“Butterfly Institute” for MA Audubon Broad Meadow Brook

karner blue

The Karner Blue is an endangered sub-species of the Melissa Blue which had populations in Concord, NH (declared Extirpated as of June 2001) Albany and Saratoga Springs NY.

On July 21, 2001, Gail Howe and Dave Small led a contingent of butterfly people (5) on a field trip as an advanced “Butterfly Institute” for MA Audubon Broad Meadow Brook WS/MBC. Brian, Cathy and myself met them at the Crossgate Mall in Albany, NY where we sighted 18 Karner Blues along a powerline cut.

We also visited the Albany Pine Bush Preserve and observed one more (trails we tried didn’t go through Lupines). They were all in pretty good condition. A female was observed ovipositing at 11:45 on the Lupinus perennis. I watched as she landed on a leaf stem, walked down it, and laid a single egg at the base of the stem.

Some other interesting sightings were 2 species of Duskywings.  Did we see Persius, and Mottled here?

A Duskywing was observed by many on the trip ovipositing at 11:50 on the underside of a Lupine leaf(about 6″ from the Karner Blue egg on the same plant). We thought it may be Persius. Upon arrival back at home, Brian and I (the others were still on a weekend trip) checked a number of references.

Persius facts:

  1. Has one flight from May to mid-June (Scott, Pyle, Glassberg).
  2. In Bfly thru Binocs (the east), Glassberg states that they seemed to have greatly declined in the NE. He mentions populations in Concord NH, NE Conn, and possibly Myles Standish in MA, but no mention of Albany.
  3. Uses Lupines as host plant – but so does Wild Indigo (Scott, Allen [bfly of WV], a NJ reference Brian has). This was not listed in Glassberg’s books. Because of these facts, we believe these were Wild Indigo Duskywings.

However, the second species observed, we believe was a Mottled Duskywing.

Mottled facts

  1. Uses NJ Tea as host plant – this was common at this location.
  2. 2 flights – May and July-early Aug (Scott, Pyle, Glassberg)
  3. Glassberg’s BTB (not the East) has a photo on plate 27 that was taken 7/19/89 at the Albany Pine Bush.
  4. The individual we saw had a brighter, more mottled appearance than Wild Indigo
  5. The map for Horaces D doesn’t show them in the Albany area (Glassberg BTB, The East).

Counts for Crossgate and Albany Pine Bush:

  • Cabbage White 25 – 6
  • Clouded Sulphur 1 – 1
  • Orange Sulphur 2 –
  • American Copper 27 –
  • Banded Hairstreak 1 –
  • Edward’s Hairstreak 0 – 2
  • Eastern Tailed-Blue 4 –
  • Karner Blue 18 – 1
  • ‘Summer’ Spring Azure 4 –
  • Pearl Crescent 3 – 1
  • American Lady 2 –
  • Painted Lady 1 –
  • Red-spotted Purple 1 –
  • Common Wood-Nymph 2 – 1
  • Silver-spotted Skipper 4 – 1
  • Hoary Edge 1 – 1
  • Southern Cloudywing 4 –
  • Northern Cloudywing 1 –
  • Dreamy Duskywing (Larva) 1 –
  • Wild Indigo Duskywing 8 –
  • Mottled Duskywing 1 –
  • Common Sootywing 5 – 1
  • Crossline Skipper 1 –
  • Northern Broken-Dash 3 – 1
  • Little Glassywing 1 – 2
  • ware Skipper 3 – 6 (Ovipos at 2:00)
  • Skipper 2 – 1

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