Northward creep of C. gemma and H. sosybius

Smith, Richard H. Richard.Smith at
Tue Oct 7 13:53:33 EDT 2003

Hi John,

H. sosybius had been historically rare in Maryland with records only
occurring in the Southern Maryland sector (west of the Chesapeake Bay in
Charles and Calvert Counties only).  However, the species staged an
irruption in Maryland in 2001, being abundant in Charles County.  One record
even occurred in Montgomery County in Central Maryland about 20 miles
northwest of DC, and another in Wicomico County on the Maryland Eastern
Shore (both verified by good photo-vouchers).  In the past couple of years
however, it has apparently returned to previous levels.  I'm not aware of
anyone surveying for it lately, but there have been no new reports of it at
such non-typical locations.  C. gemma has only been reported twice in this
region, the latest over 20 years ago; and thus, it is at most a stray here.

Dick Smith
State Coordinator for MD, DE, and DC
USGS NPWRC Butterfly Mapping Resource  

-----Original Message-----
From: John Shuey [mailto:jshuey at]
Sent: Tuesday, October 07, 2003 10:35 AM
To: leps; TILS-leps-talk at
Subject: Northward creep of C. gemma and H. sosybius

Over the last few years, several folks have noticed that 2 satyrs, Cyllopsis
gemma and Hermeuptychia sosybius, are showing up at more and more spots in
Indiana - seemingly creeping northward.  For example - Shull's book, The
Butterflies of Indiana, doesn't even record H. sosybius and lists one
extreme south county for C. gemma.   Today, you can't hardly go to wooded
site along the Ohio River now and not encounter either of these species.
And C. gemma is now known from well off the Ohio River - like 50 miles.

Of course there are lots of explanations - and I've only been kicking around
Indiana for 10 years - but I find it hard top believe that these two species
could have been so badly missed for all those years.  Has anyone seen a
similar northward shift of range over the last decade for these species in
other parts of the country?

John Shuey
Director of Conservation Science
Indiana Office of The Nature Conservancy


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