Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 16, 2011 Butterfly monitoring

December 16, 2011 
Butterfly monitoring at Transect A (from the Environmental Education Center to the Trailhead, on both sides of the road - along the estuary and along the lake, passing the dam.)

A calm and clear day.  So many birds at the dock and on the water!
In Guana river, little fish heads were popping out of the water.  
We believed them to be juvenile flounder.

There are a few Spanish needle (Bidens alba) blooms and some Indian blanket (Gaillardia pulchella)) but overall very few blooms.  Some thistle popping up but not blooming.  East of the dam was recently mowed.

We saw the Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) on dried grass, and the Phaon Crescent (Phyciodes phaonon the Spanish needle.  These are in the Brush-foot Family (Nymphalidae).

Common Buckeye
Phaon Crescent
Two Ceraunus Blue (Hemiargus ceraunus) with wings closed resting very still for a long time, and two Cassius Blue (Leptotes cassius), also at rest on the dried out grass.  These species are of the Blues and Hairstreaks (Lycaenidae) family.
Ceraunus Blue

Cassius Blue

As we headed east on the lake side, the wind picked up suddenly.  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 2011 Butterfly Monitoring

November 2011 Butterfly Monitoring
Transect A - From the Environmental Education Center to the Trailhead

More birds than ever on the dock - pelicans, gulls and cormorants.  
Tall grasses were plentiful along the edge of the marsh.  Also goldenrod and salt wort. 

We spotted a Tropical Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus oileus) basking.  We had previously seen one in June, but more often we see the Common Checkered Skipper.
Tropical Checkered Skipper
Common Checkered Skipper

There were Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) near shade trees and burned wood and dry grasses,  as well as two Common Buckeye  (Junonia coenia).  
Gulf Fritillary Wings Open

Gulf Fritillary Wings Closed

A Ceraunus Blue (Hemiargus ceraunus) was opening and closing its wings, very blue/purple with open wings. They have low and erratic flight patterns. 
Ceraunus Blue

Frog fruit (Phyla nodiflorawas) also known as Carpetweed, was blooming with lots of runners and Phaon Crescent (Phyciodes phaonbutterflies fluttering about, and resting with wings opening and closing as they rested. 

Good biodiversity today, with an American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) and two Monarchs, of the Brush-foot family (Nymphalidae),  a Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleusand) a Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus)

American Lady Wings Open

American Lady Wings Closed
Fiery Skipper

Long-tailed skipper

The male Monarch Butterfly may be easily distinguished from the female by noting the two highly visable black spots on the insect's hind wings and the thinner black webbing within the wings. The female's webbing is thicker and she has no identifying wing spot as the male does.
Female Monarch

Male Monarch