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 Farmington Valley 2017 Butterfly Count - Report





Those wishing to participate in the 2018 Farmington Valley Butterfly Count may contact Roaring Brook Nature Center at 860.693.0263

July 22, 2017

As opposed to bird counts that begin before dawn and last into the evening, butterfly counts do not start until the temperatures exceed 70 degrees and they end well before dusk. We also don’t hold butterfly counts if it is raining. In other words, butterfly counts are held under pleasant weather conditions.

The 2017 Farmington Valley Butterfly Count weather did not disappoint. Cool, overcast conditions in the early morning gave way to warmer temperatures with little wind. The high for the day was 82, and the cloud cover kept conditions comfortable, a nice change from the brutally hot weather experienced over the past few years.

Fourteen observers in ten parties covered some 28 miles and spent a cumulative 36 hours in the field. Forty-one total species eclipsed last year’s total by two. There were a few notable sightings including a single Baltimore Checkerspot found near Great Pond in Simsbury, one Little Glassywing found in Farmington, and 3 Northern Cloudywings found near Westmoor Park in West Hartford. It has been over a decade since cloudywings were found during our Count.

Of course, everyone wants to know how the Monarchs are faring. Sixty-three monarchs is our highest total since 2008 when 77 were reported. While this is exciting, it remains to be seen if this is a one-year surge due to favorable conditions on the wintering grounds in Mexico, or if this upswing will continue into the future. Long-term trends are a better indication of how a population is doing rather than a one year increase or decrease.

Jay Kaplan, Compiler
Farmington Valley Butterfly Count.

Species and Totals for this year’s Count are as follows:

  • Eastern Tiger Swallowtail-37
  • Black Swallowtail - 22
  • Spicebush Swallowtai - 8
  • Cabbage White - 250
  • Clouded Sulphur - 50
  • Orange Sulphur - 24
  • American Copper - 14
  • Gray Hairstreak - 4
  • Eastern Tailed-Blue - 28
  • "Summer" Spring Azure -
  • Great Spangled Fritillary - 51
  • Silver-bordered Fritillary - 5
  • Meadow Fritillary - 13
  • Pearl Crescent - 20
  • Baltimore Checkerspot - 1
  • Question Mark - 11
  • Eastern Comma - 5
  • Mourning Cloak - 1
  • American Lady - 3
  • Red Admiral - 39
  • Common Buckeye - 5
  • Red-spotted Purple - 7
  • Viceroy - 11
  • Northern Pearly-eye - 2
  • Appalachian Brown - 28
  • Little Wood-Satyr - 7
  • Common Ringlet -31
  • Common Wood-Nymph - 87
  • Monarch - 63
  • Silver-spotted Skipper - 24
  • Northern Cloudywing - 3
  • Wild Indigo Duskywint - 6
  • Common Sootywing - 4
  • Peck's Skipper - 3
  • Tawny-edge Skipper - 2
  • Northern Broken Dash - 43
  • Little Glassywing - 1
  • Delaware Skipper - 6
  • Mulberry Wing - 34
  • Broad-wing Skipper - 8
  • Black Dash - 3
  • Dun Skipper - 32