Santa Lucia Mountains, CA - 5/19/00

Mark Walker MWalker at
Thu Jun 1 01:40:27 EDT 2000

Sorry for the belated field report - I've got some catching up to do...

This report came following a drive south from San Jose week before last.  I
was able to spend a day in the higher elevations of the Santa Lucia
mountains - and enjoyed the late spring-like conditions with lots of
butterflies on the wing.  The highlight for me this day were the Speyeria
adiaste (ssp clemencei), which although commonly referred to as the
Unsilvered Fritillary, the ssp here is mostly (if not always) silvered.
Sorry - that last sentence was a mouthful (or is that earful?).

At lower elevations I was inundated by Gorgon Coppers (Lycaena gorgon) -
both male and female, and very fresh indeed.  Fresh male gorgons are
actually purple, so when these emerge in masse (as they did on May 19), it
can be quite colorful.  Flying with the Coppers were very fresh Plebejus
acmon with females mostly of the cottlei form (deep blue scales rather than
the usual brown).  All of these leps were fighting over the Buckwheat

I also found the smallest specimen of Callophrys augustinus I've ever seen -
not much larger than a Pygmy Blue.

Variable and Palla Checkerspots were on the wing.  The complete list:

Papilio zelicaon (Anise Swallowtail)
Papilio rutulus (Western Tiger Swallowtail)
Papilio eurymedon (Pale Swallowtail)

Anthocharis sara (Sara Orangetip)
Pontia protodice (Checkered White)
Pieris rapae (Cabbage White)
Colias eurytheme (Orange Sulpher)

Lycaena gorgon (Gorgon Copper)
Satyrium californica (California Hairstreak)
Satyrium sylvinus (Sylvan Hairstreak)
Callophrys augustinus (Brown Elfin)

Celastrina ladon (Spring Azure)
Euphilotes bernardino (Bernardino Blue)
Glaucopsyche lygdamus (Silvery Blue)
Plebejus icarioides (Boisduval's Blue)
Plebejus acmon (Acmon Blue)
Plebejus lupini (Lupine Blue)

Speyeria adiaste (Unsilvered Fritillary)
Chlosyne palla (Palla Checkerspot)
Euphydryas chalcedona (Chalcedon Checkerspot)
Vanessa cardui (Painted Lady)
Vanessa atalanta (Red Admiral)
Junonia coenia (Buckeye)
Adelpha bredowii (California Sister)
Coenonympha tullia (California Ringlet)
Danaus plexippus (Monarch)

Having fun back home,

Mark Walker
Mission Viejo, CA  

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