Thursday, May 6, 2010

Flora and Fliers

Both Shawnee State Park / Forest and Adams County are full of exciting flora and fliers, including "butterfliers". And unfortunately, the wet weather during Flora-Quest was not too conducive to butterfly watching, but the day before and after were both sunny and prime weather for the "leps" (Lepidoptera= Butterflies).

Flora is important for butterflies as well. Not only do flowers provide nectar, but plants also become the host for caterpillars. Most butterflies are very picky about their plants, for example the Black Swallowtail only utilizes plants in the parsley family. One of those plants is the Golden Alexanders, Zizia aurea.

Blooming along the Scioto Brush Creek we found a healthy population of Golden Alexanders intermingled with Dwarf Larkspur, Delphinium tricorne.

And nectaring on the Dwarf Larkspur was a very "fresh" Female Hobomok skipper. Considered an occasional to common butterfly, it is noted in Butterflies of Ohio for using forested stream margins.

Author of Butterflies of Ohio, Jaret Daniels, is a popular guide at Flora-Quest and a ton of fun in the field. Even the rain could not dampen his enthusiasm, as he gave a program on the endangered Miami Blue Butterfly and his work with the species.
Friends, flora, butterflies and birds, no matter the weather, we had a great time at Flora-Quest '10.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip. I planted one Golden Alexander last year. It's doing great. Will look for black swallowtails and caterpillars. It's hard for me to remember which butterfly goes with which host &/or nectar plant.