Firey Skipper and Marine Blue Alert

This past weekend Jon Nikkila and Jen and I both found Firey Skippers (Hylephila phyleus) in previously unrecorded counties, Jon in Valley County and Jen and I in Polk County. In addition both Jon and I have seen Marine Blues (Leptotes marina) in our yards here in Buffalo County. Last weekend I saw one inContinue reading “Firey Skipper and Marine Blue Alert”

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!”

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

On July 30 RenĂ© 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”

Three more county records!!

On July 5 Colin Croft found a Least Skipper in a moist valley in the Wildcat Hills in Scotts Bluff County, a county where it had not previously been reported. Then three days later Jon Nikkila sighted a couple more Least Skippers at North Loup State Recreation Area in Howard County (again previously unreported) whileContinue reading “Three more county records!!”

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”

Hunt for Henry’s Elfin Larval Hostplants

What a strange spring (but what does a “normal” spring look like). Once in a while a nice “butterfly day” followed by another week of cold weather. I guess it’s been several weeks ago Jen and I made our annual spring pilgrimage to Harlan County Reservoir to kick off butterfly season. We were met thereContinue reading “Hunt for Henry’s Elfin Larval Hostplants”

102 species – Season Recap

So I guess with snow and temps in the teens that butterfly season is officially over. Despite late season trips to the North Loup, Niobrara and Republican Rivers I’ve been stuck on 102 species since just before Labor Day. So 102 species it is. That exceeds what I expected thanks in large part to myContinue reading “102 species – Season Recap”