2016 Fourth of July Butterfly Count

July 26th, 2016

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On Tuesday, July 5th, fifteen volunteers and interns came to MPG for the annual Fourth of July Butterfly Count.  This is a citizen-science event registered with the North American Butterfly Association (NABA).

On Tuesday, July 5th, fifteen volunteers and interns came to MPG for the annual Fourth of July Butterfly Count. This is a citizen-science event registered with the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). The data collected during these counts, which occur through North America, yield information about butterfly species distributions and their relative population sizes.

data collected during these counts, which occur through North America, yield information about butterfly species distributions and their relative population sizes.

Cool temperatures early in the day made the butterflies sluggish. We worried that this would
keep them from flying and make them difficult to count. But the group persisted, and as the day warmed, more and more of the little insects grew active and took flight.

The participants counted butterflies at three sites: two on the summit of Baldy Mountain, and one in the Woodchuck Creek drainage.

The participants counted butterflies at three sites: two on the summit of Baldy Mountain, and one in the Woodchuck Creek drainage.

This fresh Milbert’s Tortoiseshell butterfly was a nice find on the top of Mount Baldy.

This fresh Milbert’s Tortoiseshell butterfly was a nice find on the top of Mount Baldy.

2016 MPG Butterfly Count Species List Totals

July 5th, 2016

Count

Common Name

Latin Name

Swallowtails

PAPILIONIDAE

47

Rocky Mountain Parnassian

Parnassius smintheus

4

Old World Swallowtail

Papilio machaon

2

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Papilio rutulus

12

Two-tailed Swallowtail

Papilio multicaudata

4

Pale Swallowtail

Papilio eurymedon

11

unidentified swallowtails

Whites and Sulphurs

PIERIDAE

2

Becker's White

Pontia beckerii

5

Western White

Pontia occidentalis

12

Cabbage White

Pieris rapae

29

unidentified whites

6

Clouded Sulphur

Colias philodice

2

Orange Sulphur

Colias eurytheme

4

unidentified sulphurs

Coppers and Hairstreaks

LYCAENIDAE

7

Blue Copper

Lycaena heteronea

1

Coral Hairstreak

Satyrium titus

1

Grey Hairstreak

Strymon melinus

4

Ancilla Dotted Blue

Euphilotes enoptes

8

Northern Blue

Lycaeides idas

4

Melissa Blue

Lycaeides melissa

2

Boisduval's Blue

Plebejus icarioides

1

Acmon Blue

Plebejus acmon

9

unidentified blues

Brushfoots

NYMPHALIDAE

1

Edwards' Fritillary

Speyeria edwardsii

2

Callippe Fritillary

Speyeria callippe

6

unknown fritillaries

1

Northern Checkerspot

Chlosyne palla

6

Snowberry Checkerspot

Euphydryas chalcedona colon

3

Northern Crescent

Phyciodes selenis

1

unknown crescent

1

unknown comma

1

Mourning Cloak

Nymphalis antiopa

2

Milbert's Tortoiseshell

Nymphalis milberti

8

Lorquin's Admiral

Limenitis lorquini

4

Common Wood-nymph

Cercyonis pegala

73

Small Wood-Nymph

Cercyonis oetus

3

unknown wood-nymphs

1

Chryxus Arctic

Oeneis chryxus

Skippers

HERPERIIDAE

4

Common Branded-Skipper

Hesperia comma

9

Western Branded-Skipper

Hesperia comma colorado

2

European Skipper

Thymelicus lineola

11

unindentified skippers

Total # butterflies: 317

Total # species: 32

About the Author

Marirose Kuhlman

Marirose graduated with a BA in biology with an emphasis in botanical science from the University of Montana, Missoula. She gained experience in botany working as a field technician for the Forest Service, non-profits, and the university. She has also worked as a lab technician in a salmon and trout genetics lab, and has organized environmental education classes for local homeschooled children.

Marirose works as a botanist for MPG Ranch where she performs vegetation surveys and conducts a pollinator monitoring program. She lives in a little hand-built cabin in the woods with her husband and their four young children who keep them very, very busy.