On Your Mark... June 25, 2007
On your mark, get set, let's go searching for Metalmarks. The Metalmarks are a relatively small group of butterflies, about twenty listed in the Kaufman Focus Guide. And of that twenty, eighteen are are not to be found in Ohio. Two are listed as Ohio butterflies. One is considered to be possibly extirpated from Ohio, as no one has seen the Swamp Metalmark since 1988.
The one pictured is listed through large portions of the state, but it seems to be pretty localized and rare. The only place the Northern Metalmark, Calephelis borealis can be found is where the magic combination of their host plant, Round-leaved ragwort, Senecio obovatus and Black-eyed Susans, Rudbeckia hirta, its favorite nectar plant, can be found.
And like any good find, these are worth the search! Let's get out there and mill around in the vegetation a bit, and see what we can kick up. The problem with these rarities are the limited number of people looking for them. Who knows, they could be in your backyard or swamp if only you knew to look for them. Photographing flowers and butterflies- the perfect past-time for a summer afternoon.