WDEL Blog: Eclectic Hobbies with Allan Loudell

Spring Butterflies in full swing

A little later than last year, but single-brooded, spring butterflies have finally emerged.

If you want to enrich your outdoors experience with butterfly species BEYOND those you'd find in your back yard or even a state park, in most cases, you have to make a little effort!

Falcate Orangetips (smaller than our ubiquitous Cabbage White), but with beautiful orange patches on the upper wings of the males, are now flying in certain habitats. I saw Falcates late Saturday at the Goat Hill Serpentine Barrens in the far southwestern corner of Chester County, Pennsylvania, straddling the Maryland/Pennsylvania line.

They should also be flying at Nottingham County Park near the potato chip factory.

In northern Delaware, they occur at Lums Pond State Park, but not as reliably or as numerous. Right after you drive through the main fee entrance - after parking your vehicle - walk back towards the entrance and look for the criss-cross path. Go towards the pond and look around.

Tick alert: Unfortunately, ticks seem to inhabit the same habitat most favored by Falcates - tall grasses at the edge of the woods - so take care if you lean into those grasses for a closer look, or take a photograph.

Falcates also occur in similar tick-infested areas of New Jersey.

But I've never seen them at White Clay Creek - either the Delaware or Pennsylvania side - or Brandywine Park.

Also saw my first Fritillaries flying at Goat Hill: The smaller Meadow Fritillary.

A brief trip Sunday afternoon to northern Cape May County, New Jersey, off Jakes Landing Road (Belleplain State Forest) turned up some other spring specialties: The tiny, rather delicate, Brown and Henry's Elfins, although not the most impressive of the trio, the Eastern Pine Elfin. Also, numerous Blues - both Spring Azures and Eastern-Tailed Blues. And my first Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Delaware's official state butterfly) of 2013.

Chilly nights have chilled the numbers of moths we usually see on convenience store walls, but I observed my first Luna moth of 2013 on a Wawa wall near Port Elizabeth, New Jersey. I never tire of Lunas!

Please comment on this blog or e-mail me if you have any questions about butterflies, skippers, and moths. Send me a photo and I can assist with an I.D.

Here's the link to the NABA website's "Recent Sightings"...


Posted at 3:03pm on April 30, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Wed, May 1, 2013 8:54am
I saw my first Cabbage White last Thursday, which would have been April 25th, 2013.

Wed, May 1, 2013 5:46pm
I was thinking that since they now have a "Bob Marley" species, we should also have an "Allan Loudell" species.

Which one of these marvelous creatures would you like named after you, Allan?

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