I recorded 34 butterflies during this reporting period. The annual total is 186.
Butterfly Sightings 7/17/2021- 7/22/2021
07/18/2021 Zebra Swallowtail – Eurytides marcellus 1
07/18/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/18/2021 Skipper sp. 10
07/18/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/18/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/20/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/20/2021 Zebra Swallowtail – Eurytides marcellus 1
07/20/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/20/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 1
07/20/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/20/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
07/20/2021 Red-banded Hairstreak – Calycopis cecrops 1
07/20/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/21/2021 Common Buckeye – Junonia coenia 1
07/21/2021 American Lady – Vanessa virginiensis 1
07/21/2021 Fiery Skipper – Hylephila phyleus 3
07/21/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 2
07/21/2021 Ocola Skipper – Panoquina ocola 1
07/21/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/22/2021 Silver-spotted Skipper – Epargyreus clarus 1
07/22/2021 Horace’s Duskywing – E. horatius 1
07/22/2021 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus 1
The most thrilling butterfly moment this week: seeing a Zebra Swallowtail two days apart. (There had also been one in early June.)
Plenty of Grass Skippers (Hesperiinae), especially Fiery and Ocola, go uncounted in my unofficial survey. These insects flit from flower to flower, bump into each, dart away suddenly and land near or far, making it hard to get accurate counts. As I’m not confident of knowing these skippers by sight, it is a time-consuming effort to photograph and verify those that show up around the garden. So for them I am mostly selecting one or two to represent the group.
This year Silver-spotted Skipper and Horace’s Duskywing are regularly seen, not in huge numbers but one or two nearly every day. Common Buckeye and American Lady also are more frequent this year.
Tuesday I photographed my first Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) of the year. Previously I had seen only one in July 2014 and a second in August 2015.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are always a welcome sight.
Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) is attractive to butterflies, bees and many other insects.
Exploring for butterflies this summer in my garden has been a fun project.
Since 2018 I have seen a single Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus) each year. Today was the day for 2021. I hope it won’t be the only one but at any rate it was thrilling to see this exotic looking butterfly this afternoon. It was sunny and 88 degrees F.
For the record I also saw two Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) earlier this morning and another (or one of the same) this afternoon. Verbena bonariensis was the attraction for both species.
Summertime and outdoor dining go together and Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) was an attractive menu option this afternoon in the front side garden.
American painted lady (Vanessa virginiensis) has been around a few times in previous years.
This is the first time I have noticed the other butterfly, which I believe is Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus). Both were difficult to photograph as they flitted from one flower to the next and darted away when I got too near. The coneflower’s appeal soon drew them back, allowing me to get a bit closer.