Just when you thought it was over …

A couple more October county records to report: On October 16 Colin Croft photographed a Crescent butterfly in the Wildcat Hills of southern Scotts Bluff County. We forwarded the photograph to Steve Spomer at UNL who shared it with other experts and identified it as a Mylitta Crescent (Phyciodes mylitta). Scotts Bluff County is only the fifth county in the state where the Mylitta Crescent has been found (it is primarily western in distribution). It is ranked as an S1, Tier 2 species in the Nebraska Natural Heritage Program administered by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

Mylitta Crescent, Wildcat Hills, Scotts Bluff Co NE, October 16 2022, Colin Croft

Then on October 20 Jim Reiser took time out from catching (and releasing) fish in Boyd County to observe a Marine Blue (Leptotes marina) where it had not previously been reported. Which answers my question as to how far north this southern stray made it this past summer. At least to the South Dakota border. That makes 17 county records in Nebraska for this butterfly in 2022. Now I’m curious as to whether this influx is a one year phenomenon or will be part of a longer trend.

After a couple of frosts and a light freeze the weather has been great here in central Nebraska. Most of the nectar sources and butterflies are gone but a few of each are still hanging on. Perhaps we can record a county record in November!! Let us know if you see anything you consider noteworthy at nebraskabutterflies@gmail.com.

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