Sunday, April 6, 2014

Field Notes of Charles F. Zeiger

During the 1990s Dave Baggett gave me a few books, including a field notebook of Charles F. Zeiger, one of the original members of the Southern Lepidopterists Society.  Chuck Zeiger was the SLS zone coordinator for northern Florida in 1979.  He worked as Chief of the Aquatic Plant Control Section for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Jacksonville, Florida.  Chuck corresponded with other Lepidopterists such as Bryant Mather and Walfried J. Reinthal.  His notes mention sending specimens of Neonympha areolatus from Jacksonville to Mather who published a paper in 1965 on the distribution and variation of this species.  Chuck donated many specimens of butterflies, moths, and other insects to the Florida State Collection of Arthropods in Gainesville, Florida.

From February 7, 1959 until April 22, 1961 Chuck wrote his collecting notes in a small Standard Engineer’s Field Book.   I provide an edited version of his notes in Table 1 below.  Also included in this book were 12 loose, lined notebook pages of slightly smaller size.  Entries written on these pages cover February 12, 1978 to August 30, 1981 for sites in Florida, Ecuador, and Dominican Republic (see Table 2 below).

A summary of the butterflies and moths mentioned in the notes is published in Southern Lepidopterists’ News.   I plan to donate Chuck’s original notes to the University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity in Gainesville.

Table 1.  Chuck Zeiger’s field notes in a bound book from February 1959 to April 1961.

February 7, 1959
Hecksher drive near St. Regis Paper Co.
Temperature about 75, partly cloudy.
Caught 9 Colias (winter form).
2 females, 5 males, 2 albino females

February 15, 1959
Behind Atlantic Mills.
Caught 8 Pieris rapae (Cabbage butterflies) 2 female 6 male.
1 Euptychia.

St. Regis Paper Co.
Caught 10 Colias ariadne, all males.
2 Phyciodes phaon, mated female.
4 Junonia genoveva (buckeye).
2 males 2 females, appear to be runts only about half size, real dark in color.

February 22, 1959
Temperature about 65 to 70, sunny.
Caught in back yard.
1 black Swallowtail. Small in size. 

Caught in park at Hamilton and Park St.
1 angle wing.
3 red admiral.
2 zebra swallowtails.
2 red admiral.

Caught at Edgewood Cemetery.
Missed several blues.
Giant and tiger swallowtails.
Had on white shirt.

2 males  2 females  Spicebush swallowtail.

March 17, 1959
Stuart Fla.
3 Euptychia phocion.
6 Anartia jatrophae (peacock).
5 Eurema lisa.
3 Calephelis virginiensis.
2 males 2 females  Papilio turnus.
Sighted several black females but could not obtain any.

March 22, 1959
Edgewood Cemetery.
2 zebra swallowtails.
1 giant swallowtail (small size).

April 5, 1959
Ft. Clinch
Caught 8 wood nymphs (Euptychia cymela).
Not listed in the butterfly book.

St. Regis Paper Co.
2 Colias.  Both males.
1 luna moth at tale gate.
1 skipper.

April 11, 1959
Borrow pit just off Edgewood.
Partly cloudy, 75°-78°.
2 zebra swallowtails.
2 Thorybes pylades.
1 Euptoieta claudia female.
The above was caught laying eggs.
1 Strymon cecrops (Klots).

April 12, 1959
Hamilton St. Park.
Cloudy after rain, 75°-78°.
1 Strymon m. melinus.
2 buckeyes.
1 painted lady.
1 red admiral.
3 skippers.
2 cabbage butterflies (Pieris rapae).
Male, female
1 Phyciodes phaon.

April 18, 1959
Front yard.
Very cloudy and warm day.
Caught 1 monarch.
Male banded with F-36.

Fort Pierce.
Several Zebra butterflies.
Several large whites. 
Some were very dark in color, almost black.
4 small blues.
A large amount of queens were sighted plus many gulf fritillaries.
1 peacock.
Perfect shape. Caught several more but released.
1 lesser fritillary.
4 skippers.
1 Thelca.

May 3, 1959
Borrow Pit.
2 wood nymphs same type as caught at Fort Clinch Apr. 5.
2 wood nymphs same type as I caught at Stuart (brown with orange stripes) March 17.

