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”

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”

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”

New record for Saline County: Peck’s Skipper – Polites peckius

Saturday (May 22) Jen and I went to Lincoln to buy more plants (Statewide Arboretum and Midwest Natives). Although the weather was not ideal (mostly cloudy with a stiff wind out of the south) for butterfly hunting we decided to do a little exploring and take a road less traveled (not Interstate 80) home. DrivingContinue reading “New record for Saline County: Peck’s Skipper – Polites peckius”

Niobrara Valley Preserve, late summer – no new species but great day anyway

Last September 3 Jen and I met with Chris Helzer and his fellows at the NVP to look for Pawnee Skippers which we found. In addition we found one Lupine Blue and several Horace’s Duskywings. The latter two species had eluded me so far this year so Saturday I made a trip up to theContinue reading “Niobrara Valley Preserve, late summer – no new species but great day anyway”

2020 Niobrara Valley Preserve Butterfly Count Results

Due to the Corona virus and other scheduling issues this year’s annual Niobrara Valley Preserve butterfly count was a two day affair by two different teams. On July 11 Jonathan Nikkila and his son Bennett covered a majority of the count. Jen and I followed that up on July 15 covering the remainder of theContinue reading “2020 Niobrara Valley Preserve Butterfly Count Results”

It Takes a Village – Six New Species

Lest anyone be confused the “Big Year” is not a solo effort. That was never more apparent than yesterday (July 1) when Jonathan Nikkila (hooray – you get pictures), my wife Jen and I went to Fontenelle Forest, Kinter’s Ford SWMA, Four Mile Creek SWMA and Table Rock SWMA. We started at Fontenelle Forest whereContinue reading “It Takes a Village – Six New Species”

Platte River Bottom Lands – Alda to Wood River

Chris Helzer sent me a skipper picture Wednesday which he had correctly ided as Peck’s Skipper (Polites peckius). He’d taken the pic at a Nature Conservancy tract south of Alda and he commented that they were not uncommon there. As I had not yet sighted that skipper this year and it was only an hour’sContinue reading “Platte River Bottom Lands – Alda to Wood River”