New Mexico Butterflies

Steve Cary’s blog about butterflies of New Mexico.

New Mexico, Meet the Northern Azure

With winter receding in our rearview mirrors, it is past time to lay out some fun projects and goals for the 2024 season. In doing so, I want to draw attention to our state’s northwest quadrant, where new things turn up regularly and many questions remain to be answered because few of us spend any time there. If you have your own 2024 goals and objectives, that is terrific and more power to you. But if you’re scratching your head about what to do this year, please consider Northern Azure and Julia Orangetip…

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New Mexico Butterfly Highlights for 2023

A lot of good butterfly stuff happened in 2023, thanks in large part to your efforts. Last month we celebrated Jeff Glassberg’s discovery of White-tufted Sootywing (Pholisora albicirrus), which is a new member of New Mexico’s butterfly fauna. Other naturalists generated two additional New Mexico state record butterflies in 2023. Observations for each were made public via iNaturalist and each provoked a substantial online conversation about the correct identity and the significance of the observation. Read on for details.

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Peak Swallowtail Flood Ark

Do you agree that being a lepidopterist is often about surprising yourself, or, rather letting nature surprise you? This could probably be said for any observer of nature. This month, we join our local lepidopterists in some unexpected moments from their autumn adventures.

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The Marine Blues Have Landed

Good field notes were key to observations of Marine Blues in New Mexico! In addition to this reminder from the past, this month’s post contains several incredible stories, from the early life of Mourning Cloak larvae to the incredible rearing and hatching of Viola’s Oak Hairstreak.

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Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Despite the heavy drought and wildfires that have plagued our region and changed the butterfly populations in certain areas, butterfly watchers and lepidopterists have recorded some rare butterflies and interesting butterfly activity in New Mexico, including mating Desert Viceroys, Mourning Cloak larvae groups, a Nevada Cloudywing, and a Poling’s Hairstreak.

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