May 22, 1959
Foot of Gilmore St. back of City of Edgewood Bldg. 
Hot, partly cloudy with rain.
4 Copaeodes minima.
1 Nathalis iole male.  
Same as caught at Palatka.
2 Colias eurytheme amphidus caught in

May 22, 1959
Orange Park behind dog track (one of the best locations).  Many species can be taken.
1 Erynnis persius. [probably E. zarucco]
Several more that could have been caught.
2 Oligoria maculata. More sighted.
1 Eurema lisa female.
2 Strymon favonius.
4 Strymon cecrops.  More sighted, quite
common in and around Jax.
1 Pyrgus syrichtus.  Just one sighted,
may be a stray.  Will have to check closer.
1 Papilio marcellus (flying fast).

May 24, 1959
Orange Park at the second bend in Collins Road west of Orange Park.
2 Euptychia areolata.
Several more sighted.  There is a colony at this location.
4 Phyciodes.
Not sure what subspecies.  Must check closer.  Big variation in ones caught.  Could be phaon and tharos.
1 Papilio marcellus. 
Several more sighted.
2 Erynnis. 
Not sure what subspecies.

Behind dog track.
2 Erynnis.  Same as above.
1 Strymon melinus.
1 Atilides halesus.
Released, not in good shape.  Appeared to have been attacked by lizard.
[drawing of wing damage]

May 26, 1959
Foot of Gilmore
2 Pieris protodice ♀.
2 skippers.
No. 1 and No. 2 skippers to Mather.
2 small skippers. 
No. 4, 5.
Skipper No. 3 (caught in back yard).

May 30, 1959
Orange Park.
12 Euptychia areolata.
Skipper No. 8 to Mather.
5 pearl Crescents.
3 Lephelisca virginiensis (metalmark).
1 zebra swallowtail.

Park on Hamilton.
3 Epargyreus clarus.

May 31, 1959
Edgewood Cemetery.
1 Euptychia gemma.

Shipped to Bryant Mather:
5 unnamed skippers.
8 Euptychia areolata.
3 Phoebis philea female, male, female
1 Epargyreus clarus.
1 Strymon favonius.
2 A. numitor.

July 4, 1959
Sighted a small blue butterfly at the park on Hamilton, but it was run off by a crescent before I could capture it.  Sighted another in the backyard, but had no net.

1 P. communis skipper.
1 A. numitor skipper.
2 P. phaon (crescent).
1 L. accius skipper.
1 A. ruricola skipper.
1 E. martialis skipper.
1 L. archippus (Viceroy).

July 13, 1959
Caught 2 P. protodice at the office (575 Riverside).

Tried to catch a small wood nymph, but had a chameleon grab it just before I could.  The lizard had sneaked up behind the cymela and grabbed it just as it opened its wings to fly.
1 Strymon melinus.
1 Strymon cecrops.
1 Papilio cresphontes.
1 Phoebis philea.

July 18, 1959
Orange Park, Collins Road.
12 C. p. pegala.
Large colony near where Euptychia areolata was obtained in May.  Several Euptychia areolata sighted.

Tried behind the race track, but flowers not in bloom.

July 25, 1959
Across from borrow pit beside cemetery.
2 zebra butterflies.
1 small blue.
1 Ascia monuste.

Edgewood Cemetery.
Caught and released 2 C. p. pegala.

October 25, 1959
Orange Park.
Monarchs tagged:
F-37, F-38, F-39, F-40, F-41, F-42, F-43, F-44, F-45, F-46.

February 27, 1960
Hecksher Drive near St. Regis Paper Co.
Cool 60 to 65 degrees, sunny.
2 Papilio marcellus.
3 Precis lavinia coenia.
1 Strymon melinus.
1 Strymon titus.
2 Phyciodes phaon.
1 black skipper.
3 gray skippers.

February 29, 1960
Edgewood Cemetery.
65 to 70 degrees, sunny.
2 Euptychia gemma.
This is the only location I have taken this species.
6 Strymon cecrops taken on dogwood blooms.  Very common species.  Can be taken anytime.
4 Euptychia h. sosybia.  Very common.
1 Papilio philenor.
1 Phyciodes phaon.

