Trip Reports – 2003

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Raven Rock State Park, March 22, 2003


We had a successful first field trip of the year for the Carolina Butterfly Society at Raven Rock State Park, Harnett County, NC on Saturday, March 22, 2003. Seventeen participants were treated to warm, sunny weather (the first time we had seen the sun shine here in 9 days). Fifteen identified species (not a bad total for March in NC) and other identified as "sp." only made for an enjoyable day. Randy Emmitt took photos of several of the azures. He reported to me that he sent five photos to David Wright, who confirmed the azures in the photos as Spring Azure (four males, one female). See two of the azure photos below.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 4
Cabbage White 1
Falcate Orangetip 33+
Sleepy Orange 16+
Brown Elfin 4
Eastern Pine Elfin 1
Elfin sp. 2
White M Hairstreak 1
Gray Hairstreak 1
Spring Azure 5
Azure Sp 35+
American Snout 5
Question Mark 2
Eastern Comma 2
Polygonia sp. 4
Mourning Cloak 4
American Lady 1
Juvenal’s Duskywing 1
Duskywing sp. 1

Paul C. Hart
Park Superintendent
Raven Rock State Park
3009 Raven Rock Road
Lillington, NC 27546

Shocco Creek Game Land Field Trip, April 13, 2003


We had a successful CBS field trip to Shocco Creek Game Land in Franklin
Co., NC, yesterday (April 13). The weather was perfect — clear, temps
starting around 60 and reaching the low 70s, and relatively little wind.
By my count, there were 16 folks on the trip, a nice turn-out. The trip
will be repeated in two weeks, Sunday April 27.

The Wildlife Resources Commission has done some work in the place recently. There are a few tiny cleared areas along the entrance road, some fire breaks mowed (prescribed burns are planned for some of the pine stands), the road margins were cleared back a few feet, and fresh gravel has been dumped on muddy spots in the road. The gate was open, as we are now in the turkey hunting season, which runs into May (and the reason for the Sunday trips instead of Saturdays). The powerline has not been bush-hogged, though the late spring floristically meant few things were in bloom.

All in all, we saw lots of butterflies and dragonflies, but I wasn’t impressed by diversity. For a while, everything was an E. Tiger Swallowtail and Juvenal’s Duskywing. In fact, we saw ZERO other species of duskywings! This coming on the heels of Randy Emmitt finding at least SIX species the day before at Caswell Game Land. We saw the same six last year, though a bit later, so the April 27 trip should produce more diversity. Also, the diversity of brushfoots was poor, and we saw ZERO satyrs and just a single anglewing. But, we did find several target species — Frosted Elfin, Cobweb Skipper (but seen by only a few folks), and Carolina Roadside-Skipper. Seeing several E. Pine Elfins, a secondary target, was also a highlight. Folks should have some super photos of the two elfins, and the Carolina R-S.

Also, we saw many hundred dragonflies, and most folks saw some lifers in that group.

Here’s the list:

Zebra Swallowtail (1)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (50)
Falcate Orangetip (3)
Orange Sulphur (1)
Sleepy Orange (6)
Eastern Pine Elfin (2)
Frosted Elfin (4) all fresh males, some emerged during the day
Henry’s Elfin (1) seen only by one person
Gray Hairstreak (1) tiny but very fresh
Red-banded Hairstreak (1)
E. Tailed-Blue (6)
Spring Azure (10) included a few uncertain azures
Variegated Fritillary (2)
Pearl Crescent (4)
American Lady (2)
Question Mark (1) worn
Monarch (1)
Juvenal’s Duskywing (200)
Cobweb Skipper (1) fresh male
Carolina Roadside-Skipper (2)


