Well, actually I'm referring to THIS American lady below:
The American lady or American "Painted" lady is a lovely little honey of a butterfly in its own right. Two nice big eyespots on the underside of the hind wings and yet different shading of color from the Painted lady (Vanessa cardui).
V. cardui also has a series of 5 small eyespots on its underside hind wings. Not the 2 big ones V. virginiensis has !
I would tell you it has been many seasons since I even remember running across an V. virginiensis in any field I've walked.
So, the question which I propose to my fellow "men of the net" would be have any of you noticed a drop in the population of this species ?
Have you also only noticed it here or there and only as singles?
I have to wonder if something is going on here with it. I suppose that I have never really encountered it in numbers -- like V. cardui.
But, then just why is V. cardui SO prolific and yet V. virginiensis seemingly an orphan species?
Now that you mention it, you are correct. I do not remember seeing any Vanessa virginiensis for a long time. It maybe even longer than I think.
That is also true for Vanessa cardui. Then again, I have not been looking for them either.
I added a page header to my field log book. Look for Vanessa cardui and Vanessa virginiensis.
Another rather common species that I have not seen/observed for a number of years, Nymphalis antiopa. I remember collecting them in my Bait Traps while living in Kentucky. Again, it has been a number of years since I have collected or odserved any of them.
I guess they are all in Dallas. Around March/April last year I saw a field with about a hundred of them. I was looking forward to a nice season. But after a week these were gone and when the heat started not much replaced it.
Post by wingedwishes on Jan 27, 2021 7:26:25 GMT -8
2 years ago in Kansas there was a population super explosion of Painted Ladies. That Summer there were so many in places that it was had to see more than 2 meters in my garden. I don't try to catch them usually but my daughter netted 22 of them in one sweep! Nearly all were tattered. Saw fewer last year but population wax and wane are normal. Last year was an abundance of Buckeyes on my land.
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It was April 26th 2020. There was hundreds, but just that week. I didn't have a cage. I wanted to collect some eggs and rear them but 2 weeks after everything was gone. There was also large numbers of Colias eurytheme.
In any case as wingedwishes said, population fluctuations are normal and I wouldn't read anything into subjective impressions.
In southern Ontario we have three species of Vanessa and they all migrate here from south. In 2017 we had huge migration of V.cardui, there were millions of them everywhere, during 30 years living in Canada I never seen such migration. In normal years I don't see even one and I'm usually very active outdoors during summer months. In 2019 there was invasion of V.atalanta, again millions of them were everywhere. In normal years they can be found as a single individual here and there. I have never seen here larger number of V.virginiensis although in 2019 there were more individuals then in other years when they are rather hard to find. In the west cost we have V.annabella. Since 2015 I spend one week during the summer in Rocky Mountains, Alberta but I have yet to see this species.
Nymphalis antiopa is the resident here and it is common species of woodlands.