2005 Butterfly Count – July 21, 2005

Mike Reese came to help do a butterfly count – the first count that’s been done in Buffalo County. We tried one last year, but it was 50 degrees and cloudy and we only saw one butterfly. This year it was 95 with no clouds at all.

One problem we had was that the butterflies disappeared during the middle of the day when the sun was so hot, and the other was that we got very hot and tired. But we saw lots of butterflies – several new species for the farm.

Here’s the list from our farm. (Mike R. went on to Jackie’s hill prairie, and got some more species there.)

Black Swallowtail (3)
Cabbage White (3)
Clouded Sulphur (6)
Orange Sulphur (17)
Sulphur sp. (13)
Bronze Copper (1)
Coral Hairstreak (3)
Banded Hairstreak (1)
Eastern Tailed-Blue (10)
Spring Azure (4)(summer form)
Great Spangled Fritillary (18)
Aphrodite Fritillary (21)
Meadow Fritillary (84)
Gorgone Checkerspot (4)
Silvery Checkerspot (11)(worn)
Northern Crescent (6)
Eastern Comma (2)
Gray Comma (1)
Compton Tortoiseshell (1)
Milbert’s Tortoiseshell (134)
Painted Lady (3)
Red Admiral (1)
Common Buckeye (3)
Red-spotted Admiral (1)(red-spotted purple form)
Viceroy (1)
Hackberry Emperor (2)
Northern Pearly-eye (2)
Eyed Brown (13)
Common Wood-Nymph (44)
Monarch (10)
Silver-spotted Skipper (28)
Northern Broken-Dash (6)
Little Glassywing (1)
Delaware Skipper (5)
Mulberry Wing (2)
Black Dash (7)

My favorite new species was a Gorgone Checkerspot – what a gorgeous butterfly. I spent a while creeping up on one and got a pretty good photo.

We saw several Buckeyes – not a new species, but a nice one that I don’t see often. I almost didn’t recognize it from seeing only the underside of the wings.

Another nice new species for me was a Little Glassywing (Skipper).

One of Mike Reese’s frustrations was that we saw so many Milbert’s Tortoiseshells on the driveway – but we waited to count the whole driveway until the end of the day. By that time it was so hot that many of them had gone away. If we had counted them earlier, we would have had the highest count of Milbert’s ever on a butterfly count.

Mike found a Bronze Copper in the wetland – a nice species that I hadn’t seen at the farm before. (By that time I was so hot that all I could do was to sit in the shade.) Here’s his photo.

The next day I finally got some photos of a Delaware Skipper.

We also saw a nice damselfly – a Lyre-tipped Spreadwing (Lestes unguiculatus).