Sighting for May 20, 2022

Brian McGurgan

Chugach State Park, Eklutna Lake (61.40761° N, 149.13792° W)
Anchorage Municipality, AK

A beautiful spring day for butterflying, with a clear sky, breezy, and temperatures starting at 58° at 10:30am and reaching 68° by the time I finished at 4pm. My “target” for the day was a first-time sighting with photos of an Arctic Duskywing, the local subspecies of the Persius Duskywing. I found one within twenty minutes of arriving and had at least eight by the time I finished. I’m not sure why I haven’t seen them before as they were quite common. The Duskwings were frequently chased off flowers by larger butterflies including a Mourning Cloak, Large Marbles, and an especially persistent blue only slightly larger than the skipper that chased it all over the place. There were lots of fresh Canadian Tiger Swallowtails and blues. All of my counts are conservative, especially for the blues where I only counted those I identified with photos. The Western Tailed Blues were mating, which was great to be able to capture in photos. Butterflies that got away include two commas of unconfirmed species.

  • Canadian Tiger Swallowtail 12
  • Large Marble 6
  • Western Tailed-Blue 2
  • Silvery Blue 3
  • Greenish Blue 6
  • Mourning Cloak 8
  • Milbert's Tortoiseshell 2
  • Persius Duskywing 8

Large Marble

Persius Duskywing

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Greenish Blue

Western Tailed-Blue

Milbert's Tortoiseshell

Silvery Blue

Mourning Cloak