WDEL Blog: Eclectic Hobbies with Allan Loudell

Early summer butterflies/moths out in big numbers!

The last couple of weeks - with many warm days - have brought out many of the region's early-summer butterflies and moths.

For the far northern part of Delaware, and all around Pennsylvania, that means the tan to orange Great Spangled Fritillary, about the size of the Monarch. (Monarchs themselves don't appear in significant numbers until later in the summer!)

For a big butterfly, the Great Spangled Fritillary is remarkably territorial. It's largely absent from the Delaware coastal plain, staying in the higher-elevation Piedmont area.

You'll see it at White Clay Creek State Park, and even more so at the White Clay Preserve in Pennsylvania. But visit a field around Newark... gone!

Over two decades, I've seen only one Great Spangled Fritillary in Bear.

Here's a link with photos...


The brown Little Wood Satyrs are out in good numbers in some forested areas. I found dozens at Nottingham County Park (near Herr's Potato chips) this past weekend. (From afar, these butterflies are rather plain and unspectacular. View them closely, and you start to appreciate them.

The spectacularly large silk moths are still out, but after a few days, birds and bats seem to learn the favored haunts of the big silk moths. So when I check out a convenience store wall in Northeast, Maryland, I'm more likely to see the remnants of wings.

Here's a link to the "Recent Sightings" page on the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) website...


Posted at 7:45pm on June 9, 2011 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Wed, Jun 22, 2011 9:27am
Have not yet spotted a silk moth, or really any creature of note, since I haven't been really looking. Last eve on a walk I did see a wild butterfly weed plant on the edge of a hedgerow, I'll go back to that location to do some butterfly spotting, they're bound to show up there.

The tiger swallowtails do make regular appearances at our workplace.

I miss my previous residence where I could grow plants that attract the beautiful critters...house-hunting now, perhaps will be able to indulge the green thumb sometime soon.

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