10-10-14 Butterfly Field Note

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10-10-14 Butterfly Field Note

October 10, 2014

Jeff Pippen's Butterfly Field Note details Milbert’s Tortoiseshells, Orange Sulphurs, and Green Commas.

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Butterfly Field Note End of season butterfly surveys and sightings Jeffrey S. Pippen 8 Oct 2014

I continued weekly Pollard Transect surveys. Below are the data from the end of season butterfly surveys in three draws.

Using its long, coiled tongue like a straw, a Juba Skipper nectars on rabbitbrush.

Autumn brings an abundance of Cabbage Whites. This individual takes nectar from broccoli in the Top House garden. Female Cabbage Whites lay eggs on various members of the cabbage family. This Cabbage White caterpillar eats leaves of the broccoli plant above.

The field crew dug sediment from the channel in Upper Woodchuck to improve water flow. This created a moist mud resource used by hundreds of insects this fall, including this late season Common Wood-Nymph. Several species of commas, including this Green Comma, puddled on the newly available mud.

Rabbitbrush in the Education Garden provides nectar for this Orange Sulphur. Orange Sulphurs differ from Clouded Sulphurs by showing orange suffusion into the yellow ground color. Some female sulphurs are nearly white and cannot be identified to species in the field. This individual could be either an Orange Sulphur or a Clouded Sulphur.

Mourning Cloaks take sap from sapsucker wells at MPG North. Related to Mourning Cloaks, this Milbert’s Tortoiseshell nectars on rabbitbrush near Sniper’s Roost.

A crab spider peeks around the corner of a nodding thistle in the boondocks. This Nordmann’s Orbweaver awaits lunch in its web at MPG North.

A stink bug tries to blend in on ninebark in Phenology Plot #106. Closely related to stink bugs, this shield-backed bug landed on my butterfly net near Woodchuck Creek.

My final butterfly survey of the season in early October along Woodchuck Creek produced more than just insects! This Common Garter Snake takes refuge under shrubbery as I approach. A Racer tastes the air with its tongue as I inch closer with the camera.

I often encounter bipedal fauna when conducting surveys, exemplified by Alan working with a camera trap. Bre searches the air for migrating raptors from Baldy Ridge.

Marirose discusses pollinator activities with visiting bee researchers in Tongue Creek Kate searches for Northern Saw-whet Owls in Baldy Draw.

Tyler and Beau position a scale for photographing tree growth. Not commonly encountered, Poison Ivy is a wildlife-friendly native that lends fall color to its surroundings.

An American Goldfinch sings in a tree near the Top House. Not to be outdone, this Western Tanager lets its presence be known!

Next Field Note

10-24-14 Field Note