Observation of the week – July 13-19, 2019

This week’s pick for OOTW is this Clouded Sulphur, observed by @betcrooks: https://inaturalist.ca/observations/28830881

One thing I love about this observation – and most others made by Laurie (aka @betcrooks) – is the detailed field notes that she provides. These records of behaviour, plant associations, observation techniques, etc. can be very useful to both professional and citizen scientists. And they help build the sense of community in our Butterfly Blitz project as well as for iNaturalist in general.

Laurie says that she saw this butterfly while out walking last week, and immediately took a picture:

“I secretly hope to observe an 'accidental' rare Sulphur one day so I try for clear photos of each one I encounter.

“I approached the butterfly slowly, stopping to take more photos every few yards. It moved a few times but I was able to get a reasonably clear view of the underside of the wings before it flew up to challenge a Cabbage White. I have some poor photos of it in flight, too. Top views of Sulphurs can be helpful to sort the Orange Sulphurs from the Cloudeds.

“This was my first Clouded Sulphur of the year which is quite surprising to me. It seems to be a poor year for the over-wintering resident butterflies but a good year for migrants and irruptants. I've seen more Monarchs than Cabbage Whites this year!”

It’s not just Laurie - despite being a very common butterfly in our area, this is the only observation of the Clouded Sulphur to date in the 2019 Butterfly Blitz. It is also one of only 10 observations of this species on iNaturalist for the Credit River Watershed from any year.

It’s still early in the season for the Clouded Sulphur, and the lack of observations from other years may be because people often overlook the common species when photographing butterflies. Another great example of this is the Cabbage White butterfly – over half of the local observations on iNaturalist of this species (14/23) are from this year, even though it is one of the most common species in our area.

To me, this is a great sign that people are getting out there and making observations to add to the Butterfly Blitz. Keep at it – we love seeing all of your finds, even the common species.

And you never know what other exciting things you might see while you’re out there, like this DeKay’s Brownsnake that Laurie saw while out butterflying: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/28969546

Publicado por lltimms lltimms, 22 de julio de 2019

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The problem with the sulphurs and whites is that they never sit still! Cabbage White especially is ubiquitous in basically every habitat, but I've had so few opportunities to photograph one

Publicado por reuvenm hace alrededor de 1 año (Marca)

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