Long Point Butterfly Count 2018: Organizer’s Report
By Adam Timpf, NFN Member and Count Coordinator
All photos by Len Grincevicius
This year the Long Point butterfly count fell on Saturday July 7th, the latest date that the first Saturday in July could possibly fall on. Thirty-five observers were divided into different groups, each group covering a different territory and recording all the butterflies they could find throughout the day. Many thanks go to Peter and Mary for hosting the wrap-up and serving food and drink to the hungry butterfly counters at the end of a long day.
Right after I had emailed out the count results to participants, yet another species was identified from photos uploaded to iNaturalist by one of the counters. Thus, a single Gray Comma bumps up our species total to 54, two shy of our all-time high, and well above our 27-year average of ~50. Total number of butterflies recorded was 2,285, a bit below the average of 2,598.
There were no new species recorded this year, but we did set new highs for three species (old record in brackets): Common Sootywing 4 (2), Delaware Skipper 14 (9), and Tawny-edged Skipper 43 (3). We also had some other notable finds with a single Harvester being the first on the count since 2009, and a single Gray Hairstreak was the first since 2000. On the flip side we always miss something and this time it was Bronze Copper, which eluded counters for only the second count ever.
Monarchs had a bounce back year as I’m sure most readers will agree. On the count date 142 Monarchs were found marking our third highest count and much higher than the long-term average of 50.
These Monarchs seemed to have had a successful breeding year with numerous Monarchs and their caterpillars being seen throughout summer and into the fall. Let’s hope the migrant generation can make it to Mexico safely so we can have another good count next year. It will be interesting to see if the high numbers we have seen in Ontario this year will translate to a higher population at the winter roost sites in Mexico.
Thank you to all the participants and helpers for your efforts on this count and past counts. It wouldn’t be possible without your dedication and enthusiasm. Next year, the count falls on July 6th so mark your calendars!
2018 Long Point Butterfly Count Results:
|Eastern Tiger Swallowtail||58|
|Great Spangled Fritillary||90|
|Wild Indigo Duskywing||0|
|Common Roadside Skipper||0|
|Common Checkered Skipper||0|