Long Point Butterfly Count 2018: Organizer’s Report

Long Point Butterfly Count 2018: Organizer’s Report

By Adam Timpf, NFN Member and Count Coordinator

All photos by Len Grincevicius

Photo of Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

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.

Photo of a Northern Crescent butterfly

Northern Crescent

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.

Photo of Monarch Butterfly

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:


Black Swallowtail 3
Giant Swallowtail 0
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 58
Spicebush Swallowtail 9
Pipevine Swallowtail 0
Checkered White 0
Mustard White 0
Cabbage White 239
Clouded Sulphur 53
Orange Sulphur 10
Harvester 1
American Copper 38
Bronze Copper 0
Coral Hairstreak 31
Acadian Hairstreak 1
Edward’s Hairstreak 558
Banded Hairstreak 27
Hickory Hairstreak 1
Striped Hairstreak 0
Gray Hairstreak 1
Eastern Tailed-Blue 5
Summer Azure 18
Silvery Blue 0
American Snout 0
Variegated Fritillary 0
Great Spangled Fritillary 90
Silver-bordered Fritillary 0
Meadow Fritillary 0
Aphrodite Fritillary 0
Silvery Checkerspot 3
Pearl Crescent 9
Northern Crescent 389
Baltimore Checkerspot 5
Question Mark 5
Eastern Comma 10
Grey Comma 1
Compton Tortoiseshell 0
Mourning Cloak 9
Milbert’s Tortoiseshell 1
American Lady 6
Painted Lady 0
Red Admiral 22
Buckeye 0
Red-spotted Purple 10
Viceroy 13
Tawny Emperor 34
Northern Pearly-Eye 5
Eyed Brown 20
Appalacian Brown 3
Little Wood-Satyr 23
Common Ringlet 1
Common Wood-Nymph 35
Monarch 142
Silver-spotted Skipper 103
Southern Cloudywing 2
Northern Cloudywing 3
Dreamy Duskywing 0
Sleepy Duskywing 0
Juvenal’s Duskywing 0
Columbine Duskywing 0
Wild Indigo Duskywing 0
Common Sootywing 4
Least Skipper 10
European Skipper 9
Peck’s Skipper 2
Tawny-edged Skipper 43
Crossline Skipper 8
Long Dash 3
Northern Broken-Dash 22
Little Glassywing 0
Sachem 0
Delaware Skipper 19
Hobomok Skipper 3
Broad-winged Skipper 0
Dion Skipper 1
Black Dash 3
Two-spotted Skipper 0
Dun Skipper 161
Common Roadside Skipper 0
Common Checkered Skipper 0


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