Pinnacles Butterfly Count - My 10th Year

I actually told my friend Paul Johnson a decade ago that he should start a count there with all the cool things flying there. When I first met Paul he was the on-site herpetologist working on Red-legged Frog reintroduction, and to say he was "getting into butterflies" was an understatement: he'd talked the National Monument into it's first moth inventory and he's actually discovered a new sphingid-to-science ( DNA still being worked out). Ten years later, he is THE wildlife biologist for the place and it's a National Park now. It's always VERY HOT in this zeric place, but worth it.
iNat made it difficult to just focus on butterflies, but Pinnacles always kicks off the count season ( 4 weeks prior/after 4th of July ).
Driving towards the campsite, I watched a magnificent Bobcat saunter across road: a treat to gaze on such an illusive creature.
Walked with my friend Bill Shepard and an intern working on the Condors there, Nathan Peeling. Butterflies my group saw this day -
SOUTH WILDERNESS TRAIL 9am - 2:30pm ( only got to 95 degrees...)
1) Western Tiger ( P. rutulus )
2) Checkered White ( P. protodice )
3) Orange Sulfur ( C. eurytheme )
4) California Sister ( A. californicus )
5) Lorquin's Admiral ( L. limentis )
6) Variable Checkerspot ( E. chalcedona ) - only six/ crazy low #
7) Mylitta Crescent ( P. mylitta )
8) Common Buckeye ( J. coenia )
9) Callippe Fritillary ( S. callippe ssp.maracria )
It really was a day for the Lycaenids ...
10) Hedgerow Hairstreak ( S. saepium ) - a bizillion
11) California Hairstreak ( S. californica )
12) Brown Elfin ( I. augustinus )
13) Great Gray Copper ( L. xanthoides ) - a bizillion
14) Tailed Copper ( L. arota )
15) Gorgon Copper ( L. gorgon)
16) Echo Blue ( C. ladon)
17) Acmon Blue ( P. acmon )
18) San Bernadino Blue ( E. battoides bernadino ) - a bizillion
19) California Ringlet ( C. tullia )
20) Great Basin Wood Nymph ( C. sthenele ) - two/ very cool
21) Rural Skipper ( O. agricola )
22) Large White Skipper ( H. ericetorum) Bug-of-the-Day by far. Not in number but just seeing this rare bushmallow obligate.

Posted on June 04, 2013 12:05 AM by robberfly robberfly

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Tailed Copper (Tharsalea arota)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 1, 2013 11:42 AM PDT

Description

First of the season. Watched a female ovipositing on the gooseberry next day.
males perch like photo.

Photos / Sounds

What

Bernardino Blue (Euphilotes bernardino)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 1, 2013 12:03 PM PDT

Description

The San Bernadino Blue. The Pinnacles Count usually has the National High in this species. Gives Pygmy Blues a run as "smallest in USA" title.

Photos / Sounds

What

Alkali Heliotrope (Heliotropium curassavicum)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 1, 2013 01:50 PM PDT

Description

Great butterfly nectar source.

Photos / Sounds

What

Acmon Blue (Icaricia acmon)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 1, 2013 01:55 PM PDT

Description

Tough day of keying - all the Lycaenids really worn...

Photos / Sounds

What

Five-lined Gray (Glena quinquelinearia)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 1, 2013 02:19 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Hedgerow Hairstreak (Satyrium saepium)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 10:28 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 09:31 AM PDT

Description

My friend said it was a male cuz of the wings. Spectacular creature! Stunning example of aposemadic coloration.

Photos / Sounds

What

Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 10:06 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Indian Valley Bushmallow (Malacothamnus aboriginum)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 11:02 AM PDT

Description

This is the host for the Large White Skipper.
The plant is a fire obligate, spreading into the park in the 90's...and the skipper followed.

Photos / Sounds

What

Callippe Fritillary (Argynnis callippe)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 10:54 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Great Basin Wood-Nymph (Cercyonis sthenele)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 12:41 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Wild Licorice (Glycyrrhiza lepidota)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 10:11 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Durango Root (Datisca glomerata)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 10:44 AM PDT

Description

Looks like a cross between marijuana and nettle...

Photos / Sounds

What

Goldenstar (Bloomeria crocea)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 09:46 AM PDT

Description

Paul said this is a species-of-concern for the park...

Photos / Sounds

What

Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 10:13 AM PDT

Description

Spectacular, mushroom-y-looking thing coming out of a fallen log...

Photos / Sounds

What

Toltec Scoliid Wasp (Dielis tolteca)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 12:27 PM PDT

Description

Paul said there are three species in California and this one has been keyed to the Park.

Photos / Sounds

What

Northern White-Skipper (Heliopetes ericetorum)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 11:02 AM PDT

Description

Found the host. Male perched on top.
Doesn't get better than that.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris)

Observer

robberfly

Date

June 2, 2013 10:39 AM PDT

Description

They russel in the leaf like they're ten times the size they are.

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