Wyoming butterflies

Ernest Williams ewilliam at hamilton.edu
Mon Aug 7 11:07:45 EDT 2000

Lep folks,

I just returned from a few days in the mountains of northwestern Wyoming,
and here's what I found striking.  Overhead is hazy smoke from all the
western forest fires, and it is extraordinarily dry, especially below 8000
ft (about 2400 m).  The conditions are similar to 1988, the year of the
Yellowstone fires.

Only at high elevations are there many butterflies flying, and in the
alpine (10,000 ft, 3000 m), some are very abundant.  There are Erebias
everywhere - callias (Colorado Alpine) and theano (Theano Alpine) - as well
as lots of Colias meadii (Mead's Sulphur) and Agriades glandon (Arctic
Blue).  At low elevation (6000 ft, 1800 m), the only places to see anything
are the late-blooming composites, particularly Chrysothamnus (Rabbit
Brush), but Hesperia spp. are also nectaring on Grindelia (Gumweed).

Ernest Williams
Hamilton College,
Clinton, NY

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