The Butterflies of Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

Westchester County, NY

compiled by Steve Walter, Harry Zirlin, and Rick Cech

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, located in northeastern Westchester County, has earned a reputation as maybe the best single destination in southern New York State for butterflies and Odonates. The extensive meadow habitat, both dry and wet, sedge marshes, woods and wood edges have contributed to a good diversity of butterfly species. The first list of butterflies occurring at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation was assembled by Jeffrey Glassberg in the 1980's. A pamphlet was available at reservation for some time. Since then, a number of species have been added to the reservation's list, through both wanderers and newly established breeding populations. Unfortunately, the reservation has lost a number of species. This list attempts to bring up to date the status of the reservation's butterflies. Within the species accounts, quad(s) refers to areas defined in a grid map of the reservation where the species have been recorded.
All photographs by Steve Walter unless otherwise noted.

 

Pipevine Swallowtail  Battus philenor  Rare.
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail  Papilio glaucus  Common throughout the reservation. Quads D4, D7, F5, F6, G5. May 26 - September 4.
Spicebush Swallowtail  Papilio troilus  Common throughout the reservation. Quads D4, D7, F5, G5. May 26 - August 13.
Black Swallowtail  Papilio polyxenes  Regionally more common on the coastal plain. Uncommon to rare in meadows at WPRR. Quad D7. May 30 - August 17.
Checkered White  Pontia protodice  A rare stray from the south. Quad
Cabbage White  Pieris rapae  Generally an abundant species, but only fairly common at WPPR. Quad D4. dates
Orange Sulpher  Colias philodice  Fairly common in meadows. Quads D4, D7.  ?? to September 24.
Clouded Sulphur  Colias eurytheme  Uncommon in meadows. Quads D4, D7. ?? - September 24.
Cloudless Sulphur  Phoebis sennae   A rare stray from the south.
Little Yellow  Eurema lisa   Rare. The host plant is fairly common at WPPR, but this species' normal range falls short of matching its host range.  Quads D7, H5. July - August.
Harvester  Feniseca tarquinius   Current status uncertain. One colony within the reservation and another just outside were noted between 2005 and 2007. Quad D4. August 20 - August 26.
American Copper  Lycaena phlaeas   Common in meadows, especially drier ones. Quad D4, D7, G5, H5. June 26 (likely much earlier) - September 24.
Bronze Copper  Lycaeana hyllus  Rare. A stray individual was found in July 1997.
Coral Hairstreak  Satyrium titus   Status uncertain. Formerly fairly common, but recent searches have failed to turn up any individuals. Last recorded in 2007. Quad G5. June to July.
Oak Hairstreak  Satyrium favonius  Rare. Formerly considered a regular inhabitant of the reservation. After several years with no sightings, a few were found in 2011. This species should be looked for on the milkweeds on Pell Hill and in the far meadow at the end of Michigan Road. Quads D7, F5. June 18 - July 11, mainly in June.  
Black Swallowtail, May 30, 2011 Little Yellow, July 11, 2004 Harvester, August 20, 2005
 
   
Acadian Hairstreak  Satyrium acadica  Historic. 
Edward's Hairstreak  Satyrium edwardsii  Probably belongs in the historic category. A small colony that was long known along Boutonville Road is now extirpated. Quad H5. June - July .
Banded Hairstreak  Satyrium calanus  Common. Likely widespread throughout the reservation but best found by searching the milkweeds on Pell Hill. Quads D4, G5. June 12 - July 18.
Hickory Hairstreak  Satyrium caryaevorum  Uncommon. Best found in the far meadow at the end of Michigan Road, but in some years may be more difficult to find than in otherrs. Quad D7. June 19 - July 12.
Striped Hairstreak  Satyrium liparops   Uncommon, but apparently maintaining a level population at WPRR. Quads D7, F5. June 19 - July 30.
Brown Elfin  Callophrys augustinus  Common near the top of the fire tower trail in early spring. Has also been found along Boutonville Road. Quads G7, H5. April 26 - May 5.
Eastern Pine Elfin  Callophrys niphon  C
Juniper Hairstreak  Callophrys gryneus  Historic. Last documented record in 1993. Could still be present, as it this species may not necessarily make itself conspicuous. It should be searched for in and around the host tree red cedar. Quad D7. May 11 - July 29 in two broods.
White M Hairstreak  Parrhasius m-album  Rare. While generally of southern affinity, this species appears to be locally resident in the lower Hudson Valley. Quad C6.
Gray Hairstreak  Strymon melinus   Rare to uncommon. This species is most commonly encountered on the coastal plain, but does appear uncommonly inland. Quad F5. Has been found as early as March 17, but most records in summer and fall.
Red-banded Hairstreak  Calycopis cecrops   Rare. This is a generally southern species that is most common regionally on the coastal plain. A stray individual was present August 25-26, 2007 at flowers outside the main office, for the first site record. A couple more individuals were found in 2011. Possibly becoming established as a resident. Quads C4, F5. June 7 - August 26, in two broods.
Eastern Tailed-Blue  Everes comyntas   Common in fields and meadows throughout the reservation. Quads D4, D7, H5. spring - September 24.
Spring Azure  Celastrina ladon   Fairly common in early spring along open woodland trails. Quads G6, G7. March 17 - April 26, mainly in April.
Summer Azure  Celastrina neglecta   Fairly common in late spring and through the summer along open woodland trails and wood egdes. Quads D4, D7. June 5 - September 4.
Brown Elfin, April 26, 2009 Red-banded Hairstreak, August 26, 2007 Harris' Checkerpsot, June 19, 2004
 
