WDEL Blog: Eclectic Hobbies with Allan Loudell

Butterflies, moths emerging several weeks ahead of time

No question about it. The early warmth this year has accelerated the emergence of many butterfly and moth species (plus other critters).

Saturday, April 14th, I observed two very fresh & spectacular Luna moths, plus a Rosy Maple moth, on the wall of a convenience store/bank south of Northeast, Maryland (on the way to Elk Neck State Park). The veining on one of the Lunas was particularly striking.

Sunday morning, April 15th, I observed one of the smaller Sphinx or Hawk moths along the wall of a convenience store in Fair Hill, Maryland: Lettered Sphinx (two individuals).

Walking through White Clay Creek Preserve in Pennsylvania - just north of Newark - Sunday afternoon, the 15th, I observed at least 13 species of butterflies, including the very early emergence for Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (the Delaware state butterfly); Black Swallowtail; Red-spotted Purple; and Red Admiral. Also observed: Two species which overwinter as adults: Mourning Cloak and Eastern Comma.

On Sunday, April 8th, a visit to Nottingham County Park in Pennsylvania (not far from the Herr's potato chip factory) produced more than two dozen Falcate Orangetips. Spring Azures, Eastern Tailed-Blues, Pearl Crescents, and Juvenal's Duskywings were flying too, along with the ubiquitous Cabbage Whites and Clouded Sulphurs.

Should be a great butterfly/moth year UNLESS we have sustained hot weeks without rain. That said, the exceedingly dry weeks have curbed mosquitoes, at least for now.

Let me give you a link to the recent sightings page of the North American Butterfly Association...


And a south Jersey website chronicles the early start to the butterfly season...


Posted at 1:49pm on April 16, 2012 by Allan Loudell

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