Butterflies have generally been in much reduced numbers this year, the exception being hairstreaks. On July 12 Jerry Ball and I found Banded Hairstreak 45, Acadian Hairstreak 50, Coral Hairstreak 2, Striped Hairstreak 6, Hickory Hairstreak 12, and Edwards Hairstreak 23. A few Gray Hairstreaks were found from July 23 and later.
Yesterday Jerry Ball and I found the last species of butterfly to emerge each year – the Leonard’s Skipper, on Jack Lake Rd in the gravel pit. Between us Jerry and I have 83 species in the county this tear, with Questionmark & Appalachian Brown being found by others during the Petroglyphs Butterfly count for a yearly total to date of 85. The number of species found during the count was 54, above average, but the number of individual was well below average.
I’m sure you are all well aware of the extremely low numbers of Monarchs this year (I have only seen seven in Peterborough County all summer) and I am wondering if this may have caused some hybridization of lone Monarchs with Viceroys. A Viceroy was photographed (Martin Parker?) with no black line crossing the black veins on the hind-wings. Two other sightings of Viceroys with no crossline on the upper-wing but present on the under-wing, were seen by myself and Jerry Ball.
Observers: Tony Bigg and Jerry Ball