Phoebis sennae migration underway

Jim Springer springer at
Mon Aug 24 23:58:19 EDT 1998

Regarding Phoebis sennae (Cloudless Sulphur) migration in the northeast
USA, I have seen 2 individuals (Morris and Union Counties) and know of 2
others (Somerset and Essex Counties) that were seen in the past 4 days in
northeastern NJ  all in the Piedmont area--perhaps these are some of the
advanced scouts for the hordes to come.

Jim Springer
Mountainside, NJ
springer at

>Here's a "heads up" that may interest butterfliers in the northeast:
>Several days ago, I received two unconfirmed reports that large numbers of
>Phoebis sennae were moving north along the Delaware shore.  Additionally, I
>have just received a report for 8/23/98, that a very heavy northward movement
>of Phoebis sennae is occurring on the west side of Chesapeake Bay in Cecil
>Co., MD.  These were reported to be "everywhere".
>Though I have seen several P. sennae in May, here in Fairfax Co., VA., I have
>seen none all summer.  However, we have already found two larvae on Senna
>plants in our garden last week (8/17-8/18), that pupated by 8/20.  These are
>expected to emerge in the next week.
>These reports indicate that the late-season movement that reaches New York
>city and the New England coast in September is now underway!  This could
>portend to a very good season for P. sennae sightings in the northeast.
>Anybody along the way might want to track this movement as it progresses
>northward and hopefully report to leps-L or other newsgroup, so the movement
>can be documented.
>Many of these migrants clearly orginated in the Chesapeake Bay region, but the
>big question is, did the main migration originate in eastern North Carolina?
>Back in early August, I observed virtually thousands of P. sennae in eastern
>North Carolina, along my travel route from the Morehead City area north to
>Virginia.  Based on my statistical sample, the actual population easily could
>have been in the millions.  Beside two localized movements nearer the coast,
>most of these showed no directional movement.
>The ultimate question is: how far north do these critters actually go?
>C' mon folks, does ANYONE have any field reports to post on Leps-L?
>Harry Pavulaan
>Herndon, VA.

More information about the Leps-l mailing list