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.
New Mexico Butterflies
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.
The Sierra Grande of New Mexico beckons and proves to be a challenging, but fruitful, journey for local lepidopterist Steve Cary. Sugarite Canyon brings together butterfly enthusiasts from across the southwest and beyond. Will they find what they are looking for?
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.
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.
Butterflies are out and about as spring has arrived in New Mexico, and Steve Cary and his fellow butterfly watchers have recently discovered amazing characteristics and habits of some of these winged creatures, including Mourning Cloaks and Duskywings.
Steven J. Cary takes us on a scientific journey of the analysis of the eye coloring and wing markings of two varieties of the metalmark butterfly; Apodemia mejicanus (Sonoran or Mexican Metalmark) and Apodemia duryi (Dury’s Metalmark).