western Washington Silver-spotted Skipper

Stewart Wechsler

Made it to Harstene Island in the Puget Sound today, north of Olympia and east of the base of the Kitsap Peninsula, where a friend, Manzanita Bill, was keen on seeing the Hairy Manzanitas - Arctostaphylos columbiana that grew there.  I said if the Manzanitas were unusual for the larger area, that other plants should grow with it that were unusual for the greater area.  When we explored around the Manzanita, and later exploring other spots where we stopped, I was pleased to find a fair amount of Hosackia / Lotus crassifolius - Big Deervetch, a species with a very spotty distribution in western Washington, which I knew to be a host plant to 2 - 3 rarer butterflies for western Washington.  Later, when we got to an almost boggy area without sphagnum moss, I spotted a Silver-spotted Skipper, I quickly remembered that it was one of those butterflies that hosted on Big Deervetch!  My friend, who collected butterflies in S. California as a kid, was excited to see it too.  Common where, and when, I grew up on Long Island, New York in the 60's, I don't clearly remember seeing any Silver-spotted Skippers in western Washington, but I could have seen one or two 15 - 20 years ago.

Now I have to remember the other species that host on Big Deervetch.


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