Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Dreamy Duskywing Contribution to BAMONA

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) is an important site for me because it helps me identify the butterflies and moths that I photograph. Sometimes I can narrow a butterfly or moth identification only to the correct genus and this site can help me identify which species. By comparing photographs from other contributors in Vermont and reading about when the species was sighted, you can narrow down your choices for identification.

Many times a species is known to be in an area but simply has not been reported to the site. This is what happened to me when I photographed a new (for me) brown butterfly in May. For various reasons (most of which were ignorance), I thought I had photographed a moth. But the experts at bugguide.net told me this was a spread-wing skipper called the Dreamy Duskywing. I then went to the BAMONA page for this duskywing and found that there were no dreamy duskywing sightings ever reported for Orleans County in Vermont. (Interestingly, there was another Vermont dreamy duskywing reported in Windham County within a week of mine.) This was what I had been waiting for! I always want to submit a sighting to BAMONA, but I always photograph butterflies that have already  been reported for Orleans County. I submitted my photograph and the details of the sighting and waited for official verification of the identification.

Verification has arrived, and I am now a true contributor to BAMONA! Scroll about one-third of the way down this page, then click the “Sightings Table” tab, and there I am! The details of my sighting can be seen if you click “Details” in the right-hand column. My sighting record is #538083 and I am proud. I hope to report more sightings in the future.

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