Bent of the River Audubon Sanctuary, Southbury
Epmanshell at aol.com
Epmanshell at aol.com
Sat Jun 12 17:47:07 EDT 2004
Saturday, June 12th-The weather today was so beautiful I decided to jump the
gun and visit Bent of the River Sanctuary a week in advance of John
Himmelman's field trip. My butterfly list for the day is as follows:
Tiger Swallowtail (species undetermined) (4)
Apparent Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail (1) (see comments below)
Spicebush Swallowtail (1)
Cabbage White (23)
Clouded Sulphur (1)
Orange Sulphur (1)
Summer Azure (5)
Pearl Crescent (1)
Question Mark (1) (very worn)
Eastern Comma (5) (very fresh)
Milbert's Tortoiseshell (2) (I had one patrolling around the field in front
of the parking area. One of the staff had one in the butterfly garden next to
the red barn.)
American Lady (1)
Red Admiral (2)
Little Wood Satyr (5)
Silver-spotted Skipper (1)
European Skipper (64)
Peck's Skipper (1)
Tawny-edged Skipper (1)
Hobomok Skipper (2)
The basis for concluding that at least that one Tiger Swallowtail is an
Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail is as follows:
1.The insect was relatively fresh. It may have been flying for a week or two
but was much too fresh to be part of the first brood of Eastern Tiger
Swallowtails. It is a male.
2. I examined the specimen closely for an extended period of time. The yellow
submarginal spots on the underside of the forewing are united into a single
yellow band with straight edges which is as wide as the black margined olive
gray band just within it. That's a good field mark for Appalachian Tiger
3. On the underside of the hindwing, there was a broad light blue band with a
very narrow black line on the inside of the blue. Especially later in the
year, Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are darker blue with extensive black markings.
4. The insect stayed very close to the edge of the woods or on the dirt road
running through the woods. It stayed close to the ground and did not fly out
into the open fields nor did it fly high up into the trees. This is a behavior
observed by Alex Grkovich (sp?) in an earlier post regarding apparent
Appalachian Tiger Swallowtails.
5. The tips of the tails were narrow and pointed, and not clubbed like
typical Eastern Tiger Swallowtails.
6. The insect is distinguishable from Canadian Tiger Swallowtail because the
black band at the base of the wings was too narrow.
If anyone want to check out this individual, go up the dirt road from the
barn heading up into the woods and take the first path going left into the field.
The swallowtail was nectaring on phlox on the dirt road and the phlox right
next to the woods.
I also note that there are other Tiger Swallowtails flying around. The other
Tiger Swallowtails I got a good look at where flying across the open field
and high up into the trees. On at least three of those individuals, there were
noticeable black veins crossing the yellow submarginal band on the underside
of the forewing. I'm not sure what to make of those other Tiger Swallowtails.
In closing, I want to urge butterfliers to join John Himmelman next Saturday
6/19 for the CBA field trip. If today is any indication, this should be a
pretty productive outing.
PS-While I was sitting out on my deck, putting together the field notes for
the day, I just had a Painted Lady visit my yard, the first one I've seen this
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