Meanwhile, North of Cape May. . .

Bronze copper, our only report of the year, photo’d by Dave Amadio on Sunset Drive, Salem County, 9-9-12.

As everyone who visits our log knows by now, Cape May has been the hottest of hot spots for the last couple of weeks, drawing an amazing array of butterflies (and butterflyers), giving us multiple reports of a mind-boggling list of rarities. It’s some show down there!

But let’s not forget the rest of our area. Scroll through our log a little to see what’s happening in our “northern” counties and you will find that the butterflying is very good elsewhere across our whole region as well.

Some highlights north of Cape May include:

Dave Amadio found four harvesters (remember them?) still flying at Chestnut River Branch in Gloucester County on 9-16-12.

Chip Krilowicz photo’d eight harvester caterpillars in Laurel Ravine in Camden County on 9-6-12. He also photo’d fiery skipper in his yard in Haddonfield, Camden County, on 9-6-12 and recorded the same species at Palmyra Cove Nature Center, Burlington County, on 9-20-12. Chip added Burlington County to our list of long-tailed skipper records with his find there in Pennington Park on 9-20-12.

Chris Herz had twenty-one common checkered skippers at Gloucester Community College on 9-13-12 and hit double digits again a few days later with fourteen on 9-17-12. She also had both a dark-form female tiger swallowtail and a fiery skipper at Riverwinds in Gloucester on 9-16-12.

Brian Johnson found at least thirty common checkered skippers on Bayside Road in Cumberland County on 9-15-12.

Both Brian Johnson and Dale Schweitzer recorded long-tailed skippers in Cumberland County, in or near Port Norris, on 9-7-12 and 9-17-12 respectively.

Matt Webster had a long-tailed in his yard in Camden County on 9-17-12.

Shawn Wainwright had a long-tailed in his yard in Toms River in Ocean County on two successive days, 9-21-12 and 9-22-12. Shawn also photo’d an Ocola there on 9-21-12, giving us our 5th county for that species this year: Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, Gloucester, and Ocean.

Jesse Connor’s garden in Port Republic in Atlantic County drew a long-tailed skipper to the same Verbena plant already hosting a fiery skipper and Ocola skipper, so that all three “southern strays” were nectaring there simultaneously, on 9-23-12. A few minutes later, a second long-tailed joined the first.

Side-by-side long-tailed skippers in Port Republic (Atlantic Co), 9-23-12.

Outside our region, but not too far, Michael Gochfeld and Joanna Burger’s garden in Somerset County brought in their first long-tailed skipper on 9-21-12.

That gives us long-tailed records for six of our area’s eight counties (Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, and Ocean) and one in Somerset. So, long-tails have appeared in at least seven counties in the state this year — with more to come, almost certainly, farther north, and maybe also to the west in Gloucester and Salem.

Can we find a long-tail in each of South Jersey eight counties in one season? That would be a very cool record of butterflyers’ team work, and maybe something never previously accomplished (?).

Keep those reports coming, everyone! What a year!


9-25-12 Update: In response to this post Michael Gochfeld has passed along a report of a long-tailed skipper at Overpeck Park (Teaneck) by the GW Bridge area. The date is not certain, but that adds Bergen County to the NJ records this year.

9-26-12 Update: Will Kerling reports: “Under the NABA Butterfly Sightings, there is an entry (with photos) for Betty Lampkin’s sighting of a Long-tailed Skipper on Sept. 25, 2012. The site is a garden at Cedar Crest Retirement Village next to Mountainship Park – Morris County, NJ.”

So, those two reports mean long-tailed skippers have been seen in at least nine counties in the state this year: Cape May, Cumberland, Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Ocean, Somerset, Bergen, and Morris.

Please pass along any reports from outside South Jersey (and keep logging any inside SJ!). It will be interesting to see how widespread this year’s invasion becomes.


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