Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Duke

The Weedpicker is out of town today- but I thought you might enjoy this post from July of 2009.  The info is still good-

Well Pilgrims, Killdeer Plains is a great location for lots of wildlife, and some manly stuff too. Not just a bunch of katydids dressed up in pink. Don't even think about putting pink on this skipper, cause it is named for John Wayne, THE DUKE.

Duke's Skipper photo by Warren Uxley

These skippers are are a real man's butterfly. OK, maybe they were not named for John Wayne, but they are very special. Don't look for them in your abreviated field guides either, because they are not there. This insect is a rarity in Ohio's butterfly world, for 2 reasons. It has a very short flight period, and it is wetland related. Since wetlands are on the decline, Ohio has lost 90% of its wetlands- this is a great reason to purchase a "Duck" Stamp.

Here is the host plant for the Duke Skipper, Lake sedge, Carex lacustris. It doesn't always need a lake, as it grows in wet areas and roadside ditches at Killdeer Plains. It is well past fruiting in mid-July, but here is a shot from earlier in the year, when you can see the manly fruiting bodies on this 2-3 foot tall sedge. Don't get yer knickers in a bunch over a fistful of flowers. Real men like sedges.
And here is the flower the Duke Skippers were nectaring on- Winged Loosestrife, Lythrum alatum. This is NOT the bad loosestrife eating up our wetlands, this is a much rarer Ohio native. Well behaved and a joy to see in a wet-scape, look for the much narrower leaves to key it out from the miserable invader, Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria.
Killdeer Plains isn't big enough for 2 kinds of loosestrife, so that purple stuff better head on out of town. The Duke is running this section of ranch.


  1. Neato. So many treasures to be found. Great post!

  2. Great stuff Cheryl! You and Jim must have allot of fun together out there in the great Ohio land of cool nature thing a ma bobs..You both have a terrific sense of humor and make reading your blogs a pleasure!
    Hope to someday catch one of the great events there!

  3. Interesting post. Love the color of your native loosestrife and hope the wetlands get the support they need. And the pink katydid below with its yellow flower is amazing!