Western Nebraska Spring Trip

After a week of watching the weather forecast, Monday Jen and I and the dog drove out to Chadron to try to locate as many of the spring flying butterfly species as we could before they vanished. We had been waiting for a couple of good days in succession and the forecast Sunday night wasContinue reading “Western Nebraska Spring Trip”

Return to Box Elder/Jeffry Canyon WMAs – Three new species and a “midden”

After being stuck on 23 species for the year for 12 days due to the cold snap and still stinging from being shut out at the Scotia Chalk Mine I made another trip to Lincoln county to check out Box Elder WMA for third time this year. It took till noon for the morning cloudsContinue reading “Return to Box Elder/Jeffry Canyon WMAs – Three new species and a “midden””

Happy Jack Peak/Scotia Chalk Mine

On Sunday May 17 Jen and I headed north to the Scotia Chalk Mine/Happy Jack Peak to meet our friends Pat and Diane Miller and Jon Nikkila to search for Fulvia Checkerspots (see May 6 entry) and any oak feeding Duskywings (see May 10 entry). The Chalk Mine is located in Howard county a coupleContinue reading “Happy Jack Peak/Scotia Chalk Mine”

Butterfly Gardening

If it’s not to late and you haven’t already purchased all your plants for the year you might consider some plants that attract and sustain our native butterflies and pollinators. There are several great resources for our state. The first is a NebGuide by Steve Spomer and Kim Todd titled “Butterfly Gardening.” It is availableContinue reading “Butterfly Gardening”

The Oak Feeding Duskywings

In Nebraska there are three Duskywings whose larvae feed on oaks, these being Juvenal’s (Erynnis juvenalis), Horace’s (E. horatius) and Sleepy (E. brizo). Two, Juvenal’s and Sleepy, fly only in the spring while Horace’s has three flights – spring, mid and late summer. They rarely stray far from oak trees and so their distribution inContinue reading “The Oak Feeding Duskywings”

Eastern NE Anglewings (Polygonia sp.)

There are three species found in eastern Nebraska – Polygonia interrogationis, P. comma and P. progne.  They differ from most other butterflies in that they overwinter as adults and often prefer rotting fruit or tree sap over flower nectar.  These three species are quite similar in appearance and while there can be several color phases or forms the descriptions belowContinue reading “Eastern NE Anglewings (Polygonia sp.)”

Harlan County Spring Trip

Ever since finding the first and only specimen of the Cobweb Skipper (Hesperia metea) in Nebraska at this site on May 2 1989 I’ve frequently revisited this location trying to recapture lightning in a bottle (or a skipper in a net) but to no avail. But over the years I’ve found quite an interesting mixContinue reading “Harlan County Spring Trip”

Return to Box Elder WMA

On May 3 I met Jon Nikkila at Box Elder SWMA in Lincoln county for a second look at this WMA. Our first visit was very early (April 11) and we looked almost exclusively for Giant Yucca Skipper tents (of which we found two) along with one Olympia Marblewing. This trip the main target speciesContinue reading “Return to Box Elder WMA”

Another little known NE butterfly Chlosyne fulvia – Fulvia Checkerspot

This is another “recent” discovery in the state, having first been discovered in the mid 1980s.  Once again, after being found and investigating promising habitats, it has been found at numerous locations.  This butterfly is closely associated with it’s larval hostplant Castilleja sessiliflora or Downy Paintbrush. This plant is most often found on hilltops, mainly in theContinue reading “Another little known NE butterfly Chlosyne fulvia – Fulvia Checkerspot”

Road trip to Indian Cave State Park

Welcome back!!  Since our initial April 11 foray to Box Elder SWMA (where we found two species) winter has been back to central Nebraska several times and spring seems to be on hold.  But my wife Jen and I did find two new species (for 2020) at Sandy Channel SRA where we walk – a checkered skipper andContinue reading “Road trip to Indian Cave State Park”