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”

Let’s Tag Some Monarchs

Welcome to all the new viewers. Ideally the World Herald article would have been earlier in the year as it has generated a lot of traffic. As you can see I’m at 99 species for the year so a lot has happened already. June and July are when most of Nebraska’s butterflies that have aContinue reading “Let’s Tag Some Monarchs”

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”

Eastern NE Anglewings (Polygonia sp.)

There are three species found in eastern Nebraska – Polygonia interrogationis, P. comma and P. progne.  They differ from most other butterflies in that they overwinter as adults and often prefer rotting fruit or tree sap over flower nectar.  These three species are quite similar in appearance and while there can be several color phases or forms the descriptions belowContinue reading “Eastern NE Anglewings (Polygonia sp.)”