Black swallowtail caterpillar photo’d by Will Kerling on 12-22-12 in Cape May Point. (When will we see the first flying adults of this species in 2013?)
Nine butterfly species flew in South Jersey in December:
On 12-18-12 we set new record late dates for three species: question mark (old late date of 11-30-11), American lady (previous late date of 12-15-11), and painted lady (previous late date of 12-4-09).
Several observers in different spots on 12-3-12 tied the record late date for cloudless sulphur of 12-3-09.
Black swallowtail was the tenth species active in the month, although we found only caterpillars and chrysalids.
Red admiral was the most frequently reported December species with 38 records totaling ~96 individual adults. Orange sulphur was reported in 30 entries, totaling ~115 individuals.
As expected, the majority of reports came from Cape May County, but our observers also spotted flying butterflies in Gloucester, Burlington, Cumberland.
Thanks to all of you who kept your eyes open for the last butterflies of the year.
Please see Will K’s note about the “Fab Four” posted below, especially the three species that now have been reported active more than 20 months in a row. The coming two months will be a challenge for them to keep up that streak — and for us to be out there to record their flights!
Our cold-weather, sharp-eyed observers reporting sightings in December included:
Thanks so much for keeping our log going!
Have a wonderful, nature-filled 2013, everyone!
Here’s a spreadsheet of all December 2012 records. Hit the + sign for easier viewing.