North American Butterfly Association
Arctic Valley Ski Area (61.24717° N, 149.54174° W)
Anchorage Municipality, AK
Clear and 56° at 8:45am and 64° at 12:45pm, with a breeze in the valley and strong winds at higher elevations. North-facing slopes are still mostly snow-covered while those with southern exposure are largely free of snow. I hiked up to the ridge and high crags above 3,500 feet elevation and just below the peak of Mount Gordon Lyon. Counts of Freija Fritillaries are conservative as they were found at low densities all the way to the ridge. I assumed all fritillaries I observed were Freija as those I photographed or saw closely were successfully confirmed. Their color ranged from deeper orange to tan, with an especially battered-looking one quite pale. I initially thought the Polixenes Arctics were White-veined Arctics but the dark median band on the hindwing ventral surface doesn’t have the notably dark borders and peaked pattern of Oeneis bore. The Arctics were basking in sun among grasses and low bushes about midway up the slope. I’d welcome correction from more experienced eyes, and also experience some self doubt with the Large Marbles and whether they might be Northern Marbles instead. The Western White was just below the ridge, and was contending with strong wind that allowed me to crawl up close for photos. Many of the Mustard Whites were especially small in size and white in color.
About the sightings pages
© 2023 North American Butterfly Association.