Gray Petaltail (1) not a common species; seen by a few folks
Springtime Darner (250+) amazing number
Harlequin Darner (2) one female/immature landed on my hand for a photo! Primarily a Coastal Plain species
Swamp Darner (1) fly-by only
Ashy Clubtail (100+)
Lancet Clubtail (25) ID of these two tricky, so totals "loose"
Twin-spotted Spiketail (15)
Stream Cruiser (10)
Common Baskettail (20) several with much hind-wing dark coloration
Selys’ Sundragon (5)
Uhler’s Sundragon (2) good study of both sundragons, though not together for comparison
Blue Corporal (80)
Common Whitetail (6)

Later in the afternoon, Jeff Pippen and I visited the DeHart Botanical Gardens a few miles south of Louisburg. We took the northern trail loop that went partly along a powerline, and visited a field area also nearby. We added the following species of interest:

Black Swallowtail (2)
Cabbage White (1)
Henry’s Elfin (2) both perched on Am. holly, a good sign of the host plant!
Eastern Pine Elfin (1) worn
Silver-spotted Skipper (1)
Common Sootywing (3)

Harry LeGrand
NC Natural Heritage Program

Shocco Creek Game Land Field Trip, April 27, 2003



The second and last CBS field trip to Shocco Creek Game Land in Franklin Co., NC, was held yesterday, April 27. It was even more successful than the first, as more butterflies were out and the weather was good again, though there were many pesky clouds and some wind. There were only 7 folks this time (Derb Carter, Randy Emmitt, Sharon Funderburk, Jeff Pippen and John and Susan Bumgarner, and myself). Maybe competing with the Carolina Bird Club meeting in Clemson took away a few folks.

We added two Franklin County records, and one was a FIRST for the EASTERN Piedmont! We had FOUR species of roadside-skippers, more than the total of confirmed duskywings (three for sure). And, we failed to see any cloudywings, anglewings, etc., that could have pushed our totals into the 30+ species range. But, we saw 29 species, with many of them target species. Here’s the list (A few of these were seen at Sharon’s nursery, a few miles away but still in Franklin Co.):

Pipevine Swallowtail (6)
Zebra Swallowtail (1)
Black Swallowtail (2) females
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (75)
Spicebush Swallowtail (6)
Orange Sulphur (6)
Sleepy Orange (2)
Frosted Elfin (10) target; state high count
Eastern Pine Elfin (2)
Gray Hairstreak (1)
Red-banded Hairstreak (10)
Eastern Tailed-Blue (30) Spring Azures finished; no azure species out
Pearl Crescent (60)
Red-spotted Purple (3)
American Lady (15)
Red Admiral (1) a first for the year for most; poor year in the making?
Gemmed Satyr (2)
Carolina Satyr (15)
Silver-spotted Skipper (3) That’s all!
Juvenal’s Duskywing (150) plus a maybe Horace’s or two
Wild Indigo Duskywing (4) secondary target
Mottled Duskywing (1) fresh female; oviposited on Ceanothus (hostplant); expected a handful, so this is a disappointing total; major target and well seen, so everyone happy!
Common Sootywing (1) at Sharon’s
Cobweb Skipper (10) excellent count, with all but two females; target
Dusted Skipper (2) target; very fresh
Pepper and Salt Skipper (2) fresh; target species
Carolina Roadside-Skipper (2) target, but seen two weeks ago
REVERSED ROADSIDE-SKIPPER (1) New to eastern Piedmont!
seen by Derb, Jeff, and me in the powerline clearing; cane nearby along a creek through the powerline
Common Roadside-Skipper (1) New to Franklin Co; seen by Derb and Randy; expected here sooner or later

29 species

Dragonflies — we had some debate over the spiketails, but .. Sundragons are essentially finished for the year.

