New Mexico Butterflies

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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Our Wild Butterfly Rumpus

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.

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