Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Late-season butterflies

On Sunday, September 4th, I explored the mountains northeast of Ellensburg with my parents. We primarily traveled along Naneum Ridge Road, between Schnebly and Colockum canyons. I expected to see a few butterflies, but not as many as we did. I counted 12-13 species, including at least a hundred female coronis fritillaries, and a couple dozen pine whites.
Nectaring on thistle in many areas:
Ochlodes sylvanoides (woodland skipper) ~20
Hesperia juba (juba skipper) ~15-20
Colias sp. 1
Neophasia menapia (pine white) ~20 males searching pine trees, 1 female
nectaring on thistle
Aglais milberti (Milbert's tortoiseshell) 2
Speyeria coronis (Coronis fritillary) couple dozen females on thistle, at least
a hundred flying along the roads and over meadows, generally heading downhill.
Near the headwaters of Coleman Creek:
Lycaena helloides (purplish copper) 1 male
Plebejus idas (northern blue) 1 female
Polygonia faunus (green anglewing) 2
Aglais milberti 1
All going nuts on what I believe was Ericameria bloomeri, "rabbitbrush goldenweed":
Plebejus anna (Anna's blue) 5-8 males, 3 females
Plebejus icarioides (Boisduval's blue) 1 male
Satyrium semiluna (halfmoon hairstreak) 1
Cercyonis sthenele (great basin woodnymph) 5-10
Ochlodes sylvanoides (woodland skipper) 5

I plan to write more detailed blog posts in the coming days about some of these species. For now, here is a sample of my photos from the day.

Ochre ringlet
Coronis fritillary
Coronis fritillary
Pine white
Pine white
Juba skipper
Juba skipper
Green anglewing
Green anglewing
Hillslope along Naneum Ridge Road
Woodland skipper & Anna's blue
Halfmoon hairstreak
Anna's blue