Common Green Darner (1)
Swamp Darner (12) some seen perched; imposing!
Harlequin Darner (20) only one that perched did so on Derb’s back, so he couldn’t see it! He could only see John’s photo!! This species is annoying — flying past you all the time, seldom perching on twigs, etc.
Springtime Darner (5)
Ashy Clubtail 50?
Lancet Clubtail 50? We had about 100 clubtails, roughly in equal abundance, and no effort made to ID each and every one
Common Baskettail (20)
Brown Spiketail (2) we debated over Twin-spotted, which we saw well 2 weeks ago. These guys seemed a bit smaller, close to size of Stream Cruiser, and colored a bit like the brown of that species. T-S is a BIG guy and quite blackish on the abdomen. Brown is known from Franklin Co., and Jeff and I had seen Browns in the mtns. in May a year ago.
Stream Cruiser (3)
Blue Corporal (10)
Common Whitetail (12)
Painted Skimmer (2)
Eastern Pondhawk (3) MANY more to come later
Carolina Saddlebags (1)

We also spent time with the birds, which were in good numbers — Ovenbirds, Hooded Warblers, and Summer Tanagers always seemed to be in hearing range. Sharon spotted a female tanager in pines not far from a Summer Tanager that we guys decided had to be a Summer, even though she IDed it as a Scarlet. It did look a bit greenish-yellow rather than a warm orangish yellow, but we had 5-10 Summers and no Scarlets at that time. Not 30 seconds later, a silent male Scarlet appeared, and the female flew off with it! Scarlet it was! We also enjoyed watching Broad-winged Hawk, Yellow-throated Vireo, and many other things. We heard just one Wood Thrush, a sad story these days.

The main downer of the day was that the Wildlife Resources Commission is heavily thinning the pine stands now, and slash, clearings, heavy equipment, etc., are everywhere. And, the trees left in the thinned area are marked with blue paint — not scenic at all. At least, on Sundays they are not working, so it was bad on the eyes but easy on the ears.

I’m sure I’m omitting a lot of non-bugs of interest, but you get the picture. We had a great time, finding all the target butterflies, and seeing plenty of dragonflies, birds, flowers, etc.

Harry LeGrand
NC Natural Heritage Program

Yadkin County Count, June 01, 2003



On Sunday, June 1, we had a very nice day of butterflying, except for the 15-20 mph wind, which forced us to spend most of our time on woods trails and wood edges – to windy to find and ID in the open fields. WE (Charlie Cameron, Pat Carstensen, Pam & Doug DeNeve, Jules Fraytet, Laura Smith, and I) spent our time at Yadkin County Park and the 2 River Access Parks that we visit each year. A lot of Azures, Commas, Questionmarks, and Red Admirals. Botanical development is about 10 days behind that of previous years, with Asclepias tuberosa and similar flowers still in bud.


1 Pipevine Swallowtail
1 Black Swallowtail
41 E. Tiger Swallowtail
1 Spicebush Swallowtail
14 Cabbage White
2 Sleepy Orange
1 Clouded Sulphur
13 Red-Banded Hairstreak
4 E. Tailed Blue
37 Azure
1 American Snout
7 Variegated Fritillary
17 Great Spangled Fritillary
5 Silvery Checkerspot
9 Pearl Crescent
11 Questionmark
19 Eastern Comma
2 Mourning Cloak
1 American Lady
14 Red Admiral
1 Red-Spotted Purple
1 Southern Pearly Eye
2 Northern Pearly Eye
1 Appalachian Brown
2 Gemmed Satyr
20 Carolina Satyr
11 Little Wood Satyr
3 Monarch
12 Silver-Spotted Skipper
1 Horaces Duskywing
2 Swarthy Skipper
5 Clouded Skipper
5 Least Skipper
1 Crossline Skipper
1 Little Glassywing
2 Sachem
16 Zabulon Skipper

1 Spicebush on Sassafras
2 Silver-Spotted Skipper on locust

 spp #adults
2003 38 289
2002 37 590
2001 28 95
2000 41 190
1999 35 360

Caswell Count, June 15, 2003


The Caswell Count proceeded on Sunday as planned with mostly cloudy skies and temps from 75 to 85. We had 5 participants: Tom and Janet Krakauer, Randy Emmitt, Eric Dean and myself. Although individual numbers were slim, the number of species found was reasonable for a gray day in mid-June, and some interesting odes were counted as well. There were 40 butterfly species found and 18 dragonflies. Thanks to all who helped out and the weather for holding off the torrential downpour until about 4 PM. List of species follows.

