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

On July 30 Ren√©¬†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”

Hops Azure (Celastrina humulus) found in NE

Dr. Matthew Brust of Chadron State College recently observed and photographed an Azure laying eggs on Hops (Humulus sp.) in a canyon south of Chadron. These photos proved to be the link that documented the presence of the Hops Azure (Celastrina humulus) in Nebraska. Additional research is needed to determine how widespread it is inContinue reading “Hops Azure (Celastrina humulus) found in NE”

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 finallyContinue reading “New County Record – Lupine Blue found in Phelps County”

New subspecies described from Nebraska – Lon (Poanes) taxiles albimaculatus

In the latest “Journal of the Lepidopterists’ Society” Steve Spomer (recently retired from UNL) has described a new subspecies of the Taxiles Skipper – Lon taxiles albimaculatus. For those of you struggling to keep up with the latest taxonomy Lon has replaced Poanes for some members of the genus, taxiles included. The type locality (seeContinue reading “New subspecies described from Nebraska – Lon (Poanes) taxiles albimaculatus”

William Lewis Carpenter – Nebraska’s First Lepidopterist

While perhaps not the first lepidopterist, the earliest known listing of butterflies in Nebraska comes from W. L. Carpenter way back in 1880. Mr. Carpenter was born in Dunkirk New York in 1844 and served first in the US Navy and later the Army during the Civil War. After the war the Army reassigned himContinue reading “William Lewis Carpenter – Nebraska’s First Lepidopterist”