March 1960
Very cold spring.  Low of 26 on March 6th.  High of 50. 
No Butterflies.

April 1960
Very poor.  Few butterflies of any species sighted.

Polyphemus moths from 36 eggs on 5th of May.

Received 70 eggs from Dr. Reinthal on the 8th of April.
Hatched 40 on the 16th of April.
Shed the first time from 20 to 22 April.
Changed from black to pale green.
Shed on the 12 to 14.  Many have grown to about 1 ½ “.  Lost 12 that got in a bowl of water.  Total of 32 left.
30 pupated from 20 to 25 May.

May 14, 1960
Cemetery on Picketville Road in the southwest corner on a small tree about 12’ high.  May be (gooseberry) [probably sparkleberry (Vaccinium arboretum), MCM].
6 Strymon calanus.
4 Strymon favonius.
2 Strymon cecrops.
1 Strymon melinus.
Sighted one Atlides halesus on tree.

May 15, 1960
Same location.
2 Strymon calanus.
2 Strymon favonius.
1 Strymon melinus.

May 21, 1960
Same location.
3 Strymon favonius.

May 22, 1960
Same location.
2 Strymon favonius.

June 8, 1960
Behind office at 575 Riverside.
1 Precis lavinia coenia.
Eye spots on fore wing elongated and distorted.
1 Vanessa virginiensis.
1 Pieris protodice.
This is the only location this butterfly taken.
1 Colias philodice.
First one taken here in Jax.

June 12, 1960
At the park on 1500 +/- block of Hamilton near the R.R. track along the ditch.  Have taken many butterflies near this location.
1 Feniseca tarquinius.
First one taken in Jax.

July 8, 1960
Collected at Kingsley Plantation with Dr. Reinthal.
Papilio palamedes quite common.  I took 4 good species.  Dr. R. took about 12.
2 zebra butterflies.

Highway A1A East of Fort George.
Took 2 Ascia monuste males and a pair in copula.  Female dark in color.

Little Talbot Island
Took one Mitoura gryneus.  First one I have taken in this area.

Checked along A1A to Fernandina.
Sighted lots of palamedes.

Fort Clinch State Park
1 Papilio cresphontes female, 1 male.
7 Asterocampa c. alicia.
Caught ½ mile from the main gate on hackberry trees along road.  Plus 24 larva.  All given to Reinthal.
Rain stared at 2:30.  Proceeded to Jekyll Island, Georgia.

July 9, 1960
Jekyll Island, Georgia
Collected Asterocampa c. alicia and A. c. flora.  All given to Dr. Reinthal.  Plus about two or three dozen larvae.

Collected larvae of A. vanilla nigrior on food plant, passion flower on Jekyll Island.

Collected A. c. alicia and bachmannii and P. interrogationis at Island along road between Jekyll Island and Brunswick.
Papilio palamedes quite common.

Proceeded to Savannah.  Took several Asterocampa c. alicia in allies off Bull Street from 49th to 51st and at Shell service station at Hwy 17 and 38th Street. Returned to Jax.  Some rain.  Collecting not too good.

July 10, 1960
Took 1 male and 1 female Ascia monuste.  Female was laying on food plant of pepper plant.

Just south of St. Augustine at Matanzas Inlet.
1 male fresh and 1 female Agraulis vanillae nigrior.

3 to 5 miles south of Marineland
Took 3 Asterocampa c. alicia.

Went to Palatka
Found hackberry trees.  Turned south, first street east of bridge (Hwy 17).  Went about 4 blocks.  Trees along waters edge.  No Asterocampa flying.

Hackberry located on right side of Hwy 20 about 6 blocks west of U.S. 17.
1 Asterocampa sighted.

Returned to Jax.  590 miles covered in 3 days.

July 16, 1960
Orange Park, Florida.
Caught one pegala at the Collins Road Triangle [map drawn].  The colony of pegala at this location has just started to hatch.  The main hatch should be out in about 2 weeks.
2 Thorybes bathyllus skippers.
1 Agraulis vanillae.
1 Strymon cecrops.