   
Variegated Fritillary  Euptoieta claudia   Rare. This is a southern species that emigrates into the region to varying degrees from year to year. Better years have seen some  individuals reach WPRR. Quads D4, D7, I5. May 27 - July 27. 
Regal Fritillary  Speyeria idilia  Historic. 
Great Spangled Fritillary  Speyeria cybele  Although common and conspicuous in the summer months at WPRR, numbers have declined from a former abundant status. Quads C5, C6, D4, D7. June 6 - September 24.
Aphrodite Fritillary  Speyeria aphrodite   Rare.  July.
Meadow Fritillary  Boloria bellona   Historic. Last recorded at WPPR in 20??. Abundant at WPPR and other locations in northern Westchester as recently as the 1990's, the species has disappeared. The nearest known stable populations are in Dutchess County. Quad D4, D7. 
Pearl Crescent  Phyciodes tharos   Common in open areas throughout the reservation. Quads C5, C6, D4, D7. May 26 - September 24.
Silvery Checkerspot  Chlosyne nycteus   Historic.  Quad F5. June.
Harris' Checkerspot  Chlosyne harrisii   Fairly common. This is another northern species that has declined precipitously. It is now apparently gone from Connecticut and New Jersey. Amazingly, though, the colony at the end of Michigan Road continues to thrive around its flat top aster host. Quad D7. May 26 - July 2 (May records usually in warm springs only).
Baltimore Checkerspot  Euphydryas phaeton   Formerly common in northern Westchester, specializing in turtlehead as a host plant. A marked decline occurred in the early 2000's, with the species limited to fewer locations. It was last documented at WPRR in 2007 and intensive searches in 2010 and 2011 came up empty. However, new populations have begun to appear with a shift to plantain as the host. A small colony was reestablished in the Meadow area in 2014. Quads D4, D7, I5. June 28 - July 7.
Question Mark  Polygonia interrogationis   Fairly common throughout the reservation. Quads D4, D7, G5, H5. May 26 -.
Eastern Comma  Polygonia comma   Fairly common throughout the reservation. Quads D4, D7, G5, H5. dates.
Compton Tortoiseshell  Nymphalis vau-album   Uncommon but possibly annual. It should be looked for on warm early spring days when overwintering adults emerge. A recent record near the museum June 29, 2015. Quads D7, H5.
Mourning Cloak  Nymphalis antiopa   Fairly common throughout the reservation. Quads D7. March - September.
Eastern Comma, June 19, 2004 Northern Pearly-eye, July 23, 2011 Common Ringlet, August 4, 2007
 
