Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Search for Dainty Sulphurs

For the past month or so Dainty Sulphurs have been found north of us in Virginia and Maryland at several locations in each state. Dainty Sulphurs are usually found out in the western states or in Florida. I found 2 of them in Person County 5 years ago in October, the first Piedmont NC record. Last Sunday I went out looking to see if I could find some Dainty Sulphurs nearby at the Flat River Impoundments. Tickseed Sunflower, Bidens aristosa has been known to be a host plant for Dainty Sulphurs, Tickseed can be found by the acre at the Flat River Impoundments, thus why I looked there.
I struck out last Sunday on finding the Dainty Sulphur. But a mile or so away at the Brickhouse Rd Game lands Will Cook and party found and photographed one!

So I'm still looking. Today I went walking in Duke Forest for Dainty's but found the most Little Yellows I have ever seen in North Carolina.
 female Little Yellow, Eurema lisa from the Flat River Impoundments last Sunday.
male Little Yellow, Eurema lisa puddling in Duke Forest, there was 9 in the puddle gathering. All together I counted 47 Little Yellows, a lot more than I have seen before in North Carolina.
 male Cloudless Sulphurs, Phoebis sennae puddling from Duke Forest today.

 Red-banded Hairstreak, Calycopis cecrops on Wingstem, Verbesina alternifolia from the Flat River Impoundments.


Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae on thistle in Duke Forest today. Gulf Fritillaries are rarely seen here, I see one here about every 3-4 years. This one posed for photos and never flew off.

 We had a second female Black Swallowtail emerge in the garden last Sunday. Meg's classroom has raised and released about 12 of these thus far.
 While doing a powdered sugar treatment to my bees last Sunday I had this Northern Pearly-eye, Enodia anthedon land to taste the powdered sugar.
 The powdered sugar also brought in a Horse Fly, wicked isn't it. That was last Sunday. Today I found it upside down on top of the hive. I righted it with my bee tool and it flew twice, both times going about 6 inches and falling, must be near its end.
 Honey Bees on Wingstem, Verbesina alternifoli, seen thousands of bees on these flowers in the past week. Oh, I have agreed to provide a bee photo for the NC State Fair for our bee club.

Goldenrod Soldier Beetle, Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus going crazy on Wingstem, Verbesina alternifoli. I have seen thousands of these on the wingstem flowers.

15 comments:

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

How great that you were asked to supply a photo for the NC State Fair, very cool. Love that picture of the two Cloudless Sulphurs...looks like they are having a conference. I have such a hard time trying to get a good photo of a butterfly...or bee or whatever moving. Great photos as always!!

Kim and Victoria said...

Randy, your butterfly photos are always the best!

Indie said...

I've seen a Gulf Fritillary a couple times here this summer - what a beautiful butterfly! I'm still working on distinguishing between all the little sulphurs though. A great close-up of that horse fly - scary looking!

Kalantikan said...

Randy, i always almost get mad when i see your butterfly photos! How on earth can I get a shot as nice as Randy's! We have lots of butterflies, you know that, and those yellows are so small and always moving that I can't even get even blurry ones! Grrrr!

Caroline Gill said...

Yes, I agree with Kalantikan! Your lepidoptera shots are always a delight ... some stunning views. We have had a very wet summer - and very poor butterfly numbers here in the east of the UK. I think the moths have somehow fared better ...

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I don't know how you shoot so many butterflies so close in! We have a sulfur something that flits around here, but I've never been able to get close enough to even ID it! Someday...I hope. Love those goldenrod soldier beetles, they're quite spectacular in color and markings!

Benjamin Vogt said...

Wow, are those some incredible shots! Holy closeup!

sharon said...

captivating... I love macro

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