Week 9

Monterey CA week 9

This week was a planned respite from butterflies, some quality time with family and friends in central CA.  One of the first words spoken clearly, with distinct syllables, by my two-year old grandson was "butt-er-fly.”  Now every morning he wants to look under my overshirt to see which butterfly t-shirt I’m wearing.  

Of course on my daily, mostly urban, walks I unavoidably encountered a few common butterfly species now emerging during California’s early spring.  Although the Sierra Nevada has a seriously low winter snowpack, inexplicably some coastal areas have had near normal rainfall, resulting in one of the better wildflower displays near Monterey that I’ve seen in several years.  Hopefully this will translate into a strong butterfly flight season.

New Species:  Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus, Pale Swallowtail Papilio eurymedon, Cabbage White Pieris rapae, Bramble Green Hairstreak Callophrys dumetorum, Brown Elfin Callophrys augustinus, Acmon Blue Plebejus acmon, West Coast Lady Vanessa annabella, Common Checkered-Skipper Pyrgus communis

New Species:  8     Total trip species:  99      Species Photographed:  88

Highlight Species: Bramble Green Hairstreak

Browse any butterfly field guide and you’ll find few green butterflies, despite the obvious camouflage advantages.  One exception are the hairstreaks, like the green hairstreaks, including Callophrys dumetorum (above).  These weak fliers seldom stray far from their larval food plant - lotus, or deerweed.  Photographed in Soberanes Canyon.

© Chris Tenney 2014