Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sleepy Orange Swarms At Whitetail Lake

September 9, 2011. We drove down to Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center and stopped by Whitetail Lake. The temperatures had dropped into the 70s F. It was sunny but quite windy; the wind was blowing from the southwest. There weren’t too many dragonflies; some Eastern Amberwings (Perithemis tenera) and a few Eastern Pondhawks (Erythemis simplicicollis), male and female.

But there were butterflies. Several swarms of Sleepy Oranges, mostly braving the wind to drink at the lakes edge by the boat launch. A lot of Sleepy Oranges (Abaeis nicippe) and…


a few Cloudless Sulphurs (Phoebis sennae) and…

a lone Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

One swarm, however, had found a spot in the lee of a hump of clay and vegetation and were enjoying the sun.


There they are in the center near the bottom of the photo. While the swarms in the open scattered at the slightest movement in their direction, the members in the sheltered swam were very calm and allowed me to approach…

closer, and...

closer, and still…

closer.
Click on the image to view a larger image


Identification resources:

- Butterflies and Moths of North America: Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

- Bug Guide: Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe)

2 comments:

laurak@forestwalkart said...

very nice...swarms!! :)

JSK said...

Thanks. Sleepy Oranges are common butterflies but the swarms are such fun to find.