Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at tils-ttr.org
Tue Mar 23 14:40:18 EST 2004

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Gochfeld" <gochfeld at eohsi.rutgers.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, March 23, 2004 7:34 AM
Subject: Re: TIGER TIME

> I had two fresh Tiger Swallowtails at Lake Puskus (20 mi east of Oxford
MS) on
> March 13th. Is that unusual.  Oxford is only one horticultural zone
"south" of
> NJ, but I wouldn't expect any Tigers here for another month.
> Mike Gochfeld

It might be a bit unusual for this year as the cold of winter was
prolonged, however, March has been pretty warm (to above normal) over much
of the South.  So all things considered, it is normal.  (Even for Oxford
being in north central MS.)  We had a frost last night here in Charleston
and only about 60 is projected for today, but we will get to 70 Wednesday
and back above 75 for the rest of the week.  Eastern Tigers come out around
here on the coast as soon a warm weather sets in which is usually the end
of February.

In the appalachiensis OD, the phenogram of glaucus and appalachiensis for
the northern VA area fits well any place in my experience.  P. glaucus has
a rather smooth continual flight from start to finish of the season.  While
P. appalachiensis has a monster two month flight in late spring / early
summer.   I say monster, as the numbers of Appy' are about 10 times as many
as glaucus _at any time_ in the glaucus season _at any location_ where the
two occur.  In other words, glaucus is the much less common taxon when and
where they occur together.

Now that this cat is out of the bag it provides the opportunity for
numerous field observations on the part of watchers in particular.  For
example, in the OD it was stated that coastal and southern glaucus do not
have a solid yellow line on the underside of the forewing margin - which
character is frequent in early season glaucus up north and thus can make
early specimens of northern glaucus confusable with both canadensis and
appalachiensis.   However, I have found that by paying attention to (even
looking for) first appearing southern glaucus that they ALSO have this
solid venter margin.  Now, it is only is the very first ones that emerge
from the cold in February it the all have that character.   It quickly
disappears as soon as adults emerge in frost free conditions. One
speculates that even in north FL that form of glaucus would be found in
individuals emerging when it still frosts at night (the climate of
Charleston, SC and Pensacola, FL is the same).   Numbers of black and
yellow females needs to be re-assessed in light of the fact that
appalachiensis is known to only have yellow females and glaucus seldom
yellow females in the TL area of NC.  How is this elsewhere... etc.  Well,
I got to go pick up my daughter from school... perhaps more later.



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