Behind Moose Haven near river.
1 Papilio glaucus.
1 Papilio polyxenes asterius.
1 Papilio palamedes.

Went out the road toward the boy scout camp.  Turned right at dirt road across from Camp Seminole day camp across the railroad track.  Then down road about one mile.
8 Papilio philenor.
2 Papilio marcellus.
2 Agraulis vanillae.
1 Epargyreus clarus skipper.

July 23, 1960
Found a large colony of Pieris protodice along Edgewood Avenue just north of Paxon Shopping Center.  16 takes.
2 Pieris rapae.
2 Ascia monuste.
3 black swallowtails
1 tiger swallowtail

Last week in August, 1960
Goldhead State Park
Collecting not as good as was hoped for.
A few queens.
Papilio marcellus.
Papilio troilus.
1 Feniseca tarquinius.
Found a colony of [blank] at the area for campers.  First record of this species here.  Took about 14.
Large colony of Eurema lisa at this same location.

September 2-3, 1960
Had real good collecting at Orange Park.  Caught about 100 species in two locations.  One behind race track, the other near Camp Seminole.

February 12, 1961
Collected near St. Regis Paper Co. on Hercksher Drive.
3 Colias eurytheme ariadne, all males.
1 buckeye.
1 questionmark (a stray).
1 painted lady virginiensis.

This was the first day this year warm enough to collect.  About 60 to 65.  Sunny.

February 26, 1961
Collected near Edgewood Cemetery.
Nothing flying at Cemetery. 

Collected Strymon cecrops just off Picketville Road near Edgewood Avenue.

March 6, 1961
Temperature 88, highest on record this early in the season.

March 4, 1961
Collected at Orange Park, Fla.
Collecting not good.
2 black swallowtails.
1 zebra swallowtail.
1 blue swallowtail.

March 11, 1961
Collected at Edgewood Cemetery with Veral Board.
Temperature 36 in the early morning, up to 72 by the afternoon.
4 gemma.
2 red admirals.
Vanessa virginiensis.
tiger swallowtail.
Sighted all swallowtails caught in this area also.

March 18, 1961
Orange Park
Two skippers

March 26, 1961
Sunny, warm.  75 to 80.
Out Collins Road west.  Turn right at end of pavement.  Turn left at end of street.  Go as far as you can without turning.  Walk thru dump to the left to a small stream.
1 spring azure male.  First record for this area.

April 1 and 2, 1961
Goldhead State Park between Old Mill site and lake along trails.
Sunny, cool, windy.
Spring azures.  5 males, 4 females.
Incisalia henrici.  3 males, 2 females.  First taken in this area.
1 Strymon m-album.
3 Euptychia cymela.

April 9, 1961
Hamilton Street Park
Cloudy, cool.  65 to 70.
1 Strymon m-album.  First one taken in Jax.
1 Strymon cecrops.
4 skippers.

April 15, 1961
Hamilton Street Park
Cloudy, cool
4 skippers.  Whirlabouts.

April 22, 1961
Tried Orange Park.
Collecting not good.
4 Strymon melinus.
1 Ascia monuste.
1 painted lady – virginiensis.
3 skippers.

Table 2.  Chuck Zeiger’s field notes on loose note book sheets from February 1978 to August 1981.

1978 Field Observations
C. F. Zeiger

February 12, 1978
Dave Baggett and I checked the area 4 mi. south of Interlachen, Putnam County, Fla. S.R. 315 for eastern white cedar, host for Mitoura hesseli.  The trees were located along Deep Creek growing in a very thick forest condition.  Trees inspected were in T10S R24E sections 33, 34, and T11S, R24E sections 2, 3.  Some of the older trees exceed 60’ to 70’.  There are smaller trees around the fringe.  There are blackberry bushes along the roads.  The best collecting area appears to be along a graded road approximately 1 mile west of S.R. 315 just north of Deep Creek on the east side in section 33.

