While most other butterflies have passed their peak numbers, the same cannot be said for Marine Blues. This past weekend five observers reported Marine Blues from six counties where they had not been previously reported. Colin Croft found one in Banner County in the far southern reaches of Wildcat Hills SRA. Jonathan Nikkila found them at Davis Creek campground in Valley County and the Scotia Chalk Mine in Greeley County on aster and goldenrod. Neil and Jen Dankert ventured south across the Platte River and found them on alfalfa in Phelps and Kearney Counties while Diane Miller found them in Platte County (also on alfalfa).
For many years this was a rare to uncommon butterfly in Nebraska. But this year and last they have become almost common. They are permanent residents farther south but are breeding (on various legumes) strays in our area. Time will tell if these population surges are a passing occurrence or if they are going to be regularly common here in late summers.
There is still time to find more county records for this species before colder temps shut insect life down for the year. They are likely more numerous in more southerly counties but could be found anywhere in Nebraska. Look for small blues with a wavy pattern on their ventral hind wings. Check the map below to see what counties still need records. Let us know what you find at firstname.lastname@example.org