Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Sharp eyes for the Little Guys & Lepidopterist Linkup!

 Little Metalmark (Calephelis virginiensis).  Tiny butterfly at only 1/2 inch, and the only representative of the family Riodinidae in Florida.

Spring is time for the Peace River Butterfly Society and Sarasota County Butterfly Club to get together for some time in the field.  Here are some photos of trips the Scherer Thaxton Preserve and Myakka State Forest.   Lots of little species on the edges as expected in early spring.

A 287-acre property next to Oscar Scherer State Park  named Scherer Thaxton Preserve, honoring environmentalist and former county commissioner Jon Thaxton, who started a campaign to have the state buy and protect additional Florida scrub-jay habitat around the park.

Jon Thaxton

 Fast little guys...hard to spot in the thick grass.

Easy going for the group along the trail around the catch basin pond.

 Can you see this one in the grass.  Taken at 50mm which is what the naked eye would see.

 Aha!  There's a better idea.

                                 Best Butterfly Binos

 This is what inexpensive binoculars will do.

 "One spot for one S" = Ceraunus Blue.  "Two spots for two S's = Cassius Blue!

Lot of little guys on this outing and just at the end of the trail was a very cooperative Zebra Swallowtail!  

Now off on the second joint outing to Myakka State Forest with the hope of lots of blooming thistle.

A SW Florida gem amidst encroaching development.

 We walked into a surprising bloom of Phaon Crescents  (Phycoides phaon).

Difficult to spot these little guys unless to move!

 Ventral view.

 Not a lot of nectar plants blooming so early in spring, but one can always find some Bidens!

 Hesperidae mysteriosa  is how I generally identify Skippers!  Fast flying, small and confusing in appearance.  Here is a link to all of these little guys!

Lots of beautiful Butterflies here in SW Florida...big and small, obvious and hard to identify!  Get out there and see some.

OK!  Here is the "money shot" of our outings.  A Little Metalmark resting on a Ladies' Tresses ground orchid.  You can't beat that.

Nothing like a picnic lunch after a morning in the field.  Come and join us next time.

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