Central Arizona Butterfly Association

Phoenix Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association.

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News Articles

Check here regularly for current articles and news items related to Central Arizona Butterfly Association, conservation and nature. If you see an interesting article please let one of our board members know and we will post it here

5/30/2024      Fieldtrip report: Col. Devin Trail, 25 May by Marceline VandeWater

The weather was very pleasant but could have been a bit sunnier this year! 14 Participants started up the col. Devin Trail from Washington Park Trailhead and in the beginning the butterflying was really slow. In the end though: 24 species of butterflies were seen within the group, with Western Pine Elfin and Morisson’s Skipper being the most special, but Zela Metalmark the photo-op favorite. Total list: Two-tailed Swallowtail (3), Checkered White (3), Dainty Sulphur (2), Orange Sulphur (4), Bramble Hairstreak (2), Marine Blue (6), Spring “Echo” Azure (6), Western Tailed-Blue (4), Gray Hairstreak (1), Western Pine-Elfin (1), Zela Metalmark (2), Northwestern “Atlantis” Fritillary (2), Mylitta Crescent (1), Common Buckeye (3), Red Admiral (1), Red-spotted Purple (2), Weidemeyer’s Admiral (1), Arizona Sister (3), Mourning Cloak (4), Funereal Duskywing (2), Silver-spotted Skipper (9), Northern Cloudywing (3), Morisson’s Skipper (1), Common Checkered Skipper (1). I want to thank all participants for a great trip! Hope you will come out again soon! read more »

3/30/2024      Status of Butterflies in the United States by John Wesley Powell Center

As part of a USFWS -USGS Powell Center funded Working Group, we evaluated trends in abundance for all butterfly species across the United States, using data from 35 monitoring programs. Almost a quarter of these species were declining at their range-wide continental scale and over half of the species declining in at least one USFWS region. Butterfly species are declining across all butterfly families and ecological traits provide little predictive power in explaining overall trends. However, almost a quarter of the species were increasing in at least one USFWS region. We discuss biases in these data with respect to likely drivers of butterfly declines, as well next steps for developing collaborative efforts across organizations to rebuild butterfly populations. read more »

3/18/2024      Fieldtrip report: Superstition Mountains, 16 March by Ron Rutowski

Twelve of us ventured up the Apache Trail on a day after substantial rain storms moved through central Arizona. The passage of the storm was evident in the visible dusting of snow on Four Peaks and the water flowing over the fords at Tortilla and Mesquite Creeks. No butterflies were seen on our first and brief stop at Tortilla Flat. We moved on to Mesquite Flat where we spent about an hour and saw just one American Snout, although the birding was good (Sage Thrasher, Costa’s Hummingbird, three species of Towhees, etc.). We moved on to the Fish Creek Vista where butterflying was more productive, especially on the hilltop beyond the end of the paved trail. There, we were especially pleased to find a Fulvia Checkerspot (pictured) among the hilltopping species. What started out as a slow day ended with some good sightings. Our list of butterflies for the day is short which is not surprising for a beautiful but cool spring day following a major storm: Pipevine Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak, American Snout, California Patch, Fulvia Checkerspot, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Meridian Duskywing. read more »

3/11/2024      Climate Change Leading to Early Butterfly Activity in Central Europe

Climate Change Leading to Early Butterfly Activity in Central Europe read more »

3/11/2024      Upcoming Summer 2024 Southeast Arizona Butterfly Counts:

The following are the butterfly counts for July and August of this year. Update information will be provided on the SEABA website (www.seaba.org) as it is available. Santa Rita Mts. Summer late July Greg Greene greencycle@hotmail.com Sabino Canyon Summer late July/early August Greg Greene greencycle@hotmail.com Ramsey Canyon Sunday, July 28 Doug Danforth dougofbis@gmail.com Portal Friday, Aug 2 Lori Conrad lconrad6853@gmail.com Patagonia Sunday, Aug 4 Rich Bailowitz rbailowitz@gmail.com read more »

2/28/2024      Butterfly Wonderland Conservation Speaker Series

We have a speaker from NAU sharing about mapping the rainforest with NASA technology. Our very own Gail will be one of our amazing speakers with a timely topic on Monarchs. Danielle Carlock from SCC and Maricopa Pollinator Pathway will also be a speaker. Tickets can be purchased on our website - www.butterflywonderland.com read more »

10/1/2023      Atala butterfly returns to Florida Everglades. They were thought to be extinct!

