As one new record matched or topped the previous one through the whole month of December, it became hard to keep track of them all. What was the most shocking? Was it this blueberry azure found and photo’d by Jim Dowdell at Beaver Dam (CMY) on 12-13-15 — a “first-ever-for-December” in the state of New Jersey? But wait — this record itself was matched with another find of the same species by Will Kerling two days later! (See below.)
Dave Amadio has reviewed and compiled our records for the month. His report:
I couldn’t resist reviewing the stats on this amazing December:
First off we had 4 “1st ever for December” species:
- Summer Azure
- Eastern Tailed-Blue
- Blueberry Azure
- Eastern Comma
This eastern tailed-blue Jesse Amesbury found and photographed in his Cape May Courthouse garden on 12-14-15 was a “first-ever for December” record.
This eastern comma found and photo’d by Dave Amadio at Wheelabrator (GLO) on 12-5-15 was another first-ever December record.
We had 10 new late dates:
- Cabbage White (GLO) 12-31-15 (12-9-11)
- Clouded Sulphur (CUM) 12-27-15 (12-21-13)
- Cloudless Sulphur (CUM) 12-14-15 (12-13-08)
- Summer Azure (CMY) 12-10-15 (11-11-11) (11-11-12)
- EasternTailed-Blue (CMY) 12-14-15 (11-17-13)
- Blueberry Azure (CMY) 12-15-15 (5-17-08)
- Eastern Comma (GLO) 12-5-15 (11-30-11)
- American Lady (CMY) 12-25-15 (12-18-12)
- Variegated Frit (CUM) 12-27-15 (12-4-09)
- Common Buckeye (GLO) 12-31-15 (12-9-08)
This common buckeye found by Jean Gutsmuth and Chip Krilowicz and photo’d by Chip at Wheelabrator (GLO) on 12-31-15 established a new late record for our log.
This variegated fritillary found and photo’d by Steve Glynn near Greenwich (CUM), one of several he documented during December, gave us a new latest-ever date of 12-27-15.
This cabbage white found and photographed by Dave Amadio at Riverwinds Community Center (GLO) on the very last day of 2015 eclipsed our old late date of December 9 (2011) by more than three weeks.
We had 2 tied late dates:
- Orange Sulphur (CMY) 12-31-15 (12-31-11)
- Mourning Cloak (GLO) 12-25-15 (12-25-14)
- Blueberry Azure (new early date or late date?)
- Observed 12-13-15 & 12-15-15 (previous early 2-23-12 & late 5-17-08
Will Kerling found our second blueberry azure for the month at Lizard Tail Swamp Preserve (CMY) on 12-15-15, about 48 hours after Jim found the first at Beaver Dam. Both records pose a puzzle: do we consider these reports new late dates? Or is it more accurate to note these two butterflies are members of the class of 2016 and the earliest-emerging blueberry azures ever recorded in the state of New Jersey?
One last note:
Along with others, I observed 8 of the 14 December species here in Gloucester County. Previous to this year, I had seen only 2 or 3 of these species in December here.
Happy New Year, everyone!
This mourning cloak at Wheelabrator Refuge on Christmas Day tied our latest-ever record and was one of eight species Dave Amadio documented for Gloucester County this December.