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July 13, 2022

Dogbane Beetle

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 83°F, partly cloudy and breezy on July 13, 2022.
  • Another uncommonly nice day with warm sun and dry air.
  • Common wood-nymph was again the most abundant butterfly, but grass skipper numbers were starting to climb.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.

The Trails

  • We were just starting to see some brown in the grass from the Gifford House trailhead.
  • Common milkweed was finishing blooming and wild bergamot was starting up.
  • And it was just as popular among butterflies.
  • Here were great spangled fritillaries (note the wear and tear on the forewing margin).
  • And a hidden silver-spotted skipper (this one on wild basil).
  • Of the grass skippers, the dun skipper is one of the less boldy marked, but there is golden green sheen to the head.
  • The female has a few small white spots on the forewing above; the male lacks them.
  • As soon as you notice one, they are everywhere. The goldenrod ball gall is the larval home of a small fly. Several other insects make galls of their own style on goldenrods.
  • Out in the open on dogbanes was the dogbane beetle. Nothing secretive about this creature.
  • Pearl crescents have been few and far between lately.
  • Yarrow had attracted an American copper as well.
  • And it obliged us with a decent view from below.
  • Alien Queen-Anne's-lace had quite the long-horned beetle aboard. At least five other occupants were only noticed on the computer.
  • Along the edge of the field, a large lace-border rested quietly.
  • There was a commotion inside the field as another suitor attempted to interrupt a mating pair of common wood-nymphs.
  • The Sedge Meadow Trail was quiet except for an increase in the Appalachian brown population.
  • Out in the back Old Hayfield little wood-satyrs were weaving along the edge.
  • Japanese beetles had found the wild grape leaves to their liking.
  • It took a moment to figure out this Delaware skipper.
  • The strange location and posture were explained when a closer look at the photo suggested a spider was behind the scene.
  • Birders wear drab colors to avoid alarming birds; a birght yellow t-shirt attracted a dun skipper which was easily coaxed onto a finger tip to lick the salt.
  • The trail headed out of the hot fields towards the cool woods above the Wappinger Creek.
  • Along the way, spotted wintergreen was blooming.
  • Up ahead, the same tree as last time...
  • ... had the same northern pearly-eye as last time.
  • Another tree had a couple white spots at the base.
  • They were female Gypsy moths - recently renamed "spongy moth" for the fluffy egg mass.
  • The brownish male usually zig-zags into and out of view and is seldom seen at rest.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail the side of the trail system.


  • 1 Black-billed Cuckoo
  • 2 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 1 Great Crested Flycatcher
  • 5 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 2 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 3 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 3 House Wren
  • 3 Veery
  • 1 Wood Thrush
  • 3 American Robin
  • 4 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Prairie Warbler
  • 2 Common Yellowthroat
  • 2 Scarlet Tanager
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 2 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 2 Indigo Bunting
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 9 American Goldfinch
  • 1 Spotted wintergreen
  • 4 Cabbage White
  • 2 Clouded Sulphur
  • 2 American Copper
  • 5 Banded Hairstreak
  • 12 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 3 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Eastern Comma
  • 3 Northern Pearly-eye
  • 5 Appalachian Brown
  • 7 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 76 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 5 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 6 Northern Broken-Dash
  • 1 Delaware Skipper
  • 1 Mulberry Wing
  • 18 Dun Skipper
  • 1 Confused Eusarca
  • 1 Gypsy Moth
  • 1 Large Lace-border
  • 1 Dogbane Beetle
  • 1 Japanese Beetle