New to the state – Ocola Skipper

This past week Steve Spomer sent me some pictures of a skipper one of his up and coming young protégés, Jonathan Xing caught in his yard in Lincoln late last summer. When Jonathan had described it to Steve over the phone Steve had thought it was probably a Eufala Skipper. But after finally seeing itContinue reading “New to the state – Ocola Skipper”

Monarch Tagging Time

Where did the summer go? Suddenly it’s August and time to consider doing some citizen science and tag migrating Monarchs. Monarchwatch.org (a University of Kansas outreach program) is the sponsoring organization. Check out their website for full details, but briefly – you order the kit containing labels and instructions on the tagging procedure. You tagContinue reading “Monarch Tagging Time”

Distribution Map Updates – Part 2

Here are the remaining seven maps for butterflies with six or fewer counties needed to complete their “clean sweep” of all 93 counties. If you happen to be traveling through or have relatives in any of these counties there is an opportunity to get your/their name in the record book (see Garfield County post fromContinue reading “Distribution Map Updates – Part 2”

Distribution Map Updates – Part 1

I just finished updating the distribution maps for all 215 butterfly species that have been recorded from Nebraska. Six butterflies have been recorded from all 93 counties – Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta), Painted Ladies (Vanessa cardui), Monarchs (Danaus plexippus), Common Wood Nymphs (Cercyonis pegala), Orange Sulphurs (Colias eurytheme) and Cabbage Whites (Pieris rapae). Another 14Continue reading “Distribution Map Updates – Part 1”

First Record of Giant Swallowtail in Garfield County and the Beginning (maybe) of the late Summer Southern Invasion

On July 30 René McMullen sent a picture of a swallowtail butterfly she took in Garfield County to her nephew (and my friend) Jon Nikkila. Jon correctly identified it as a Giant Swallowtail (Heraclides cresphontes). Upon checking the records it was discovered that this butterfly had not yet been recorded from that county. Jon noted thatContinue reading “First Record of Giant Swallowtail in Garfield County and the Beginning (maybe) of the late Summer Southern Invasion”

Master Naturalist Class finds a Sweetheart

Sweetheart Underwing Moth that is. July 23 I had an opportunity to blacklight with the latest class of NE Master Naturalists at Cedar Point Biological Station (which is located below Lake McConaughy in Keith County). Our lights attracted insects belonging to 37 insect Families from 11 Orders (sorry for the taxonomy jargon). Among our moreContinue reading “Master Naturalist Class finds a Sweetheart”

Two More County Records and a Tier 1 Moth Sighting

Jen Corman contributed two county records – a Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus) from Bassett in Rock County this June 27 and a Queen (Danaus gilippus) from Knox County from back in July (9th) of 2018. The Banded Hairstreak is a NENHP Tier 2 species. And then the Bloomfield Scout Troop improvised a light trap withContinue reading “Two More County Records and a Tier 1 Moth Sighting”

2021 Niobrara Valley Preserve Butterfly Count

On July 1 eight intrepid observers took advantage of perfect weather to participate in the Niobrara Valley Preserve’s annual butterfly count. They found 254 total butterflies belonging to 36 species. The Great Spangled Fritillary was the most common butterfly with 65 tallied. Four Nebraska Natural Heritage Program Tier 1 (globally most at risk of extinction)Continue reading “2021 Niobrara Valley Preserve Butterfly Count”

Black Witch – Something You Don’t See Every Day

Late last month I received word of a Black Witch sighting in Keya Paha County. On June 20 Teresa Bammerlin discovered an unexpected visitor at her residence which she found to be a Black Witch (Ascalapha odorata). This large moth is a breeding resident in the southern United States and from there southward to asContinue reading “Black Witch – Something You Don’t See Every Day”