This past weekend Jon Nikkila and Jen and I both found Firey Skippers (Hylephila phyleus) in previously unrecorded counties, Jon in Valley County and Jen and I in Polk County. In addition both Jon and I have seen Marine Blues (Leptotes marina) in our yards here in Buffalo County. Last weekend I saw one in Stanton County as well which, to my surprise, was not a county record. Apparently both of these southern species might presently be found statewide. Check the distribution maps below to see if you may be somewhere that still needs records for these species and be on the lookout for them. If you find any new records let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition Jen and I found two Dainty Sulfurs (Nathalis iole) at some sandy barrens and a Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) on alfalfa in Polk county where they had not previously been found. From there we went searching for wetlands that might hold Least Skippers and Viceroys. We did find some promising sites but neither of the butterflies. We’ll have to check them again next year. To cap off the day we saw a Red-spotted Purple in a friends yard in Osceola which verified an old 4H record.
Plus we managed to snag/tag and release three Monarchs. All in all a pretty productive September day conditions being what they were – temps in the 90’s and a boisterous wind out of the south.