Pipevine Swallowtail 1
Zebra Swallowtail 3
Black Swallowtail 2
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 28
Spicebush Swallowtail 10
Cabbage White 2
Clouded Sulfur 4
Cloudless Sulfur 1
Harvester 1
Coral Hairstreak 6
Banded Hairstreak 6
Gray Hairstreak 2
Eastern Tailed Blue 60
Summer Azure 10
Great Spangled Fritillary 28
Pearl Crescent 1
Question Mark 16
Comma 10
Mourning Cloak 1
Red Admiral 2
American Lady 17
Common Buckeye 2
Red-spotted Purple 2
Hackberry Emperor 15
Tawny Emperor 5
Northern Pearly Eye 2
Gemmed Satyr 1
Carolina Satyr 5
Little Wood Satyr 8
Silver-spotted Skipper 14
Hoary Edge 9
Southern Cloudywing 3
Northern Cloudywing 6
Horace’s Duskywing 1
Mottled Duskywing 1
Common Sootywing 2
Crossline Skipper 9
Northern Broken Dash 1
Zabulon Skipper 1
Dun Skipper 1

Blowing Rock Count, June 28, 2003



Had we scheduled the Blowing Rock count any day between last Sunday and last Thursday or Friday, or maybe even yesterday (Sunday), we could have had a good count. But, Saturday was simply brutal along the Blue Ridge Parkway at Cone Park, Grandfather Mt., etc. — chilly, foggy, occasional mist, windy, etc. Thus, we had to cancel the count for the year. And, we had eight folks, which could have made for the best count ever had we chosen a different day.

So — five of us remained to try our hand at birding the Parkway south to Beacon Heights. We couldn’t find a lot at Trout Lake, and even the Alder Flycatchers at the old lakebed at Price Park were nowhere to be found. We dropped off the Parkway toward Edgemont and Mortimer. Finally, at around 1:30, we saw a butterfly! By about 3 pm, we saw a bit of sun, and finally around the Boone Fork campground we got into some sunny weather. We managed to find an awful total of 20 species for all the driving of dirt roads, etc. All WERE in the count circle, but as I sent folks home by 10 am, I am not sending in the totals for a count.

We did find a few goodies, and two were new for Caldwell County! All below are Caldwell:

E. Tiger Swallowtail (25)
Spicebush Swallowtail (2)
Cabbage White (2)
Harvester (1) at the campground, but never re-settled after it got flushed, so no perched views
CORAL HAIRSTREAK (1) new to county
E. Tailed-Blue (2)
Summer Azure (40)
Diana Fritillary (1) fresh male at the campground, perched for photos
Great Spangled Fritillary (1)
Pearl Crescent (1)
Question Mark (4)
Eastern Comma (3)
American Lady (2)
Red Admiral (7)
Northern Pearly-eye (1)
Silver-spotted Skipper (18)
Northern Cloudywing (1)
Wild Indigo Duskywing (1) only one duskywing!
Northern Broken-Dash (1) new to county
Dun Skipper (2)

I wish to thank Clyde Kessler, Bruce Grimes, Chris Wilson, Charlie Cameron, Gail Lankford, Rob Van Epps, and Jeff Pippen for taking the time to try to count butterflies. Several folks got some lifers at the campground and elsewhere, so it wasn’t a wasted effort. And, we heard some Swainson’s Warblers at close range, but they were not very cooperative! We also got some close looks at a few odes — damselflies beyond my ID capabilities at a pond near the campground, and Gray Petaltail (2), Dragonhunter (4), among five other common species of dragonflies.

Well — we’ll try again next year — I guess.

