lep population explosions

DR. JAMES ADAMS jadams at Carpet.dalton.peachnet.edu
Tue Sep 15 13:35:57 EDT 1998

Dear Listers,

          Been a while since I gave any sort of field report, so I'll 
try to make up for it.  As I said recently, few Monarchs, but we are 
having good flights of P. sennae, E. lisa, P. ocola and U. proteus.

           Recently, I made a couple of trips out to a site on the 
west side of Pigeon Mountian, west of LaFayette in Walker Co., in NW 
GA.  Two lep species are having flights like I have never witnessed 
before.  The White M Hairstreak (Parhassius m-album) is flying in 
huge numbers.  I probably saw at least a couple of hundred specimens, 
when I'm used to seeing less than ten in an entire year.  Also out in 
tremendous numbers is the lovely orange and black day-flying 
lithosiine arctiid Lycomorpha pholus, which again I am used to seeing 
in batches of five to ten.  I've probably seen close to a thousand in 
the two days I've visited this site.  Also impressive is the flight 
of the Snout Butterfly (Libytheana bachmanii), as well as a healthy 
flight of the Great Purple Hairstreak (Atlides halesus), along with 
several Swallowtail species and several other Sulphur species.  Gray 
Hairstreaks (Strymon melinus) and Red-Banded Hairstreaks (Calycopis 
cecrops) are also flying strong.

           On the moth front, the first Virgo Tiger Moth (Grammia 
virgo) and Intermediate Tiger Moth (G. parthenice intermedia) of the 
season showed up Saturday night, as well as two new state records for 
Georgia, the noctuids Sutyna privata and a Papaipema near 
arctivorens (when it's off the boards, Eric, I'll send it your way).  
Several Underwings (Catocala) are now flying, after a 
generally bad year for most species; these include C. carrissima, 
vidua, lacrymosa, insolabilis, and a couple of others that were not 
viewed close up.  For you geometrid enthusiasts, there is a nice 
flight of Caripeta aretaria going on right now.  All in all, shaping 
up to be a real nice fall season here in N. Georgia, with the 
possible exception of the lack of Monarchs.


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