UPDATES—AUGUST 24, 2018
Umber Skipper on the Big River Haul Rd. on May 21, 2018.
Golden Hairstreak in Comptche on August 9, 2018.
Better pictures of Common Wood-Nymph.
UPDATES–AUGUST 26, 2019
Silvery Blue at Mendocino College on April 9, 2019
Propertius Duskywing at the Little River Airport on June 4, 2019
Field Crescent at the Ten Mile Bridge on June 19, 2019
Better pictures of Checkered White and Green Comma
Although the blog has been dark for sometime, it was my intention to keep this post updated so that anyone looking for information on the Butterflies of Mendocino County can hopefully find it in a Google search. There have been many additions to my butterfly list since the last post and they are pictured in this edition of Just Butterflies.
I occasionally write a “Butterflies of the Woods” article for our newsletter at the Woods in Little River where I live. This has rekindled an old interest in butterflies and I have started taking note of the butterflies here in Mendocino County.
This interest first started many years ago while I was living in Southern California. My local Audubon Society (Palos Verdes/South Bay) held an annual butterfly count every July. It was based on the famous Christmas Bird Counts and used the same 15 mile diameter bird count circle. Birding can be slow during the summer and I guess we just like to count things! We would have teams of counters out in the field and would then report back for a lunch and the tally. The results would be sent to the North American Butterfly Assoication. There are approximately 450 butterfly counts in the North America. My old Audubon Society will hold their 38th annual count in July of 2018. They have also been involved in the conservation and habitat restoration of the endangered Palos Verdes Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus palosverdesensis).
Butterflies come in all shapes and sizes. They can be conspicuously bright and beautiful or inconspicuously dull and hard to find. The identification of butterflies can be either very easy or extremely difficult. Like birds and people they will be affected by climate change. Birds and butterflies are interrelated in their migration and life cycles. I will link to several stories and websites at the end of this post. The last picture will be of a butterfly that I haven’t identified yet. I believe it’s a female Boisduval’s Blue but couldn’t get it pass the California butterfly reviewer at Butterflies and Moths of North America. Any help would be appreciated.
There are approximately 20,000 species of butterflies in the world with about 575 of these occurring regularly in the lower 48 states of the United States. Wherever you live you can find them.
Some of the following pictures are very good, others are not. This all depends on the cooperation of the butterfly and it’s condition when photographed. Some cooperate and others don’t. These are “mostly” common butterflies in this area and can be found without much effort and includes at this time only a small amount of local habitats. I’m looking forward to expanding my butterfly efforts in other parts of Mendocino County.
Some caution has to be used when naming these butterflies because, like birds, their names can change. For some of them I’ve indicated some variation in common names. Splitting and lumping has occurred over time. I’m using the most recent butterfly guides that I can find for this post. They include the Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America by Jim P. Brock & Kenn Kaufman (2003), Arthur M. Shapiro’s Field Guide to Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions(2007) and Jeffrey Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America(2017).
COASTAL/MELANIC PINE WHITE Neophasia menapia melanica
ACMON BLUE Plebejus acmon
MYLITTA CRESCENT Phyciodes mylitta