Three Elfin Day Madison County, Duskywings Galore – April 11, 2014

Thanks to Gail Lankford (see Gail’s notes below) for leading 5 of us on a Madison Co. hunt Friday, April 11th. For those who haven’t witnessed the breakout of Duskywings along dirt roads in the mountains it will seem like incredible numbers. We counted over 50 in about 20 feet on a damp area on the road once. The numbers on the Sleepy and Dreamy Duskywings may have to be adjusted after going over a large number of photos from yesterday.

Juvenal Duskywing 200+
Sleepy Duskywings 50+
Dreamy Duskywings 20+
Eastern Tailed-blue 4
Silvery Blue 6
Azure 50 (at least 20 Spring Azures)
Eastern Comma 12
Question Mark 2
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 25+
Pipevine Swallowtail 6
Spicebush Swallowtail 2
Zebra Swallowtail 3
Silver-spotted Skipper 6
Mourning Cloak 4
Common Roadside Skipper 2
Pepper and Salt Skipper 2
Henry’s Elfin 3
Brown Elfin 1
Eastern Pine Elfin 1
Olympia Marble 3
West Virginia White 5
Falcate Orange-tip 30+
Cabbage White 2
Pearl Crescent 1
Clouded Sulphur 8
Orange Sulphur 6

There were many species that we couldn’t get close enough to identify, anglewings colias, etc. The weather was pleasant, sunny and warm. Six of us started at 11:00 and finished around 6:00 and covered about 2 miles of road. Several of us had many “FOY” species. The Pepper and Salts were lifers for me and Sven Halling.

Good Butterfly hunting!
Gene Schepker

More from Gail:

Those who joined Sven and Gene for this outing were Ruth Young, Janie Owens, Sue Perry, and myself.
Janie and Sue left at 2:30 and unfortunately missed all the Elfins. Ruth and I missed the Brown Elfin, which they found about 5:15. Think only Sven saw and photographed the Pine Elfin. I never saw the Common Roadside Skippers either, but they were photographed also, and common here in spring.
I am adding to Gene’s posted list: 1 Sleepy Orange, 2 Gemmed Satyr, and 1 Clouded Skipper.

I list Summer and Spring Azures separately, thus my 30 species count. I could quibble over some of Gene’s numbers, as I only saw 1 confirmed Dreamy DW, and maybe 10 Spring Azures, but he and Sven spent lots of time prone on the ground photographing, so they should be more accurate than me. All the Olympia Marbles were seen in the late afternoon, which seems to be typical. Nothing new found this spring so far, comparing to last 3 springs.
Gail Lankford