New County Record – Lupine Blue found in Phelps County

Several weeks ago I took a short walk around Jones Federal Waterfowl Production Area (just southwest of Holdrege) and thought it might be good Regal Fritillary habitat. Today my wife (Jen), sister (Peggy) and two friends (Pat and Diane Miller) went back there to see if that was actually the case. While we did finally see two regal fritillaries (who were not at all interested in nectaring or posing for pictures) the surprise find of the day was finding three Lupine Blues (previously known as Acmon Blues) which had not previously been found in Phelps County. While we also found a smattering of other common species, Great Gray Coppers were bordering on abundant. An updated distribution map is illustrated below.

This butterfly typically inhabits mixed to shortgrass prairies in the western half of the state and larvae feed on buckwheats (Eriogonum sp), lupines or other legumes. This discovery is somewhat unusual in that it was found in what (to my mind) would be considered a tall grass prairie. It’s larval hostplant at this location is unknown. Adults have been found in the state from late May to late August, indicating at least two broods.

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