Harry LeGrand
NC Natural Heritage Program

Pettigrew Count, June 29, 2003


Hi – Here are the results from the 9th Pettigrew Count, south of Creswell, NC. Temps were cool Low 80’s low humidity and breezy. Counters were Jeff Pippen, Harry LeGrand and myself. We ended up with 47 species – a very good number for three counters – and I had to leave the count at 3pm. Harry and Jeff probably saw button bush blooms in their sleep – they found several species that I didn’t get. We missed pearly eyes, lace winged roadside skipper, Palkata skipper and a few others so reaching 50 is doable.Non lep highlights were a red wolf and a huge black bear for me and Harry and Jeff found and Jeff photographed a beautiful canebrake rattlesnake. They also heard a Swainson’s Warbler calling at the parks Pocosins Natural Area. All these things were on the south side of Lake Phelp/Pettigrew State Park.

Zebra Swallowtail 650
Black Sw 5
E. Tiger Sw 100
Spicebush Sw 18
Palamedes Sw 18
Cabbage White 92
Orange Sulphur 37
Cloudless Sulphur 2
Little Yellow 1
Sleepy Orange 290
Gray Hairstreak 8
Red-banded Hs 2
E. Tailed-Blue 2
Summer Azure 10
Am. Snout 2
Var. Frit 230
Pearl Cr 435
Question Mark 33
*E. Comma 1 New to count.
Am. Lady 800
Painted Lady 10
Red Admiral 750
Common Buckeye 350
RSP 20
Viceroy 48
Car. Satyr 10
Little Wood-Satyr 1
Com. Wood-Nymph 1
Monarch 8
Silver-spotted Sk 33
Horace’s Dw 60
Zarucco Dw 1
Com Checkered-Sk 3
Com Sootywing 35
Swarthy Sk 1
Clouded Sk 1
Least Sk 28
S. Skipperling 1 New County Record – Washington Co.
Fiery Sk 250
Little Glassywing 1
Sachem 1
Yehl Sk 31
Broad-winged Sk 1
Dion Sk 34
Dun Sk 8
Carolina Rs-Sk 1
Ocola Sk 2

Scott Hartley
Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve
Southern Pines, NC

Mount Mitchell Count, August 10, 2003



Cathy King and Beth Brinson and I explored Craggy Gardens from about 10-11 AM on Sunday, it looked great for Green Comma where we explored there although nothing exciting showed up there as it was still too chilly for many butterflies.

We then headed to Mount Mitchell State Park, on the way we encountered very dense fog and some rain. We walked a part of the trail at the ranger station leaving melon rinds at four places along the trail(we later retrieved the melon rinds). We found 2 Painted Ladies and might have had a anglewing species. It flew up and over into the trees and was not relocated, this could have been a Green Comma but we’ll never know. Along our walk there the birding was real good with sightings of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, a Black-throated Green, a male and female Canadian Warbler, two immature Chestnut-sided Warblers and 2 Pine Siskins

Next we drove up to the top parking lot and were surrounded by Cedar Waxwings, then it rained heavily for about 30 minutes. Later at this spot we found several fledgling Juncos, one that was on the stone steps that the mother bird was doing her best to get the baby to safety. Surprisingly butterflies near the top were more plentiful than the lower trail.

Here’s the list for the park up until about 4pm when the sky was about to unload a heavy downpour.

2 Pipevine Swallowtail
2 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
1 Swallowtail spp.
1 Cabbage White
1 Clouded Sulphur
2 Orange Sulphur
10 Eastern Tailed Blue
1 Pearl Crescent
3 Painted Lady
1 Anglewing spp.
1 Common Buckeye
2 Monarch
2 Silver-spotted Skipper

Randy Emmitt
Rougemount, NC

Durham Butterfly Count, August 17, 2003



Despite 2.5 hours of a morning rain delay, we had a very successful Durham Butterfly Count yesterday (8-17-2003). Many thanks to intrepid butterfliers Nicole Benda, Brian Bockhahn, Will Cook, Michael Durham, Bonnie Forbes, Lou Hatfield, Jill Kirkland, Janet Krakauer, Harry LeGrand, Jeff Pippen, Roger Rittmaster, and Laura Smith for their participation!

