Blog by Dan Osipov. Random photos of flora & fauna, interspersed by thoughts on code
Fort Indiantown Gap is an active military base, but in the middle of the base is a special habitat for a special butterfly. Regal Fritillary (Speyeria idalia) has been threatened by declining habitat area for the last fifty years. The military site offers them protection, and is the only remaining habitat for this butterfly left in Pennsylvania.
During a few weekends in the summer, the military site is open to the public (under a careful supervision by fort personnel).
Together with very knowledgable guides you’re free to explore a few meadows looking for the elusive, but locally abundant insect.
The caterpillars of Regal Fritillary prefer active ranges, because disruptions to the soil and vegetation from controlled fires wipe out competitors, and give way to host plants (violets).
If you’re interested in seeing the butterfly yourself, you can visit the Indiantown Gap during scheduled times. Usually the tours are given in the beginning of July, corresponding to the butterfly’s flight.