February 26, 1978
Dave and I visited Steve Roman in Orlando.  Just north and west of Orlando we stopped to collect on flowering plum trees.  There was very little coming in to the trees, however, Steve took a new state record, Tortoise Shell.
We then went on to De Land to check on Incisalia henrici.  The colony is located about 1 mile east of I-4 on the south side of S.R. 44.  The host plant is holly, which grows in swampy areas.  Condition are similar at 3 sites.  I have taken henrici – Goldhead State Park and Highlands Hammock State Park.

March 11, [1979]
Dave and I collected at Heckscher Drive and New Berlin Road on plum trees.  I took a Incisalia henrici and Dave got another about 20 minutes later.  Dave caught Psychomorpha euryhoda.  We then both took good series of the day flying moth.  Both are new county records.  The main purpose of the trip was to collect Megathymus pupae and larvae.  We collected at Fernadina Beach, Little Talbot Island State Park, and Eastport.  We believe we have at least two species, M. yuccae and M. cofaqui.  The feeding is different at the 3 locations at Fernandina.  They were in the crowns of the small plant and into the root system at Little Talbot Island State Park.  They were in the larger plants in the crown at Eastport.  The plant is bear grass and the larva was in the root system with the tents protruding from the ground several inches from the main plant.

February 19, 1980
Checked area on Hecksher Drive with Charley Stevens.  The Road Department is constructing a 4 lane road from the zoo to the Gulf Oil tanks at Eastport.  It took out one of the prime spots we took Incisalia henrici last year.  The area on the left side of the road is also being developed, but they have left some of the trees we collected on.  The (park) area just beyond the bridge is still intact and the two large wild plum trees were just starting to bloom.  We also checked the New Berlin Road and Hecksher Drive area.  The trees were budding out and a few blooms were noted.  They should be in full bloom in 7 to 14 days.

February 23, 1980
Checked plum trees at Eastport.  Sighted Incisalia henrici, but did not take.  Also checked bear grass with no results.  Checked Dames Point and Hecksher Drive and cut 5 Spanish Bayonet.  Dave Baggett kept 3, I 2 (female hatched 14 March) Megathymus yuccae. Sighted Mitoura on red cedar at Ft. George.

March 2, 1980
Snow and hard freeze.

March 8, 1980
Checked the pine elfin area to Lake Delancy with John Watts and Dave Baggett.  We figured we were about 1 week early.
Checked white cedar area 5 miles south of Interlachen, Putnam County.  Did not located hesseli, but we did locate a colony of Megathymus cofaqui.  We found the cone shaped egg cases [drawings] first and some old tubes coming out of the ground away from the plants.  Dave found one tube with a pupa in it.  We found 4 larvae by digging into the root system about 12 to 10” under the ground.  Usually there is one main root 2” +/- with shoots running out to the side.  Most of the larvae were in the side shoots of the yucca (bear grass).

March 16, 1980
Took two Incisalia henrici at Eastport.  One forester moth and one dark form of cecrops.  Checked bear grass for yucca skippers.  No results.  Freeze of 2 March did considerable damage to wild plum blooms.

March 17, 1980 and March 20, 1980
Battus polydamas hatched.  Pupated fall of 1979.  Reared on Dutchman’s Pipe.

June 22, 1980
Went from Gainesville by charter bus to Miami.  Then flew from Miami to Quito Ecuador on 23 June 1980.  Then flew to Coca and collected that afternoon.  After boarding the Flotel Orillano on the Rio Napo River in Napo Province.  Collecting Spot I Coca.  Boat moved to Primavera that evening.  Collecting Spot II lights on boat.

June 24, 1980
Took dugouts to collect at Lemoncocha during the day.  Coll. Spot III.

June 25, 1980
Took dugouts to Laguna Taracoa to collect in morning.  Rained during afternoon. Collecting spot IV.
Flotel moved to a new location.

June 26, 1980
Collecting spot V Laguna Taracoa.  Flotel moved to Coca June 27, 1980.  Collecting spot 26 June 80 near Coca at lights VI L. collecting spot at Coca, day, June 27, 1980 VI.  Collecting around boat landing before taking plane to Quito and bus to Puyo.

June 27, 1980
Plane.  En route from Quito to Puyo.  I slept on plane.  Sick.

At 3:45 pm.  We lost Carl!  He was in the bathroom of course.  Some hombre obligingly picked him up and chased us.  The bus turned around and chased it (guides name Fernando). 

