploring and reporting, everyone!

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