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The Oregon 12

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

A little more than a year ago, I wrote "As of June 6, 2018, I have 14 species remaining to photograph in Oregon. If I'm lucky, I will be able to photograph four or five of those this year." More than a year has passed, and the revised list now includes these12 species:

Common Sootywing (Pholisora catulla)

Garita Skipperling (Oarisma garita)

Nevada Skipper (Hesperia nevada)

Oregon Swallowtail (Papilio machaon oregonia)

Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)

Spring white (Pontia sysimbrii)

Checkered white (Pontia protodice)

American Copper (Lycaena phlaeas)

Goldhunter's Hairstreak (Satyrium auretorum)

Hoary Elfin (Callophrys polios)

Compton's Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis l-album)

Gillett's Checkerspot (Euphydryas gillettii)

This is, for me, a most wanted list. A list of fugitives, that appear to be on the run (from me). Since I wrote that first post, I've made 75 site visits most of which were in search of one or more of these most elusive (for me) butterflies. If you have any information on the whereabouts of these species, please let me know!

It's not that I've struck out completely. Of the 14 species on that previous list, I found and photographed the Sooty Hairstreak at Mt. Ashland, I found and photographed Weidemeyer's Admiral in the Pueblo Mountains, I found a photo in my existing collection for Western Cloudywing, and I found and photographed Ancilla Blue in Burns. A new species got added to the list from a taxonomic split: Chalcedona Checkerspot, and I found and photographed it this spring in western Jackson County. And I lost one, because I had misidentified photo of a female Orange Sulphur as a female Clouded Sulphur. So a net gain of four species, and, by my forecast a year ago, its been a lucky year!

This spring and summer, I also went searching for the Oregon Swallowtail on the lower Deschutes River (I saw two, but never got closer than 25 meters), Goldhunter's Hairstreak at Kinney Creek and in the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument (nada, for the 4th year in a row), the Garita Skipperling along the Grand Ronde and Minam Rivers (zilch), and I had to cancel my search for Nevada Skipper near Ironside Mountain due to inclement weather. I saw a couple of likely Clouded Sulphurs yesterday at Three Creeks Meadow (see photo below), but had no chance to photograph them while they blew past me at about 20 mph. More on that visit in an upcoming post!

Image of Three Creeks Meadow, Deschutes County, Oregon
Three Creeks Meadow, Deschutes County

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