Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sinlahekin in May

I spent May 9th-11th at the Sinlahekin Wildlife Area, enjoying the beautiful weather and butterflies.  The list came to 31 species:
Erynnis icelus - Dreamy Duskywing
E. persius - Persius Duskywing
Pyrgus ruralis - Two-banded Checkered Skipper
Pholisora catullus - Common Sootywing
Papilio zelicaon - Anise Swallowtail
P. rutulus - Western Tiger Swallowtail
P. multicaudata - Two-Tailed Swallowtail
P. eurymedon - Pale Tiger Swallowtail
Pontia sisymbrii - Spring White (female)
Pieris rapae - Cabbage White
Euchloe ausonides - Large Marble
Anthocaris sara - Sara's Orangetip
Colias philodice - Clouded Sulphur
C. eurytheme - Orange Sulphur
Lycaena helloides - Purplish Copper
Callophrys spinetorum - Thicket Hairstreak
C. augustinus - Brown Elfin
C. eryphon - Western Pine Elfin
Celastrina echo - Echo Blue
Glaucopsyche piasus - Arrowhead Blue
G. lygdamus - Silvery Blue
Plebejus icarioides - Boisduval's Blue
Plebejus lupini - Lupine Blue (one fresh male)
Euphydryas anicia - Anicia Checkerspot
Polygonia satyrus - Satyr Anglewing
P. faunus - Green Anglewing
Nymphalis vaualbum - Compton Tortoiseshell (one very faded/tattered individual
being chased by an equally ratty Cloak)
N. antiopa - Mourning Cloak (lots everywhere, all faded)
Aglais milberti - Milbert's Tortoiseshell
Coenonympha tullia - Ochre Ringlet
Erebia epipsodea - Butler's Alpine

Bullsnake in the road
Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon
Two-tailed Swallowtail Papilio multicaudata
Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus
Silvery Blue Glaucopsyche lygdamus
Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus) egg on lupine flower buds
Arrowhead Blues Glaucopsyche piasus
Boisduval's Blues Plebejus icarioides
Echo Azure Celastrina echo
Echo Azure Celastrina echo (dark form)
Hatched egg (white "donut" on upper-right clump of Ceanothus buds) of Echo Azure
Brown Elfin Callophrys augustinus
Anicia Checkerspot Euphydryas anicia
Anicia Checkerspot Euphydryas anicia
Anicia Checkerspot Euphydryas anicia
Mourning Cloak (well worn, overwintered adult) Nymphalis antiopa
Bat emerging from the bunkhouse attic, through a hole in the flashing next to the chimney
Bats waiting to emerge from the bunkhouse attic!
Arrowleaf Balsamroot covering a hillside
Chokecherry blooming
Snowberry bushes, chokecherry, and other plants among the ponderosa pine trees

Lorquin's Admiral update

On May 14 (last Tuesday), exactly one week from when the larva pupated, this gorgeous Lorquin's Admiral emerged.  This is from the larva I found during my trip to the Deschutes River Canyon the previous week.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Deschutes River Canyon trip report

Yesterday, May 4, I spent the day exploring the Deschutes River Canyon in the recreational area north of Sherar's Bridge (north of Maupin and south of The Dalles) in Oregon.  I arrived around 10:30am and the temperature was already up to a warm 72F.  By the time I left around 3pm, the temperature had climbed to 84F, although a few places I stopped at had registered 88F.  It was very breezy all day with frequent gusts probably up to 30mph, which made photographing very many plants and butterflies rather difficult, but I still managed to get a nice species list. The highlight was finding a Lorquin's Admiral (Limenitis lorquini) caterpillar on coyote (aka sandbar) willow (Salix exigua).  Although I see many adult Lorquin's every year, this is the first larva I've seen of that species.  Also, unless I'm much mistaken, I think I saw a Monarch go zipping by in the wind. The glimpse I had was only a second or two, but it looked as big as a swallowtail and glinted orange in the sun, so I'm not sure what else it could have been.
Update 5/6/2013 - a local butterfly expert who studies monarch migration affirmed that monarchs have been seen moving northward much more rapidly this year than in recent history, so what I saw was very likely one of the first to arrive in this area this year.
Species list for the day:
Pholisora catallus - Common Sootywing x5
Hesperia juba - Juba Skipper x7
Papilio zelicaon - Anise Swallowtail x1
Papilio indra - Indra Swallowtail x3
Papilio rutulus - Western Tiger Swallowtail x1
Papilio multicaudata - Two-tailed Swallowtail x1
Colias sp. - unidentified sulphur (flew by in the wind)
Pontia beckerii - Becker's White x8
Plebejus melissa - Melissa Blue x1 slightly-worn male
Plebejus lupini/acmon - Lupine/Acmon Blue x9 (fresh males, all associated with Eriogonum compositum)
Plebejus icarioides - Boisduval's Blue x4 (all fresh males)
Nymphalis antiopa - Mourning Cloak x1
Limenitis lorquini - Lorquin's Admiral, 1 larva
Coenonympha tullia - Ochre Ringlet 10+
Danaus plexippus - Monarch x1

For reference, the Lorquin's Admiral caterpillar is a little over an inch long, and yes, it is supposed to look like a bird dropping!
Lorquin's Admiral Limenitis lorquini larva on Coyote Willow Salix exigua
Lorquin's Admiral Limenitis lorquini larva 
Lorquin's Admiral Limenitis lorquini larva 
Lorquin's Admiral Limenitis lorquini larva 
Lorquin's Admiral pre-pupal larva
Lorquin's Admiral pre-pupal larva
Indra Swallowtail Papilio indra on the shore of the Deschutes River north of Maupin, Oregon
Boisduval's Blue Plebejus icarioides (left) and Lupine/Acmon Blue P. lupini/acmon, both males
Lupine/Acmon Blue P. lupini/acmon male
Becker's White Pontia beckerii male
Juba Skipper Hesperia juba male
Ochre Ringlet Coenonympha tullia on lance-leaved stonecrop Sedum lanceolatum
Some kind of spider, hanging out with the tiger beetles
Twelve-spotted Tiger Beetle Cicindela doudecimguttata - the body of this little guy is only a half-inch long!
Northern buckwheat Eriogonum compositum
Lance-leaved stonecrop Sedum lanceolatum