Vanessa Butterfly Migration Project; Request for Red Admiral, Painted Lady Sightings

Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Sun Mar 31 19:09:49 EST 2002

I've got one, I've got one, Royce, Royce, I've got one.
It (a shiny new Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta) demanded that it get 
special mention, with much description. It is my first in this garden 
this spring.
Latitude 26.58990 North; Longitude 80.076444 west. Lake Bass Drive, Lake 
Osborne Estates, Lake Worth Florida. Small and more orange than red.
Easter, April 31 2002, about 4 p.m., in just such a glade as you 
describe in your excellent web page. Presumably a little gentleman. Fred.
It objected strongly to my presence, and bopped me on the head, then sat 
on my husband's foot (or a foot which had previously belonged to said 
husband) and showed off for a while.
When I got up to go get the camera, it promptly grabbed my chair and 
would not give it up when I returned. Naturally, as soon as I got the 
battery in and all, the butterfly left.
I will be out there tomorrow afternoon, prepared with the camera, as I 
appear to have created the perfect landing place for Red Admirals, and 
you promise a repeat performance.
I would have thought I was being fanciful, Royce, but you have pictures 
of just such behavior, and carefully worded explanations.
I never actually duked it out with a butterfly before, although wasps 
and I have had occasional run-ins. Sometimes I win, sometimes they win.

I will be butterfly watching April 7-21, with Paul specially in mind, as 
I will be crossing the ocean at the time. If I see any Vanessas, I will 
certainly tell you.
There will be at least one Red Admiral in my Irish garden when I get 
there, April 25. There will also probably be an Orange-Tip male.
Anne Kilmer
Butterfly Coalition

Royce J Bitzer wrote:

> Leps-L Members,
> This message is to announce the start of the 2002 _Vanessa_ Butterfly 
> Migration Project.  In a way similar to Journey North's Monarch 
> tracking, we will be mapping migration and seasonal distribution of four 
> _Vanessa_ butterflies in North America:
> Red Admiral (_Vanessa atalanta_)
> Painted Lady (_Vanessa cardui_)
> American Lady (_Vanessa virginiensis_)
> West Coast Lady (_Vanessa annabella_)
> 1.      We are looking for observers to tell us the first date that they 
> see (or have seen) any of these butterflies in their area, and the 
> numbers seen that day.  If the butterfly was a permanent winter resident 
> in your area this year, please tell us likewise.
> 2.      If there are noticeable directional migrations of these species 
> this year, we would appreciate your reports of these migrations.
> 3.      Reports of presence or abundance of these butterflies later in 
> the season are also welcome.  We encourage multiple observations from 
> the same region.
> Please include your full name, e-mail address, the location from which 
> you observed, and the date or dates when you see these butterflies.  For 
> evident directional migrations, please include also the direction toward 
> which they seem to be moving.  A rough estimate of how frequently they 
> are passing through (for example, 10 butterflies over 20 minutes) would 
> also be helpful, as would notes on temperature, wind speed and 
> direction, and type and extent of cloud cover.
> For more information about this project and how to report your 
> observations, see the Red Admiral and Painted Lady Research Site
> Select the links "Help track the 2002 North American Migrations" and 
> "How to Report Your Observations."  We are taking observations through 
> e-mail (mariposa at at the moment, but hope to have a 
> reporting form and database available soon to make reporting easier.
> We have also included maps of the progress of the large spring 2001 Red 
> Admiral and Painted Lady migrations at
> Last spring, as many of you may recall, I requested springtime Red 
> Admiral migration sightings from observers on Leps-L.  These included 
> both sightings of the first Red Admiral of the season and of migrating 
> Red Admirals, mostly in the eastern and midwestern U.S.  At the same 
> time, a Painted Lady migration was underway in the western states, and 
> many people likewise posted their observations.  Many of the sightings 
> included on these maps are from data you sent to me or to Leps-L last 
> year.  Now I can show you on these maps what the patterns of last year's 
> migrations were like.  Thanks again to everyone for their observations.
> If anyone else has observations from last year that they would like to 
> share, please feel free to send these to us also.  We will add them to 
> the existing maps.
> Thank you for your time and interest,
> Royce Bitzer
> mariposa at
> Department of Entomology
> 113A Insectary
> Iowa State University
> Ames, Iowa  50011-3140


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