Giant Swallowtail

Steve Walter swalter15 at
Mon Jul 11 15:36:37 EDT 2011

Regarding Dion Skipper, the trend in Westchester County (admittedly further south) has been for the flight to be late June to very early July. At that time, Swamp Milkweed is not yet available and they're quite happy with Common Milkweed. The Dions seem to disappear so quickly compared to other skippers emerging at a similar time, but then it's such a smaller population. By the second weekend in July, they're pretty much gone and missed on the Westchester count. But who's complaining? Five years ago, they were very difficult to find in Westchester at any time.

Steve Walter

From: Epmanshell at 
Sent: Saturday, July 09, 2011 7:07 PM
To: ctleps-l at 
Subject: Re: Giant Swallowtail

After reading on the MA Leps list about the invasion of Giant Swallowtails in southern Berkshire County, on Saturday, 7/9, I visited northwestern Litchfield County to see if I could find a Giant Swallowtail in CT.

To my considerable surprise, I was successful and I saw one at Hollenbeck Preserve in Canaan.

Despite being badly tattered, it flew north against the steady northwest breeze, stopping only momentarily to nectar on Swamp Milkweed before continuing north out of sight.

The complete list for the day for follows. (Everything was seen at Hollenbeck Preserve):

Black Swallowtail (1)
Giant Swallowtail (1) (Obviously, my first of the year)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (2)
Clouded Sulphur (12)
Orange Sulphur (39)
Bronze Copper (1)
Eastern Tailed-Blue (1)
Great Spangled Fritillary (7)
Meadow Fritillary (2)
Baltimore Checkerspot (11)
Red Admiral (1)
Eyed Brown (26) (My first of the year)
Common Wood Nymph (4)
Monarch (3)
Silver-spotted Skipper (4)
Northern Broken Dash (1)
Little Glassywing (2)
Delaware Skipper (1)
Black Dash (2)

The only disappointment for the day was the fact that I was unable to find any Dion Skippers.  However, the fact that there was very little Swamp Milkweed in bloom (Swamp Milkweed is their favorite nectar plant) coupled with the steady NW breeze may have accounted for their apparent absence.

Lenny Brown

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