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New Addition to the Library: Caterpillars of Eastern Forests

I’m happy to add the PDF version of the USDA’s 1997 Caterpillars of Eastern Forests, a 118-page guide to caterpillar identification, rearing, collection and identification.  At this size, it’s not going to be comprehensive, but I was very impressed both with the depth of coverage and with the excellent photographs (each species is illustrated) and fine descriptions.  8 more words

General Butterfly News

Mid-Atlantic Butterfly Field Forecast for the Week of 2016 Aug 13

While things are certainly picking up well to our south – Long-tailed Skipper showing up in NC, as well as good numbers of Little Yellow and Cloudless Sulphur — we have not been so fortunate.   620 more words

General Butterfly News

In Memoriam: Dick Smith

I am very sad to be sharing news of Dick Smith’s sudden passing while on vacation in Idaho, shared with us by his son Warren.  Dick has been a fixture of the mid-Atlantic butterfly community and his expertise and attention to documenting Maryland’s butterfly fauna will be sorely missed.  688 more words

General Butterfly News

Lepping the Northwoods

I had a few days before I had to be in Minneapolis at midweek for a journalism conference, so I flew in early for mostly birding in advance of the meeting.  196 more words

General Butterfly News

The Decline of the National Arboretum

In a post that many local lepsters will have seen, colleague and DC count organizer Tom Stock observed after the count on the 16th:

>>It was no surprise to me that this year’s DC NABA Annual Butterfly Count last Saturday (July 16) at the Arboretum and Kenilworth Aquatic Garden yielded both low diversity (22 species) and even lower numbers of individuals than in most previous years (107). 804 more words

General Butterfly News

Don't Save the Monarchs -- Please!

While I did not pick the headline, and certainly don’t advocate that Monarch butterflies be ignored (any more than any other butterfly species), this op-ed in Sunday’s Baltimore Sun really does reflect how I think our rhetoric about the imminent peril of Monarchs simply can’t be justified by a short and very mixed history of studying Monarch population trends at the macro level. 755 more words

General Butterfly News

Appalachian vs Summer Azure Caterpillars on Black Cohosh

From David Wright via the PALepsOdes listserv comes this timely and interesting tip on how to distinguish the caterpillars of Appalachian Azure (which uses Black Cohosh exclusively as a food plant) and Summer Azure (which also uses Black Cohosh in addition to practically anything else in bloom).  83 more words

General Butterfly News