Police checkpoints – to check driver’s license because they are most expensive – for a car $150.00 [$1.000.00 U.S. per year].

Gas 20¢ a gallon.  Ecuador and Venezuela are oil producers.  Members of OPEC. 
Toyota truck $10,000.  American cars - $30,000.  New autos, Volvos and Mercedes, $40,000.00 U.S.

3rd smallest country.
Andes divides land into several parts.
Coastal lowlands
Sierras or highlands
Amazon jungle
Puyo [is in the] Amazon basin – tea. Export, bananas, coffee, cocoa, beans, sugar cane, cigarettes, rice, pinapple, papayas, mangos.  Potatoes, wheat, and corn in highlands.  Mahogany, cedar from Amazon. 
Economy 40% oil, 40% agricultural products.
NASA tracking station at 11,000 ft high.
Mountains, this is near Volcano Coatopaxi.

June 27, 1980
Pictures at Machochi Valley, Coraz√≥n Peak on the road to Puyo.  Rain all thru the Andes.

June 28, 1980
Got sick at Puyo.  Collected mostly near the Hotel Turingia.  Most of the party collected 25 km east of Puyo.  Collecting area VII.  El. 3000.  Pastaza Province.

June 29, 1980
Pictures of parrots at shell mira on way to Banos.  [shakey writing]  Trying to write on bus thru the mountains.

June 29, 1980
Rio Tapo.  El. 4000’.  Pastaza Province.  Collecting spot VIII.  Best collecting so far.  Collected along the Rio Suna River.

Pictures of twin falls Agouan Falls [drawing] Pastaza River.

June 29, 1980
Banos.  El. 5800’  Collecting spot IX.
Tungurahua Province.

June 30, 1980
Banos.  El. 5800’.  Collecting spot X.

July 1, 1980
Stayed at the Villa Gertrudis, Banos.

Collected on a trail two blocks west of Villa that goes up the mountain.

Charley Stevens coll. At Rio Negro.  El. 4000’.   Pastaza Province.

Stopped at the Salasaca Indian village and purchased a poncho and 2 wall hangings.

June 22, 1981
[Dominican Republic]
Collecting spot No. I.
Jarabacoa, La Vega Province. El. 1700 ft.

Collecting spot No. II.
Bayacanes, La Vega Province.  El. 400 ft.

Collecting spot No. III.
10 km N.W. of Santiago.  Santiago Province.  El. 500 ft.

June 23, 1981
Collecting spot IV.

Moths at Jarabacoa.

June 24, 1981
Collecting spot V.

June 25, 1981
Collecting spot VI

June 26, 1981
Collecting spot VII

Moths at Jarabacoa

June 27, 1981
Collecting spot VIII.  Same as 26 June.

June 28, 1981
Collecting spot IX.
10 km S of Jarabacoa.  El. 3100 ft.

Collecting spot X.
20 km S of Jarabacoa.  El. 3550 ft.

Collecting spot XI.
30 km S of Jarabacoa at Constanza, La Vega Province.

Moths at Jarabacoa.

August 28, 29, 30, [1981]
Collected at Silver Glenn Springs campground, Ocala National Forest.
Papilio troilus 12.
Papilio palamedes 8.
Papilio cresphontes 3.
Papilio glaucus 3.
Papilio marcellus 3.
Battus philenor.
Only took the “good” swallowtails.  Sighted many more.
Euptychia areolata 2.
Agraulis vanilla nigrior (very common).
Phoebis sennae.
Eurema nicippe.
Catocala lacrymosa form “zelica”.
[hand drawn map with collecting spots marked]


  1. I just found this when I googled my fathers name. How wonderful that his legacy lives on and was preserved with his notes. I had no idea his good friend Dave had them and passed them on. So very happy to see this. If you would like more information I have some of his old files I can look through, not sure what might be of use/interest.

  2. I just found this when I googled my fathers name. How wonderful that his legacy lives on and was preserved with his notes. I had no idea his good friend Dave had them and passed them on. So very happy to see this. If you would like more information I have some of his old files I can look through, not sure what might be of use/interest.