Because of other commitments and unforeseen challenges, our normal party number of 6 was reduced to about 3.5 parties, and significantly fewer butterflying miles were covered this year. However, we still tallied 55 species of butterflies and 2640 individuals within the 15-mile diameter count circle.

Thanks again to Tom & Janet Krakauer, Debbie May, and Corey White for making facilities available for us at the NC Museum of Life and Science.

Here are some bulleted highlights and points of interest from the survey:

— Brian Bockhahn located the first Zebra Swallowtail ever for the Durham count (usually mid-August is between broods for this species here)

— 4 species were missed for the first time ever on this count (Clouded Sulphur, Great Spangled Fritillary, Northern Pearly-eye, Northern Broken-Dash)

— Record low numbers (due in part to non-coverage of a key area) for the 5 years of this count for 7 species: Orange Sulphur, Eastern Tailed-Blue, Variegated Fritillary, Monarch, Crossline Skipper, Little Glassywing, and Zabulon Skipper.

— Record high numbers for the 5 years of this count for: Cabbage White, American Snout, Question Mark, American Lady, Silver-spotted Skipper, Wild Indigo Duskywing, and Fiery Skipper.

— Note that butterfly numbers (as do most animal populations) naturally vary considerably from year to year as part of natural cycles (e.g. due to predator/prey relationships, environmental fluctuations, etc.). For example, last year we had record lows of Cabbage White, American Lady, and Question Mark. This year they were in record high numbers! While fun to note, it’s important to keep in mind that this is a normal natural phenomenon.

— Wild Indigo Duskywings are doing well in the Duke Gardens, where their host plant (Baptisia) grows. Duke Gardens is a great place to see lots of butterflies fairly easily nectaring on a variety of garden plants.

— Morning conditions were in the mid 70s, overcast, and rainy; with very little wind. Afternoon saw temps nearing 90 deg. F., and partly sunny

Here are the results:

8 Pipevine Swallowtail
1 Zebra Swallowtail
12 Black Swallowtail
218 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
53 Spicebush Swallowtail
59 Cabbage White
1 Orange Sulphur
61 Cloudless Sulphur
28 Sleepy Orange
2 Juniper Hairstreak
8 Gray Hairstreak
2 Red-banded Hairstreak
26 Eastern Tailed-Blue
15 Summer Azure
24 American Snout
10 Variegated Fritillary
2 Silvery Checkerspot
241 Pearl Crescent
75 Question Mark
12 Eastern Comma
49 American Lady
1 Painted Lady
41 Red Admiral
252 Common Buckeye
55 Red-spotted Purple
21 Viceroy
19 Hackberry Emperor
4 Tawny Emperor
1 Appalachian Brown
2 Gemmed Satyr
20 Carolina Satyr
3 Common Wood-Nymph
5 Monarch
421 Silver-spotted Skipper
8 Hoary Edge
3 Southern Cloudywing
24 Horace’s Duskywing
1 Zarucco Duskywing
13 Wild Indigo Duskywing
17 Com. Checkered-Skipper
11 Common Sootywing
11 Swarthy Skipper
72 Clouded Skipper
13 Least Skipper
256 Fiery Skipper
1 Tawny-edged Skipper
5 Crossline Skipper
32 Southern Broken-Dash
13 Little Glassywing
334 Sachem
7 Delaware Skipper
9 Zabulon Skipper
1 Dion Skipper
18 Dun Skipper
38 Ocola Skipper

Non-Adults: 1 Black Swallowtail cat

55 Total Species

2640 Total Individuals

Wilmington Count, August 23, 2003



Despite the approach of a cold front, thunderstorms held off until>about 4:30, after we were finished for the day. Fortunately, we had enough folks for 3 parties — Derb Carter covering Figure Eight I., Will Cook and Randy Emmitt covering some spots like Tinga Nursery and Sidbury Road spots, and Mike Smith and I covering Cape Fear River marshes and Castle Hayne spots near the NE Cape Fear. The weather was typical for the place and time, very muggy, reasonably sunny, and temps reaching the upper 80s. Of course, rainfall had been plentiful, so mosquitoes kept us company, and we had a good count of them! The disappointment was the mainly complete destruction of the Eagle Island dikes for butterflies. We were able to work the edges of the fields on the island, but overall we got off to a slow start. Here’s the list, with a few comments along the way.

