Central Arizona Butterfly Association

Phoenix Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association.

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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

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Field trip report: butterflies along the Beeline Highway by Ron Rutowski 1 May 2021

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Fourteen fully-vaccinated butterfly enthusiasts journeyed up the Beeline Highway on Saturday looking for butterflies at two locations. The first was Round Valley which was hit hard last summer on the east side of the highway by the Bush Fire. We walked around for about an hour looking that the fire-damaged vegetation and saw only four species of butterflies: Marine Blue, Dainty Sulphur, Queen, and Empress Leilia. We then moved on to Upper Sunflower Valley where we walked down the old Beeline Highway to the Forest Service Camp. There we saw a few more species but still not a lot: Elada Checkerspot, Marine Blue, Acmon Blue, Queen, and Cloudless Sulphur. After a rattlesnake encounter early on, we encountered many small checkerspots and spent a good deal of time refreshing our memory of the distinguishing differences between Elada and Tiny Checkerspots. In the end, it seemed all we had seen were Eladas. Although this area was not hit by fire the lack of rain in the preceding winter and monsoon seasons meant the landscape was really dry with few nectar sources. Some birding was also done and was reasonably productive: https://ebird.org/checklist/S86860160. The day was warm with thin clouds, pleasant conditions for our first field trip since COVID hit and very welcome chance to get together and butterfly.

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