Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sinlahekin Summer 2012: by the numbers

I arrived at the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area at noon on June 28, and left around 10am on July 2. It was a great trip filled with many butterflies, and these numbers tell the story:
42 = total species observed
33 = species seen June 28
30 = species seen June 29
27 = species seen June 30
26 = species seen July 1
  3 = species seen July 2
  8 = species not seen in June before on the Sinlahekin
  1 = species not seen in July before on the Sinlahekin
  1 = new record for the Sinlahekin: Sonoran Skipper (Polites sonora)
  2 = species seen every day: Blue Copper (L. heteronea) and Boisduval's Blue (P. icarioides)
10 = species seen only once: Northern Cloudywing (T. pylades), Sonoran Skipper (P. sonora), Behr's Hairstreak (S. behrii), Echo Blue (C. echo), Greenish Blue (P. saepiolus), Arctic Blue (P. glandon), Callippe Fritillary (A. callippe), Hydaspe Fritillary (A. hydaspe), Green Anglewing (P. faunus), Dark Wood Nymph (C. oetus).
Polites sonora, Sonoran Skipper, first record of this species for the SWA
Species List
Thorybes pylades, Northern Cloudywing
Erynnis icelus, Dreamy Duskywing
Erynnis persius, Persius Duskywing
Hesperia colorado, Western Branded Skipper
Polites sonora, Sonoran Skipper
Amblyscirtes vialis, Common Roadside Skipper
Papilio zelicaon, Anise Swallowtail
Papilio rutulus, Western Tiger Swallowtail
Papilio multicaudata, Two-tailed Swallowtail
Papilio eurymedon, Pale Tiger Swallowtail
Pieris rapae, Cabbage White
Euchloe ausonides, Large Marble
Colias alexandra, Queen Alexandra's Sulphur
Lycaena heteronea, Blue Copper
Lycaena helloides, Purplish Copper
Lycaena nivalis, Lilac-bordered Copper
Satyrium behrii, Behr's Hairstreak
Cupido amyntula, Western Tailed Blue
Celastrina echo, Echo Blue
Euphilotes (on Eriogonum heracleoides), Cascadia Blue
Glaucopsyche lygdamus, Silvery Blue
Glaucopsyche piasus, Arrowhead Blue
Plebejus melissa, Melissa Blue
Plebejus saepiolus, Greenish Blue
Plebejus icarioides, Boisduval's Blue
Plebejus lupini, Lupine Blue
Plebejus glandon, Arctic Blue
Argynnis callippe, Callippe Fritillary
Argynnis hydaspe, Hydaspe Fritillary
Phyciodes cocyta, Northern Crescent
Phyciodes pulchella, Field Crescent
Euphydryas anicia, Anicia Checkerspot
Polygonia satyrus, Satyr Anglewing
Polygonia faunus, Green Anglewing
Nymphalis antiopa, Mourning Cloak
Aglais milberti, Milbert's Tortoiseshell
Limenitis lorquini, Lorquin's Admiral
Coenonympha tullia, Ochre Ringlet
Cercyonis pegala, Common Wood Nymph
Cercyonis oetus, Dark Wood Nymph
Erebia epipsodea, Butler's Alpine
Oeneis chryxus, Chryxus Arctic

I found dozens of Purplish Copper eggs all over this plant near Fish Lake, the first time I've seen the eggs or larvae of this species. I'm waiting to have the plant identified, it wasn't in bloom at the time which makes it difficult.
Purplish Copper ( Lycaena helloides) female and eggs
Purplish Copper ( Lycaena helloides) eggs 
Purplish Copper ( Lycaena helloides) larvae (3) and hatched eggs (5)
I hiked to where we found the Northern Cloudywing colony last year, and found several more eggs, and am also waiting for a positive ID on these (apparently two) species.
Northern Cloudywing (Thorybes pylades) egg on Vicia sp.
Northern Cloudywing (Thorybes pylades) egg on possible Lathyrus sp. 
Northern Cloudywing (Thorybes pylades) egg on possible Lathyrus sp. 
On the last day of my trip (morning of July 2) I spent some time searching for eggs and larvae of Boisduval's Blues (Plebejus icarioides) on lupine in an area that had been burned (controlled) early this year. The lupine was blooming profusely and I found several eggs and one adult female. In another location further south, I found a few more eggs and one larva.


  1. Wow that's a lot of different butterflies Pretty country too.

    1. Thanks Aunt Karen, and yes it's beautiful country!

  2. Great report and great photos, Caitlin! Do you realize most of your species list would all be lifers for me? I'm jealous. Wonderful job.

    1. Thanks, I plan to post more photos today so everyone can see what some of them look like. If you and Laura ever make it to Washington, I'll have to give you a tour of the Sinlahekin, or at least my favorite spots around Kittitas County. I still need to see the Viceroy and Red-spotted Purple that we didn't get to when I was in Oklahoma... the Viceroy is supposed to be in WA but I still haven't tracked it down, and both of those are ones I've wanted to see for a long time!

  3. Thanks for your excellent work: interpretation, education, photography, and sharing. You are much appreciated. Best, Nancy & John in Ellensburg on the Naneum Fan.