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Butterflies – National Pollinator Week

Posted on Jun 22, 2014

This is the last day of National Pollinator Week which ran from June 16 through June 22. It turned out to be very appropriate timing for us in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania as more insects emerged and vegetation continued to grow very rapidly. I actually had some days with several more “first of year” sightings of bees, dragonflies, and butterflies, the group I wanted to focus on and share photos of in this entry. The following were photographed in the last week in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region in public locations like state game lands, wildlife management areas, state forests, and so forth.

Common Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia)

Common Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia)

Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis)

Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis)

Juvenal's Duskywing North Harmony SF

Juvenal’s Duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis)

Silver-bordered Fritillary Jamestown School Forest

Silver-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene)

Red Admiral Jamestown School Forest

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Overall I have seen dozens and dozens of butterfly species in the last couple of months during field work. However, I have yet to see a single Monarch! I have seen several Viceroys, a very similar-looking species that is smaller, leaner (to me at least), and has a postmedian black line across the veins on the hindwing. The Viceroy also flies in a more lazy, drifting fashion with the wings often spread horizontally, almost coasting along.

Let’s take care of our pollinators before it’s too late to save them – and ourselves. Substantive change, from pollinator habitat preservation and expansion to the reduction or elimination of pesticides and all neonicotinoids, needs to happen right now!

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator