Wind (current)

21 Species of Butterflies Today!

With another possible sighting yesterday of the extremely rare visitor, the Fadus Sphinx moth (Aellopos fadus) that was at the park last week, it brought out some of the city's best moth and butterfly experts this morning with the hopes of finding and if lucky enough, photographing this little beauty from Central America.  Moth expert David Beadle (Peterson Field Guide to Moths), as well as butterfly experts Bob and Karen Yukich, Leon Schlichter, Barry Harrison and a few others, myself included (not that I'm an expert by any means in either field), searched the Gardens from top to bottom for several hours but unfortunately the little moth with a 58mm wingspan was nowhere to be found.  What was found however was another, or possibly the same Hummingbird Clearwing moth (Hemaris thysbe) that has been visiting the flowers at Rosetta for the past week and a half.  To my knowledge, this is at least the third sighting of this far more common moth over that time period.  Far more common but incredible to see all the same as both of these moths fly like minature Hummingbirds, darting in and out of the flowers getting quick sips of nectar as they go.

Fadus Sphinx moth - 18 Aug 2017 (photos courtesy of Lynn Pady)

With all of the searching for the Fadus Sphinx moth today the group managed to compile Rosetta's best ever 'single day' count for butterflies - an amazing 21 different species were found and all but 1 were found in the main gardens that surround the fountain.

Here's what we observed...

Black Swallowtail
Giant Swallowtail
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Cabbage White
Summer Azure
American Snout
White Admiral
Red-spotted Purple
American Lady
Painted Lady
Red Admiral
Mourning Cloak
Question Mark
Eastern Comma
Silver-spotted Skipper
Wild Indigo Duskywing
Fiery Skipper
Peck's Skipper
Northern Broken-Dash

A huge 'thankyou' goes out not only to the experts that were there today but also to so many of the usual 'Rosetta gang' for pointing out anything that they found insect-wise as well.  Lots of new and interesting creepy bugs around!  I managed to see another Great Black Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus) today.  A wasp that's about twice the size of any of the common wasps that we usually see.  I saw and photographed one a few years back at the park.  Back then their northern range was somewhere in and about northern Pennsylvania/ southern New York state.  Thanks to global warming (No Donald Trump, it's not a hoax!!!), they've moved a little further north and are now seen in southern Ontario far more frequently.

What a day!

See you again soon,


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