2012 Highlights (Photo Heavy)
Just got done printing out my butterfly and moth yard checklist for next year. I realized it was a really good year for them even though the wacky weather and severe drought did a number on the garden. I saw the most variety ever and lots of new things this year. Not sure if it is just because I am paying more attention, all the extra lep beneficial plants I am trying to add, or a combo of both. My yard list was only started in 2011, but I have been actively watching leps for a few years.
New sightings this year.
Pipevine Swallowtail (just one sighting)
Giant Swallowtail (one in spring and one in fall)
American Snout (one brief sighting)
Great Spangled Fritillary (two days)
Red-spotted Purple (one brief sighting)
Vicery (one day)
Eastern Comma (a few sightings)
Mourning Cloak (first good sighting thanks to fruit feeder)
Sachem Skipper (amongst tons of Fiery, Pecks, and Tawney-edged Skippers)
Choristoneura fractivittana (no common name I think)
Genista Broom Moth (was decimating my false indigo)
I know... not any real exciting moths, but I am keeping track and submitting sightings anyways since the BAMONA moth listings for my county are almost non-existent. The Confused Haploa was kind of pretty though I think. Looked sort of like an inkblot test.
Totals for ones I raised and released.
Black Swallowtail - 3
Monarch - 55
Hummingbird Clearwing Moth (overwintered) - 2
Clouded Sulphur - 2
American Lady - 44 (They totally wiped out my host plant supply.)
For next year I am still adding more host plants. I definitely am starting more for the American Ladies. I added a stand of false nettles this year that I hope gets some action next year. My big hope is to get some Tiger or Giant Swallowtails to lay eggs. I have two small wafer ash tree seedlings that I hope overwinter ok thanks to the wonderful caterwallin. I would love to just see the Giants again, even if I get no eggs. I would also love to see my first silkmoth, but no luck yet. The fruit feeder was a big hit with the Mourning Cloaks, Question Marks, and Red Admirals so that is going up again next year.
Here are some of my favorite pics from this year. Sorry if they are slow to load.