Regal Fritillary in Ontario

Robert Kriegel kriegelr at
Tue Oct 17 13:47:22 EDT 2000

Hello all,

> Doris Applebaum, Debbie Aylward, and I [Chip Taylor I think] saw the
regal fritillary
> October 2, 2000 at the hawk tower at Holiday Beach (near Amherstburg,
> Ontario).  Debbie has seen the butterfly before and was positive of the ID.

For those who have not been to the hawk tower at Holiday beach it's really
quite spectacular.  You are standing at the top of a 50 foot (or taller)
tower, well above tree line, with a stunning long distance view of the sky.
 In the fall bird watchers flock to the site to watch the fall migration of
hawks, eagles, vultures, etc.

It would certainly be a good place and time to encounter the species as a
stray.  I was sampling in southern Michigan on Sept 29 - Oct 1.  The
weather was excellent for strays.  Warm and sunny with a strong wind out of
the Southwest coming all the way from the panhandle of Arkansas.  The winds
were ahead of a cold front moving East from the western U.S.

On the other hand, how close were they to the Regal?  What field marks
identified it as a Regal fritillary, rather than another Speyeria?  I have
been positive of IDS before that turned out to be wrong.  If it were true
it would indeed be an excellent record!  Unfortunately, I am too much of a
cynic; show me the photo or the specimen before I put it in the record

By the way, the last documented occurrence of Speyeria idalia in Michigan
was in 1984.  The colony had persisted at the location for several years
before that.  There were two visual sightings in 1992 by two different
individuals in widely separated counties.  Unfortunately, neither could be

Keep on buggin,
Bob Kriegel
Lansing, MI

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