The number of butterfly sightings around pbmGarden has increased recently, perhaps simply because I am actively searching for them 2-3 times most days. Since my last report I have recorded 33 individuals from 10 species. The species are all normal for this region at this time of year.
07/03/2021 Gray Hairstreak – Strymon melinus 1
07/03/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 2 Common lantana; echinacea
07/04/2021 Sachem – Atalopedes campestris 1 Echinacea
07/04/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/05/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/05/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1 Common lantana
07/06/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1 Verbena bonariensis
07/06/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1 Verbena bonariensis
07/06/2021 Gray Hairstreak – Strymon melinus 1 Echinacea
07/07/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2 females (thanks to H. LeGrand for ID – 1 nectaring on common lantana; 1 on monarda
07/07/2021 ?Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1 on peony leaves
07/09/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/09/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1 Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
07/09/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 2 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush); Common lantana
07/09/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1 Verbena bonariensis
07/10/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/10/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/10/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 3 1 on Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush); 2 on Common lantana
07/11/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2 1 on Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush); 1 on Common lantana
07/11/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush) [Update note: originally listed as Sachem; identified on Inaturalist as Fiery Dec 29, 2021)
07/11/2021 Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) 1 Common lantana
07/11/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1 Common lantana
07/11/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/11/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 1 Buddleja davidii (Butterfly Bush)
07/12/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 1 Common lantana
07/12/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1 Common lantana and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
07/12/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1 Common lantana and Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower)
I am taking many photographs to help with identifications. Here are some representative butterflies seen during this period.
There have been 9 Horace’s during this period. Below is a fresh female and the following two images are a more worn female.
Same individual as above.
Two views of same American Lady…
Skippers are difficult for me to identify. I have not noticed Sachems before this year. Either I haven’t seen them, I ignored them or possibly I mistook them for Fiery Skippers.
Silver-spotted skippers are easy to identify and are frequent visitors to my garden.
Common lantana is in full bloom now, starting to attract many insects including this Ocola skipper.
The “silver” spot is not visible in this picture. I took this photo this morning and appreciate the butterfly choosing a color-coordinated background.
For 2021 I have observed 100 individuals from 19 species.
There are 177 species known for the state of North Carolina and 105 in my particular county of Chatham.
A nice variety of visitors you’ve recorded, Susie. I’m just starting to see more here. The happy news is on Saturday, we had our first Monarch visit and she laid many eggs in the patch. Looking forward to seeing the instars soon.
That is good news Eliza!
What an amazing selection you have in your garden, you are obviously growing the right food plants for them all and the message has been passed along to visit your garden!
I have enjoyed seeing all these butterflies Pauline. The main native plant they like is just coming into full flower: Rudbeckia laciniata. Butterfly bush, common lantana and verbena bonariensis are all non-native but do provide a big draw to the garden.
Amazing variety!! Thanks for posting. Jane
Thanks Jane. It’s been interesting to keep records this year to keep better track.
This is a great record and very interesting. You have so many different kinds of skippers. I think we have about three kinds here and I tend to lump them together. Interesting to see the universal pull of buddleia too!
Thank you. Those little skippers are easy to lump together. Only in the past couple years have I tried to be accurate and posting them on iNaturalist to ask for help in recognizing them. In my state of North Carolina there are over 70 skippers. Many of them look just the same to me so I will always have a hobby trying to learn them! Buddleia is reportedly invasive but I’m keeping the one I have. Apparently now some sterile strains are available that still provide for butterflies.
I love seeing all your butterflies but the swallowtail is particularly gorgeous
Thanks, I’m glad. Yes, The swallowtails are beautiful. I am just starting to see a few more Eastern Tiger Swallowtails recently in the garden, not as many as I remember.
You really have done a good job documenting your butterflies. I may try to copy your project in the future.
Oh, yes, I encourage you to. It has been a bit time-consuming to ID some of the skippers but overall it’s been very rewarding.
You are a true lepidopterist, Susie! As I was leaving the house yesterday, I saw what I thought was a swallowtail and I tried getting out my phone to grab a photo but it was already flitting on its way and lunch with friends awaited. I tried stalking my garden, camera in hand, later in the day but the only photos I captured were of cabbage whites. I saw several dragonflies in flight today too, which is unusual, but maybe they’re enjoying our increasing humid conditions.
Seeing dragonflies here too recently, a few different kinds. I’m photographing a few of them but not cataloging them!
You have seen so many Susie, and recording them all must have been a fun project. Now that the summer flowers are opening I am slowly seeing more here too, although the rain has possibly kept numbers low this year. The skippers and the duskywing are pretty.
The butterflies have made for a good project this year. It’s turned out to be a lot of work trying to ID those little skippers! Hope you get a better balance between rain and sunshine. (Would be nice here too.)
This is fabulous! You’ve got so much more than I.
Isn’t it amazing? I keep checking my garden with quick, random walk-throughs 2-3 times a day. Some days nothing, but most days I find something. You have so many good pollinator plants–hope you’ll see lots of butterflies.