   
Red Admiral  Vanessa atalanta   An annual migrant that is variably common at WPRR. Usually seen near watercourses. Quads D7, G5. May - September. 
American Lady  Vanessa virginiensis  An annual migrant that is variably common at WPRR. Mostly seen in meadows. Quads D7. 26 May - September.
Painted Lady  Vanessa cardui  An irregular migrant that may be absent some years.
Common Buckeye  Junonia coenia  An irregular migrant that in most years is confined to the coastal plain. Generally not expected at WPRR, but many occurrences possible in good years. Quad D4, D7, F5. June 18 - September 24.
Red-spotted Purple  Limenitis arthemis astyanax  Uncommon but regular at wood edges and often on moist ground. Quads D7, G5. May 26 - ??
Viceroy  Limenitis archippus  Uncommon but regular in wet meadows and sometimes on moist ground. Quads D4, D7. May 27 - September 23.
Northern Pearly-eye  Enodia anthedon  Fairly common along open woodland trails. Often seen on tree trunks in woodlands. Quads D3, E5, E6, H5. June 19 - September. 
Appalachian Brown  Satyrodes appalachia  Common in and around sedge marshes, and along woodland trails in the vicinity of its host plant tussock sedge. Quads D4, D7, F6, G5. May 30 - September. 
Little Wood-Satyr  Megisto cymela cymela  Common to abundant in meadows and at wood edges throughout the reservation. Quads D4, D7, F5, G5, H5. May 26 - July 26. There are two flights which may be separate species, rather than broods. The earlier flight from late May into mid June is more abundant. Fresh individuals appear again in late June, therefore not exhibiting a gap that would be expected of broods. 
Common Ringlet  Coenonympha tullia  This is a northern species that expanded its range southward and appears to have reached the reservation around 1991. Common in meadows, usually wetter ones. Quads D4, D7. May 22 - September 24 in two broods.
Common Wood-Nymph  Cercyonis pegala  Common in meadows and at wood edges throughout the reservation. Quad D4, D7, F5, G5, H5. June 19 - September.
Monarch  Danaus plexippus  Variably common in open areas throughout the reservation. Nectars at a wide variety of flowers. Caterpillars may be found by looking on milkweeds.  Quads D4, D7, F5.   May 26 - September 24.
Silver-spotted Skipper  Epargyreus clarus  Fairly common in open areas throughout the reservation. Quads D4, D7. May 26 - September 24.
Hoary Edge  Achalarus lyciades  Uncommon but regular. Best found nectaring at common milkweed on Pell Hill. Quads D4, G5. June 12 - July 2.
Southern Cloudywing  Thorybes bathyllus  Fairly common in dry meadows and along open trails. Often found at nectar sources such as common milkweed. Quads D7, F5, G5, H5. May 31 - July 8.
Northern Cloudywing  Thorybes pylades  Fairly common in dry meadows and along open trails. Often found at nectar sources such as common milkweed. Quads D7, F5, G5, H5. May 26 - June 29.
Monarch, July 29, 2006 Hoary Edge, June 18, 2011  Juvenal's Duskywing, May 5, 2001
Dreamy Duskywing  Erynnis icelus  Formerly fairly common along trails and woodland edges, but appears to have declined. Current status in question. Quads G5, H5. May 21 - June 23.
Juvenal's Duskywing  Erynnis juvenalis   Common along woodland trails in spring. Quads F6, H5. April 26 - June 8.  
Horace's Duskywing  Erynnis horatius   Rare. This is a generally southern species that is most common regionally on the coastal plain. A stray individual was found August 4, 2007 along Michigan Road. Quad C6.
Wild Indigo Duskywing  Erynnis baptisiae   Uncommon but regular. Best looked for in the vicinity of the host plant used at WPRR, crown vetch. One location is at the far end of the big lawn at the end of Michigan Road. Quad D7, F5. July 10 - July 18.
Common Checkered-Skipper  Pyrgus communis  
Swarthy Skipper  Nastra lherminier   Historic?
European Skipper  Thymelicus lineola   Formerly abundant in fields throughout WPRR. This species appears to now occur in scattered pockets and in smaller numbers, such as the hill alongside the road up to Pell Hill. Quads D7, E5, F5. May 27 - June 23, but exceptional before June.
Least Skipper  Ancyloxypha numitor  Common along grassy edges of watercourses. Quads D7. May xx - September 23.
Cobweb Skipper  Hesperia metea  Uncommon, formerly a bit more common. Typically associated with dry meadows and barrens, but may be found at blue flag iris in wetter meadows. Quads D7, H5.  May 14 - June 9.
Indian Skipper  Hesperia sassacus  Fairly common although some decline seems to have occurred. Occurs in dry and wet meadows. Best found nectaring on blue flag iris, but may also wander to lawns with red clover. Quads D4, D7. May 19 - June 29.
Leonard's Skipper  Hesperia leonardus  Historic. Quad D4. 
Sachem  Atalopedes campestris  Rare. Quads D I6. May 30 - June 25.
Fiery Skipper  Hylephila phyleus  Rare. Quad D7. September 24
Peck's Skipper  Polites peckius  Common in wet and dry meadows. First brood individuals may best be found on lawns, nectaring on red clover. Second brood individuals include swamp milkweed among their preferred nectar source. Quad D4, D7.  May - September 24 in two broods, scarce from late June to late July.  
Long Dash  Polites mystic  Common in wet meadows and best found nectaring on blue flag iris. May also wander to lawns with red clover. Quad D4, D7, E5, F5. May 22 to June 28, with a rare partial second brood August 20 to September 9.
Crossline Skipper  Polites origees  Uncommon, but fairly common in better years. Prefers dry meadows, but may be found at favored nectar sources throughout the reservation. Quads C4, D4, D7, H5. June 19 to July 31.
Tawny-edged Skipper  Polites themistocles  Fairly common in meadows, usually drier ones. Quads C5, D4, D7. May 22 to September, in two broods.
Hobomok Skipper, May 30, 2011. Mulberry Wing, July 26, 2008. Dion Skipper, June 26, 2010. 
 
