Seems to be a good year for Speyeria . Was out on some sites I visit each year . Some small roadside milkweed patches were in bloom and the Frits were out. Usually in my area here in New England aphrodite is difficult to find but on this day they were sparring with cybele on the milkweed . Mostly males right now but I collected a few that were fresh. Atlantis completed the trio of greater Frits found in my area and in their usual more mountainous locations. I’ll bet I saw a few hundred at five different locations. I”ll go back in a week to try and collect a few fresh females.These are all spots I’ve collected for years but this year was the best ever.
There is an excellent article on Speyeria in the "Journal of the Lepidopterists' Society: Volume 74 Number 3; August 28, 2020: Additional Hybridizatoin Studies of Genomic Compatibility and Phenotypic Expression in the Genus Speyeria.
This is a very complex and scientific article. However, it explains in detail how Hybrids can be created both in the laboratory and in nature.
Just thought I would pass this on to all of you with an interest in Speyeria.
There is a second article (Paper) on Speyeria idalia.
Also, read through the list of Literature Cited. There are several excellent Reference Articles cited. The 1958 publication by A.H. Moeck: Geographic Variability in Speyeria. This will help you understand the where, what and when of Speyeria. Speyeria idalia is the topic Species.
If you do not have it, I recommend you acquire the Moeck publication.
Last Edit: Dec 12, 2020 16:47:14 GMT -8 by leptraps
They have always held a special interest for me . As a kid it was a big deal to net one ; especially with the tee-shirts we used for nets.I always thought they were rare but later I learned my neighborhood was not the right habitat. I ve only collected 5 species of the greater Frits and would love to go west someday . I must admit collecting Diana the last couple of years has been a real treat . Tough to beat in the Frit world . Now I need to take a try at Idalia next if I can research some locales.
I have taken numerous collecting trips out west. I collect every Speyeria I come across. As a matter of fact, I do that with virtually every Speyeria I encounter.
At one time I posted photographs of all (Almost) of my drawers of Speyeria. I just added another drawer for Speyeria to my collection. I also added two (2) drawers for Lithophane moths and two (2) for Colias.
Thank you for posting your specimens . When collecting out west in your locations when is the best time to collect the freshest specimens of Speyeria?
Depends what species you are looking for, generally males are out earlier than females, some of the earlier species start in late May in some places. Often fresh looking females are easiest to find for some species in late August. I would suggest mid July would be best for the most diversity. Maybe a bit earlier if you are trying hilltops.