“Nebraska Lepidoptera” Blog

Season Summary

Well 2021 ended up being a pretty good year for increasing our knowledge of the butterfly and moth fauna of Nebraska. 30 butterfly county records were found, with one of them being a state record (see the list below). In addition Mark Brogie and Barb and Loren Padelford recorded 31 moths never before found inContinue reading “Season Summary”

Firey Skippers and Marine Blues – One Last Time?

OK, you’re probably getting tired of hearing about them but that is about all that is flying that is even slightly interesting. Saturday I accompanied Jen for a day on the Junk Jaunt. Our first stop was at a multi vendor location along NE Highway 2 in Ansley. One of the vendors was selling plantsContinue reading “Firey Skippers and Marine Blues – One Last Time?”

Another Dainty Sulfur Record

Master Naturalist Colin Croft contacted me to report another county record for the Dainty Sulfur (Nathalis iole), this one from Scotts Bluff County where he has sighted/photographed it on numerous occasions. Many thanks Colin!! That leaves eight counties without iole records. We likely won’t get them knocked out this year but be on the lookoutContinue reading “Another Dainty Sulfur Record”

Godspeed AEJZ927 et al

Thursday afternoon (9/16) we went looking for Monarch butterflies to tag during their migration to Mexico. Waiting for them to find our asters in the yard had not proven to be a winning strategy so we went to a patch of alfalfa where they had been numerous in the past. The weather was warm enoughContinue reading “Godspeed AEJZ927 et al”

Spurge Hawkmoths

Recently (Aug 29) Diane Miller noticed a large number (20+) of big colorful caterpillars on an ornamental spurge in Platte County. After doing some research we decided they were Spurge Hawkmoths (Celerio euphorbiae), European cousins of our abundant (Celerio lineata). Steve Spomer verified our determination. According to Steve (who keeps Sphnix Moth distribution maps forContinue reading “Spurge Hawkmoths”

Least Skipper found in Banner County

While Colin Croft was exploring the far reaches of Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area on August 22 he came across a Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor) in a moist canyon. After consulting his GPS he determined he had left Scotts Bluff County and was in 150′ into Banner County where the Least Skipper had not yetContinue reading “Least Skipper found in Banner County”

Painted Crescents by the Dozens!

This past Saturday (August 14) Jon Nikkila and I drove the back roads of the loess hills south of North Platte in search of Baird’s Swallowtails. We found none which, unless there is a late discovery makes this the second consecutive year without a Baird’s sighting. During our travels we decided to check out WapitiContinue reading “Painted Crescents by the Dozens!”

Two More County Records

Monday, after a weekend visit to Keller State Recreation Area northeast of Ainsworth, Pat and Diane Miller, Jen and I road tripped to Boyd County to check out the local butterfly fauna. We made our way to Hull Lake SWMA, near a highway but still off the beaten path. Butterflies were not abundant but weContinue reading “Two More County Records”

Roadside Skipper found in Scotts Bluff County

August 10 Colin Croft took a picture of a couple of Roadside Skippers (Amblyscirtes vialis) in a ravine in the Wildcat Hills in Scotts Bluff County where they had not previously been reported. Congratulations and a thank you to Colin. This butterfly is still unreported from roughly one third of Nebraska counties. While most commonContinue reading “Roadside Skipper found in Scotts Bluff County”

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”

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