Congratulations to 11-year-old Ariel M., our youngest CAzBA member, who won two second-place ribbons at the Arizona State Fair for her photographs of an Orange Skipperling and a Texan Crescent. (Ariel competed in the amateur division against adults!)
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The Central Arizona Butterfly Association ran the 8th annual butterfly count at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum on 6 September 2014. This count is part of a national system of butterfly counts managed by the North American Butterfly Association. There are over 400 registered count sites that are visited each year in the US, Canada, and Mexico. The BTA count was first done in 2007 and has run every year since. Each year counters visit several areas within a 15 mile diameter circle centered on Superior High School. Sites visited include the Picketpost Trailhead, the grounds of BTA, the Oak Flat area, the town of Superior, and the Apache Tears riparian area.
This year 14 count participants tallied over 631 individuals of 35 species. The sites with the highest number of species seen were BTA (24) and the Oak Flat area (25). The species with high numbers of individuals seen were Cloudless Sulphur (250!), Pipevine Swallowtail (79), Sleepy Orange (58), Queen (40), Empress Leilia (39), and American Snout (37). This year’s count was not exceptional. To give some perspective the highest count numbers seen in any previous year were in 2010 when 55 species were sited and over 1000 individual butterflies. - Ron Rutowski
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It was a good trip to east Clear Creek with great sunny weather and a decent number of butterflies. Despite the great sunny weather, the butterfly diversity was low. Target species for East Clear Creek are Northern Crescent and Long Dash. We managed to see two Northern Crescents, but dipped on the Long Dash.
Butterflies: Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme), Queen Alexandra's Sulphur (Colias alexandra), Checkered White (Pontia protodice), Sylvan Hairstreak (Satyrium sylvinus), Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), Marine Blue (Leptotes marina), Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon), Reakirt's Blue (Echinargus isola), Weidemeyer's Admiral (Limenitis weidemeyerii), Atlantis Fritillary (Speyeria atlantis), Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa), Northern Crescent (Phyciodes cocyta), 'Arizona' Silver-spotted Skipper ( Epargyreus clarus), Pahaska Skipper (Hesperia pahaska), Tawny-edged Skipper (Polites themistocles), Taxiles Skipper (Poanes taxiles)
Thanks everyone! -Kurt Radamaker
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On Saturday May 17, a group of 11 butterfly lovers hiked part of the Col. Devin Trail north of Payson, looking for spring butterflies. There was not much nectar around. Things have been dry, dry, dry... Butterfly numbers of species and individuals were low. Manzanita and Pussytoes were blooming and Buckbrush is starting to have some white fluffy flowers. The Butterflyweed will likely take another 3 weeks before attracting Fritillaries and others. This is a trail to visit again in a few weeks, IF... the Forest Service doesn’t close the area because of the fire danger.
24 species were seen: Two-tailed Swallowtail, Orange Sulphur, Southern Dogface, Mexican Yellow, Dainty Sulphur, Bramble Hairstreak, Gray Hairstreak, Marine Blue, Reakirt’s Blue, Spring Azure, Western Tailed Blue, Variegated Fritillary, Northwestern (Atlantis) Fritillary, Mylitta Crescent, Common Buckeye, Arizona Sister, Mourning Cloak, Silver-spotted Skipper, Northern Cloudywing, Funereal Duskywing, Com. Checkered Skipper, Northern White Skipper, Deva Skipper (pictured), Morrison’s Skipper.
Thanks everyone for a fun outing! -Marceline
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Rackensack Canyon was explored by 12 CAzBA members, including two members of the Arizona Native Plant Society, who helped identify and add to the Rackensack Plant List. We began in the downstream portion of the canyon where there was more riparian habitat with more plants. The main canyon was dry due to the lack of winter rains. More productive was the upper area of the main “Side Canyon” where there was water. A Yucca Giant-Skipper was found there by one of the observers.
Among the several species of wildflowers, a special treat was the sight of a blooming larkspur.
After lunch, a hike up to the Sears Kay Ruins added Checkered White, Martin’s Blue, and Great Purple Hairstreak (pictured).
Thirty species were recorded for the day: Pipevine Swallowtail, Two-tailed Swallowtail, Checkered White, Sara Orangetip, Sleepy Orange, Southern Dogface, Marine Blue, Reakirt’s Blue, Spring “Echo” Azure, Martin’s Blue, Great Purple Hairstreak, Elada Checkerspot, Variable Checkerspot, Sagebrush Checkerspot, California Patch, Painted Lady, Empress Leilia, Mourning Cloak, Common Buckeye, Queen, Mournful Duskywing, Sleepy Duskywing, Meridian Duskywing, Northern Cloudywing, Arizona Powered-Skipper, Common Streaky-Skipper, Northern White-Skipper, Common Checkered-Skipper, Orange Skipperling, Yucca Giant-Skipper.
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