   
Little Glassywing  Pompeius verna  Abundant in meadows, particularly wetter ones, throughout the reservation. Abundant at favored nectar spots, such as the milkweed patch on Pell Hill. Quads C5, D4, D7, E5, F5, G5, H5. June 12 to July 12.
Northern Broken-Dash  Wallengrenia egeremet  Fairly common in meadows, usually drier ones. Quads D4, D7, E5, F5, H5. June 19 to July 10.
Delaware Skipper  Anatrytone logan  Common in meadows and favored nectar sites throughout the reservation. Quads C5, D4, D7, E5, F5, G5, H5. June 19 to July 25.
Hobomok Skipper  Poanes hobomok  Common in fields and along wood edges, occasionally in sunlit areas deep within woodlands. Easily seen at favored nectar source such as blue flag iris and red clover. The reservation is a good location for finding dark type females, known as the "Pocahontas" form. Quads D4, D7, G5, H5. May 26 - July 5.
Zabulon Skipper  Poanes zabulon  This is a generally southern species that is common into southern Westchester. Its occurrence at WPRR appears to be sporadic and more likely with the second brood. Typically found along wood edges and in woodland clearings. Quad D7. August 13 - August 26.
Broad-winged Skipper  Poanes viator  Uncommon. The host plant is phragmites, which is scarce at WPRR. The species wanders somewhat, and strays may appear. Best looked for at the button bushes around the small ponds beyond the main office. Quads C4, D7. July 7 to July 26.
Mulberry Wing  Poanes massasoit  Common in and around sedge marshes. Best found at favored nectar spots, such as the swamp milkweeds at the Michigan Road marsh. Quads D4, D7, E5, G5, H5. July 9 to August 4.
Black Dash  Euphyes conspicua  Common in and around sedge marshes. Best found at favored nectar spots, such as the swamp milkweeds at the Michigan Road marsh. Quads D4, D7, E5, G5, H5. June 26 to July 26.
Dion Skipper  Euphyes dion  Uncommon. This has generally been considered a rare species in Westchester, but there appears to be an indication of a recent increase. Best looked for at the milkweed patch in the sand pit near the end of Boutonville Road. Quads D7, H5. June 23 - July 7. 
Dun Skipper  Euphyes vestris  Abundant in meadows, particularly wetter ones, throughout the reservation. Abundant at favored nectar spots, such as the milkweed patch on Pell Hill. Quads C5, D4, D7, E5, F5, G5, H5. June 19 to July.
Dusted Skipper  Atrytonopsis hianna   Uncommon but a little effort can usually lead to finding a few at the peak of its flight. Best looked for in the sand pit near the end of Boutonville Road and in the fields at the end of Michigan Road. Quads D4, D7, H5. May 15 to June 14.
Pepper And Salt Skipper  Amblyscirtes hegon  Historic, but still possible. This is a northern species, usually found in higher elevations in its closest occurrences near Westchester. A number of records were obtained in the first half of the 1990's, mostly at red clovers at the end of Michigan Road. The most recent record came June 16, 2001 in the Boutonville Road parking lot. Quads D7, G5. June 12 to June 18.
Ocola Skipper  Panoquina ocola  Rare. Quad D7.