Saturday, May 16, 2015

Annual Howard County Butterfly Survey

Through the Howard County Bird Club, I learned that the county conducts a butterfly survey every year. I volunteered to cover Lake Kittamaqundi and its vicinity this year. That will include a wildlife management area adjacent to the lake and possibly the grounds of Oakland Manor and the former stable across the street from it (now the Kittamaqundi Church, which has been developing a garden). Normally, the colonies of Joe Pye weed on parts of the lake, such as pictured above, would attract swarms of the larger butterflies like swallowtails and monarchs, but these species have been noticed in decline in recent years. Last summer on my walks around the lake, I spotted only two or three tiger swallowtails all summer.

To begin a log of my own sightings for the survey, I'm sharing some photos taken last summer. Identifications were provided by experts who are managing the survey. I'm including habitat and location photos, and other insects may find their way into these posts.

Here's a page for  Howard County nature conservation volunteer programs , including the butterfly survey, which is a PDF download.

And this is the Howard County Bird Club's butterfly photo gallery, which has helped me to identify some local species. (The club takes a lot more than birds into its scope.)

Black Swallowtail, female, on ironweed. September 12, 2014.

Sachem, male. A type of Skipper. On boneset, Eupatorium species? September 12, 2014.

Monarchs. September 21, 2014.