Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Return to Florida

Yeeps, I haven't even finished blogging about my last trip to Florida and I'm back down here again. I'm here for part 3 of the Imperiled Butterfly Conservation and Management workshop.

I started out with the trip by meeting a fellow blogger named Tony. Kathie will find this particularly amusing- yes, this is your brother-in-law. We went for a delightful nature walk at Hugh Taylor Birch Park State Park in Ft. Lauderdale and went out for a couple of drinks together. A charming and delightful man. We wanted to take a photo to post and forgot to do so. Ah, well,

I'm pleased to say that the weather has been far nicer so far than it was a few weeks back. I came down a couple of days early in the hopes of getting in some better entomology than I managed in February. Although it has been better, the bugs are still suffering the aftereffects of a very cold winter. In February, I was at Fackahatchee Strand State Park over near Naples and managed to get photos of a caterpillar of the Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis). It's a very close relative of the Swamp Metalmark, and my photos are the first of the caterpillar to be posted on BugGuide.

Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis) Caterpillar

This time around I wwanted a picture of the adult. I succeeded- after a fashion. I'm not thrilled with the quality.

Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis)

Some of the other butterflies were more photogenic. I especially liked the shot that I got of the Twin-spot Skipper.

Twinspot Skipper (Oligoria maculata)

Dragonflies were also putting in an appearance. There weren't huge numbers, but a few posed for me.

Forktail Damselfly (Ischnura sp.)

Halloween Pennant (Celathemis eponina)

Ther were even a few vertebrates that posed for us. Yeah, cute cute, blah blah blah.

Green Treefrog (Hylas cinerea)

Over by Naples I connected up with other blogging friends- the Thingfishes! We went on an unsuccessful expedition for tiger beetles we had a great seafood dinner. It has been a very enjoyable trip so far.

Blogging friends (Thingfish sp.)

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At 13:32, Blogger Ur-spo said...

oooh I like the halloween bug the best !

At 14:00, Blogger Randy Emmitt said...


Wow you found a caterpillar, very cool. We are not even sure what they use in NC. I've been seeing Little metalmark most years for at least ten years. Maybe every five years I get a decent photo, not the case every year so don't sweat it.

Saw 5 Azures yesterday!

At 01:45, Blogger wcs said...

Beautiful, as always!

At 06:19, Blogger Will said...

I'm with Dr. Spo on the Halloween Pennant -- a beautiful thing!

At 13:04, Blogger Jim said...

Look at the cute, cute, blah, blah, blah thingy. We like cute, cute, blah, blah, blah thingies, lol.

At 01:19, Blogger Ted C. MacRae said...

No tiger beetles - bummer!

At 09:28, Blogger Homer said...

We saw two different butterflies at Saguaro West last weekend.

At 18:09, Blogger rodger said...

Careful saying "Fackahatchee"...it could land you in real trouble. ;-)

At 20:37, Blogger Kathiesbirds said...

Doug, so glad you met Tony! Sounds like a great trip all around. Congrats on getting the photos of the catapillar onto bug guide! I also like your photo of the Twinspot skipper. Nice depth of field and very sharpe!

BTW, there is a butterfly on one of my posts a couple of dates down. Can you ID it for me? I saw it at Patagonia Lake SP with Jeff and Dawn Fine. Once you tell me the name I will edit the post.

At 20:38, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Spo and Will- thanks. I'm pretty happy with that one.

Randy- I'm sure that they use some variety of thistle. If you are out looking for larvae, be sure to focus your search on rosettes of plants that are not blooming or bolting.

walt- Thanks!

Jim- LMAO. Thanks for the chuckle.

Ted- I don't want to talk about it.

Homer- Cool. One of my favorite Arizona butterflies, the Pima Orangetip flies in the park in March and April. I wonder if that's wwhat you saw.

Rodger- I slit a sheet a sheet I slit, upon a slitted sheet I sit.


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