Butterflies of San Mateo county, and those that are missing

I've been slowly working on a butterfly list for San Mateo county, primarily to teach myself something about butterfly distribution and flight timing, but also to accompany a set of lists of other taxa that Sequoia Audubon will be including on its website. Prompted by kueda's question on my last post here, and aided by robberfly (who loaned me the classic John Steiner dissertation, Bay Area Butterflies: The Distribution and Natural History of San Francisco Region Rhopalocera {CSUHayward, 1990}), I can now present a list of those butterflies which do occur in San Mateo county, but have not yet been represented in this project.

Two things to remember - First, I have NO IDEA what I am doing! I am still a rank beginner butterfly student, so please, correct me in future messages where I am wrong. Second, it strikes me that the citizen-science call to not fear duplication is especially fitting for butterflies, because of issues like fragmented habitat, flight timing, and multiple generations within a year. So please, always share butterfly pictures you obtain. But, three, be on the lookout for these species, especially, in San Mateo county. Local knowledge is power!

Large Marble Euchloe ausonides
Sara Orangetip Anthocharis sara
Cloudless Sulpher Phoebis sennae marcellina

Great Copper Lycaena xanthoides

Gorgon Copper Lycaena gorgon

Purplish Copper Lycaena helloides

Great Purple Hairstreak Atlides halesus
California Hairstreak Satyrium californica
Mountain Mahogony Hairstreak Satyrium tetra
Hedgerow Hairstreak Satyrium saepium
Bramble Hairstreak Callophyrs perplexa
Moss's Elfin (San Bruno ssp) Callophrys mossii bayensis
Marine Blue Leptotes marina
Reakirt's Blue Hemiargus isola alce
Eastern Tailed-Blue Everes comyntas
Western Tailed-Blue Cupido amyntula
"Pardalis" Boisduval's Blue Plebejus icarioides pardalis

Pacific Dotted Blue Euphilotes enoptes

Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae

Coronis Fritillary Speyeria coronis

Zerene Frittilary (Myrtle's Silverspot) Speyeria zerene myrtleae
Unsilvered Fritillary Speyeria adiaste adiaste
Pacific Fritillary Boloria epithore epithore
Leanira Checkerspot Thessalia leanira

"Bay Area" Edith's Checkerspot Euphydryas editha bayensis
Green Comma Polygonia faunus
Great Basin Wood-Nymph Cercyonis sthenele

Northern Cloudywing Thorybes pylades

Propertius Duskywing Erynnis propertius

"Grinnell's" Pacuvius Duskywing Erynnis pacuvius pernigra

Small Checkered-Skipper Pyrgus scriptura

Juba Skipper Hesperia juba
"Dodge's" Western Branded Skipper Hesperia [comma] colorado dodgei
Sandhill Skipper Polites sabuleti
Eufala Skipper Lerodea eufala

Posted on 09 April, 2014 14:14 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon


Dammit, I actually saw a Sara Orangetip flit by the last time I was in SM county. Didn't have a net, though, and they're devilishly hard to photograph without one.

Posted by kueda over 10 years ago

Yes, I've had them, too, but not wanted to include a photo-less entry. They may be the most surprising miss on this list, along with Gorgon Copper, Western Tailed-Blue, and Coronis Fritillary.

Posted by gyrrlfalcon over 10 years ago

I just entered an Oreas Comma this week.

Posted by dpom over 10 years ago

Flutter away with those adds, dpom! Cannot go on butterfly walk tomorrow - get some more for the project, please!

Posted by gyrrlfalcon over 10 years ago

I'll do my best. I also had Satyr Comma in the project, but it would be good to double check the id with Liam. I did see a Sara Orangetip at Edgewood on Thursday, but I haven't finished with the photos yet. Don't know if it came out or not.

Posted by dpom over 10 years ago

OK, so I've removed Oreas and Satyr Commas from the needed list. I will try to keep this list updated to the best of my ability. The closer we get to completion, the better, as we can then produce a photo-guide to the butterflies of San Mateo County.

Posted by gyrrlfalcon over 10 years ago

You can cross Mission Blue off the list!

Posted by dpom over 10 years ago

It is done! Congrats on a real beauty today!

Posted by gyrrlfalcon over 10 years ago

Thanks to dpom, Greenish Blue has also been found and entered!

Posted by gyrrlfalcon about 10 years ago

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