Butterflies out in force!
Harry Pavulaan posted his butterfly sightings on the VA-leps listserv yesterday! Makes me eager to get outside today and see what butterflies I come across as well!
Today in Leesburg (Loudoun County), all in Balls Bluff Regional Park except where noted:
6+ Summer Azures (Celastrina neglecta) spring form, 3 confirmed by net/release. One male had intense, exaggerated black spots beneath, a darkened margin, and checkered margins, looking much like a Northern Azure beneath. Note: upperside forewing has distinct bright white wing veins along the leading edge of the forewing.
1 Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) – Actually, a pleasant surprise, confirmed by net/release but I just wanted to test myself. I was certain it was a Spring Azure by its duller, more violet blue appearance, lower and weaker flight. Ironically, the underside was very white, almost like a summer form Summer Azure! Spring Azure males lack the distinct white veins, they are subdued.
1 Mourning Cloak
1 Question Mark
2 Eastern Commas
1 Orange Sulphur (Balls Bluff Elementary School front lawn)
Should be more stuff flying tomorrow!