Black Swallowtail (13)
E. Tiger Swallowtail (10)
Spicebush Swallowtail (4)
Palamedes Swallowtail (30) Alas, no Giant Swallowtail this time
Cabbage White (1)
Orange Sulphur (2)
Cloudless Sulphur (355)
Little Yellow (8)
Sleepy Orange (57)
Great Purple Hairstreak (1)
Gray Hairstreak (11)
Red-banded Hairstreak (4) but, no blues/azures
Gulf Fritillary (38)
Variegated Fritillary (5)
Pearl Crescent (28)
Question Mark (1)
American Lady (2)
Painted Lady (3)
Red Admiral (2)
Common Buckeye (102)
Red-spotted Purple (2)
Viceroy (9)
Carolina Satyr (12)
Monarch (10)
Silver-spotted Skipper (82)
Long-tailed Skipper (31)
Southern Cloudywing (1)
Horace’s Duskywing (13)
Zarucco Duskywing (6)
Common Checkered-Skipper (2)
Swarthy Skipper (1)
Clouded Skipper (127)
Least Skipper (31)
Southern Skipperling (2)
Fiery Skipper (53)
Whirlabout (9)
Southern Broken-Dash (4)
Delaware Skipper (4) Missed Rare Skipper again
Byssus Skipper (5)
Broad-winged Skipper (19)
Dion Skipper (6)
Dukes’ Skipper (2)
Dun Skipper (1)
CAROLINA ROADSIDE-SKIPPER (5) I believe new to the count
Eufala Skipper (4)
Twin-spot Skipper (1)
BRAZILIAN SKIPPER (1) Second for the count
Salt Marsh Skipper (350)
Ocola Skipper (47)

Total: 49 species. Ouch! Where was #50? We have hit 50 on a previous occasion. But, we had fun, and Mike Smith, visiting from upstate VA, got a handful of lifers, so it was nice finding some new things for him. Trouble was — what party should he go with, to maximize his chances? He went with me, and we failed on a long hot walk to find Rare Skipper again. Via cell phone, we heard of two lifers for him at Tinga seen by Will and Randy, so we went there later on. And, we got the Brazilian Skipper that was missed by them!

This may well be the last count here. Or, I may switch to every two years, alternating with a circle to the south centered at Fort Fisher, to include Bald Head I., Caswell Beach, etc. Yes, 49 species is a fine total. But, there is hardly any public land in the circle, the traffic and new road construction isn’t fun to deal with, etc. We shall see.

Harry LeGrand
NC Natural Heritage Program

Croatan National Forest Count, August 24, 2003



The Croatan National Forest count was held yesterday, the 24th, a day after a strong cold front passage. Thus, temps and humidity were down slightly. But, somehow, we were all sweating profusely by 10 am! Maybe the drier air really didn’t kick in until later in the day. We were fortunate to have a good group — 7 in all, so we could split up into two parties. John Fussell and I worked some new areas — i.e., exploring, whereas Randy Emmitt, Will Cook, Mike Smith, Clancy Ballenger, and Gail Lankford worked places we’ve traditionally worked in the past. We had a record count, reaching 51 species; I think the old mark was 48. But — this is the first time we’d ever split into two groups, so that was the difference! Five of us were still counting until 5:45! We had a remarkable number of things in the shade after 5 pm, adding 3 species to push us over the 50 mark. In general, the heavy rainfall meant lots of water and moisture in ditches, savannas, etc. But, only selected spots had been burned during the year, so good nectar sources weren’t abundant. Here’s the list:

