2020 Long Point Butterfly Count Results
By Adam Timpf (NFN member and event organizer)
The heat and humidity were a challenge to the comfort and energy of observers, but the weather was far better than the rains we had last year. Some people (author included) found the butterflies to be in short supply, while others reported good numbers and diversity. It was feast or famine depending where you were looking.
We had great coverage with 35 observers in 15 parties spending 67.5 hours in the field, covering approximately 85.5 km. 3997 individuals of 54 species were recorded. This is our fifth highest individual total (average 2615), and just shy of our record species total of 56. We set several record highs and even managed to add a new species to the count!
New to the count: Mulberry Wing (3). Amazingly, three groups photographed three individual Mulberry Wing, a skipper that was previously only known from just outside the count circle at the top end of Spooky Hollow. One individual was photographed near Backus, while the other two were near St. Williams. I’ll be curious to see whether this becomes an annual occurrence on the count, or if this is just a fluke year.
Count Highs (previous high in brackets)
Giant Swallowtail 1 – (1 in 2017, often between broods)
Banded Hairstreak 1146 – (517 in 2015)
Gray Comma 9 – (4 in 2014 and 2016)
Red-spotted Purple 38 – (30 in 1997)
Tawny Emperor 71 – (39 in 2004)
Aside: Still no confirmed Hackberry Emperor records for Norfolk
Common Wood Nymph 284 – (205 in 2010)
Common Sootywing 4 – (4 in 2018)
Cabbage White 851 – 2nd highest (1428 in 2017)
American Copper 86 – 2nd highest (205 in 2012)
Hickory Hairstreak 6 – most since 11 in 2008
Striped Hairstreak 6 – most since 13 in 2007
Broad-winged Skipper 1 – first since 2015
Monarch 71 – which is higher than the long-term average of 52 and well within the wild swings in numbers we have seen in the last five years.
Hope you can join us again next year on Saturday, July 3rd, 2021.
Below is the entire species list.
Thank you to all participants for your effort!
|Eastern Tiger Swallowtail||68|
|Great Spangled Fritillary||14|
|Wild Indigo Duskywing||0|
|Common Roadside Skipper||0|
|Common Checkered Skipper||0|