Vibrant red caterpillars have been found clustered on plants at Everglades National Park and closer inspection has revealed it is not another invasive species in South Florida. The insects are a species of native butterfly once thought to be extinct, according to the National Park Service. “After an absence of 35 years, the Atala butterfly has returned to Everglades National Park,” the park reported in a Sept. 2 Facebook post. read more »

9/19/2023      Trip report: Aspen Corner, 22 July 2023 by Gail Morris and Marianne Jensen

Cool temperatures, sunny skies and inspired companions laid the groundwork for an exciting visit to Aspen Corner on Mount Humphrey in Flagstaff on 22 July 2023. Temperatures were still in the 60’s when we arrived eventually rising to the low 80’s – a perfect respite for many of the 13 participants escaping the lower desert heat to explore the mountain trails and meadows. Sneezeweed was in vibrant flower and the most popular pollinator plant (as always) but we were also lucky to find Flagstaff Iris still in bloom. Surprisingly, we didn’t see as many other arthropods as previous years such as Tachinid Flies and Day Flying Moths (such as the Police Car Moth) for instance. Despite their absence, we explored the area and found 20 butterfly species. Species list (20 species) Western Tiger Swallowtail, Checkered White, Orange Sulphur, Dainty Sulphur, Marine Blue, Spring Azure, Reakirt’s Blue, Gray Hairstreak, Mourning Cloak, Painted Lady, West Coast Lady, Northwestern (Atlantis) Fritillary, Queen, Variegated Fritillary, Arachne Checkerspot, Hoary Comma, White/Common Checkered Skipper, Taxiles Skipper, Garita Skipperling and Northern Cloudywing read more »

8/31/2023      Trip report: Pivot Rock Canyon, 12 August 2023 by Ron Rutowski

Five adults and two boys met at the upper trailhead in Pivot Rock Canyon on 12 August to explore the canyon and its butterfly denizens. The canyon was wonderfully green, cool, and humid, with a nice flow of water in the stream bed. However, the weather was not cooperative. Clouds blocked the sun for the first hour. There was then about 90 minutes of sun until the buildup of monsoon storms over the Rim. Our return to the cars was accompanied by light rain and thunder. As a result, our list of butterflies seen was not impressive: Orange Sulphur, Northern Fritillary, Gray Buckeye, Pacuvius Duskywing, Taxiles Skipper, unidentified blue. I would not give up on this new-for-CAZBA location yet. With good weather and recent rains it should be good. read more »

8/25/2023      In memory of Lola White

From Adriane Grimaldi: It’s with a sad heart we announce that Dr. Lola White, 103, passed away on August 13. She was a valued member of CAZBA for many years. Lola was instrumental in having the Two-tailed Swallowtail butterfly become Arizona’s State Butterfly in 2001. A few of the members of Butterfly Wonderland visited her in July and honored her with a special t-shirt and hat depicting the State Butterfly. From https://coe.arizona.edu/notable-alumni University of Arizona’s Notable Alumni: Lola White graduated from University of Arizona in 1942. In 2001, she worked diligently to make the Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata) Arizona’s State Butterfly. Why this butterfly? According to White, it is only found west of the Mississippi. “This butterfly has the colors of the Arizona flag and has 14 blue dots to mark February 14, the day in 1912 when Arizona Territory became a state. Having a state butterfly highlights problems that construction, herbicides, and global warming have on butterfly lives. Butterflies are second behind bees for plant and tree pollination.” read more »