Black Swallowtail (2)
E. Tiger Swallowtail (19)
Spicebush Swallowtail (19)
Palamedes Swallowtail (450)
Orange Sulphur (1)
Cloudless Sulphur (215)
Little Yellow (35) Very good total
Sleepy Orange (60)
Great Purple Hairstreak (1)
Gray Hairstreak (7)
Red-banded Hairstreak (20)
Eastern Tailed-Blue (4)
Summer Azure (22)
Pearl Crescent (60)
Question Mark (1)
EASTERN COMMA (4) I believe new to count; no previous records for Jones or Craven!
Painted Lady (1) Alas, no American Lady
Red Admiral (1)
Common Buckeye (175)
Red-spotted Purple (9)
Viceroy (7)
Southern Pearly-eye (2) plus 1-2 pearly-eye sp.
Gemmed Satyr (2)
Carolina Satyr (90)
Georgia Satyr (75) excellent count; NABA record??
Common Wood-Nymph (6)
Monarch (2)
Silver-spotted Skipper (30)
Southern Cloudywing (4)
Horace’s Duskywing (17)
Zarucco Duskywing (9)
Common Checkered-Skipper (1)
Swarthy Skipper (15)
Clouded Skipper (76)
Least Skipper (3)
Fiery Skipper (11)
Tawny-edged Skipper (18)
Crossline Skipper (1)
Southern Broken-Dash (8)
Little Glassywing (2)
Arogos Skipper (10) second highest; only remaining area in NC
Delaware Skipper (17)
BYSSUS SKIPPER (31) New to count! Seen in maybe 10 or more pots! What gives??
Zabulon Skipper (1)
Dun Skipper (13)
Lace-winged Roadside-Skipper (57) NABA record??
Carolina Roadside-Skipper (113) NABA record; previous record was one we had, at 60 (I believe)
Reversed Roadside-Skipper (3)
Eufala Skipper (1)
Twin-spot Skipper (9) very low count this time
Ocola Skipper (14)

Total: 51 species. Little Metalmark was a bad miss, and maybe a first ever. The third brood simply was late this year. I’ll bet they will be common in a few weeks. The third brood normally begins around Aug. 20. This would have been a lifer for a number of the group. Otherwise, this was a great count. It’s wonderful being in natural habitat all day, on dirt roads away from traffic, etc. And, to finish the day, we saw a lifer orchid, as John took us to a spot — in poison-ivy — where he had discovered the rare Malaxis spicata the previous day!

Harry LeGrand
NC Natural Heritage Program

Myrtle Beach Count, Oct 18-19, 2003


The Carolina Butterfly Society had a great trip to the Myrtle Beach area this weekend for our butterfly walk at Brookgreen Gardens. Saturday started cool and cloudy, but the sun came out by mid morning and stayed with us all day. We saw 21 species of butterflies on Saturday, and brought that total up to 23 the next day.

Most notable was the enormous number of Long-tailed Skippers; there were thousands of them throughout the weekend, so many that we gave up trying to count them. First runner up was Cloudless Sulfur, most heading north, which numbered in the hundreds. Ocola Skippers ran a close third in terms of numbers. Monarchs were scarce, however. We only saw one on Saturday at Brookgreen, although those folks who stayed over on Sunday saw about a dozen, all heading north, in Huntington Beach State Park.

Our list of butterflies (plus approximate numbers) included:

Black Swallowtail (12)
Cabbage White (1)
Cloudless Sulfur (200+)
Little Sulphur (2)
Sleepy Orange (1)
Gray Hairstreak (2)
Red-banded Hairstreak (2)
Gulf Fritillary (25 + 20 cats)
Pearl Crescent (4)
American Lady (2)
Painted Lady (1)
Common Buckeye (3)
Carolina Satyr (2)
Monarch (15)
Silver-spotted Skipper (4
Long-tailed Skipper (2000+)
Checkered skipper sp. (10, all in one colony)
Clouded Skipper (4)
Fiery Skipper (5)
Whirlabout (1)
Broad-winged Skipper (3)
Brazilian Skipper (no adults, 4 cats)
Ocola Skipper (50+)

Dennis Burnette
Greensboro, NC