Pilot Mountain/Surry County NABA Count – Aug 24, 2016

8 observers put in several hours on Aug 24 for the Pilot Mountain/Surry County butterfly count. Temps 73-83, mostly cloudy skies. From mountain summit, to feeder creeks, corridor trail and Yadkin river section of the park, more habitat than we had time to cover, lots of nectar, thistle was boomin!

From Lori Carlson: I have a photo album up on Flickr that contains the suspected Cloudeds. The album link is here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/shrone/7627D5

Tentative results below. 52 sp.

8 Pipevine Swallowtail
7 Black Swallowtail
321 E Tiger Swallowtail
12 Spicebush Swallowtail

2 Cabbage White
24 Clouded Sulphur
24 Cloudless sulphur
1 Little Yellow
69 Sleepy Orange

5 Gray Hairstreak
2 Red-banded Hairstreak
35 E tailed blue
26 Summer Azure

1 American Snout
17 Variegated Fritillary
34 Great Spangled Fritillary
520 Silvery Checkerspot
75 Pearl Crescent
2 Question Mark
3 American Lady
4 Red Admiral
21 Common Buckeye
12 Red-spotted Purple
1 Viceroy
1 Tawny Emperor
1 Southern Pearly-eye
1 Creole Pearly-eye
15 Northern Pearly-eye
3 Appalachian Brown (new site that should be reliable!)
8 Gemmed Satyr
1037 Carolina Satyr
1 Common Wood-nymph
7 Monarch

4 Silver-spotted skipper
1 horaces duskywing
1 Common checkered-skipper
9 Common Sootywing (new site)
2 Swarthy Skipper
18 clouded skipper
45 least skipper
2 fiery skipper
3 Pecks skipper
4 Tawny-edged skipper
10 Crossline skipper
1 norhtern broken dash
6 little glassywing
382 sachem
52 deleware skipper
14 zabulon skipper
1 Dun skipper
1 Common Roadside-skipper
1 EUFALA SKIPPER (new site, photographed by most of us!)

Misses include Zebra swallowtail, orange sulphur, eastern comma, painted lady, hackberry emperor, hoary edge, any cloudywing, lace-winged roadside skipper (looked hard in usual spots), southern broken dash and Ocola skipper.

Brian Bockhahn

Pettigrew State Park NABA Count – Aug 28, 2016

Yesterday (August 28), the Pettigrew SP, NC, butterfly count was held, under relatively poor conditions — mostly cloudy and somewhat threatening skies and winds of 10-12 mph. The afternoon was cloudy with a few sprinkles here and there, but winds were still an issue. We had outstanding coverage, with six parties: Jeff Pippen and me; Ed Corey; Salman Abdulali; Signa and Floyd Williams; Nick and Elisa Flanders; and Randy Emmitt and Tom and Barbara Driscoll.

Zebra Swallowtail 49
Black Swallowtail 24
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 98
Spicebush Swallowtail 32
Palamedes Swallowtail 207
Cabbage White 12
Orange Sulphur 77
Cloudless Sulphur 511
Sleepy Orange 1,090
Gray Hairstreak 14
Red-banded Hairstreak 3 low
Eastern Tailed-Blue 4 always scarce on this count, for no obvious reason
Summer Azure 70
Variegated Fritillary 69
Pearl Crescent 138
Question Mark 5
Eastern Comma 1
Red Admiral 24
Common Buckeye 116
Red-spotted Purple 21
Viceroy 37
Southern Pearly-eye 6 good number of pearly-eyes of both species
Creole Pearly-eye 2
pearly-eye sp. 3
Carolina Satyr 9 low; did not attempt to discern if any might be Intricates
Common Wood-Nymph 2
Monarch 6 only seen by one party!
Silver-spotted Skipper 169
Horace’s Duskywing 3
Zarucco Duskywing 1 scarce in the area
Common Checkered-Skipper 22
Common Sootywing 22
Clouded Skipper 2 low
Least Skipper 341 very high, at least relative to other skippers
Fiery Skipper 51
Sachem 1
Dion Skipper 7
Dun Skipper 2 quite low
Twin-spot Skipper 1 at northern edge of range
Ocola Skipper 37

Total: a very disappointing 39 species

Misses: Great Purple Hairstreak; American Lady; a wide variety of grass skippers we often get 1-2 individuals of, such as Whirlabout and Lace-winged Roadside-Skipper; and migrants such as Gulf Fritillary and Painted Lady. Though the first two were the only usual misses, with 5-6 parties and decent conditions, we usually get lots of ones and twos in the skippers and migrants that fill in holes to get to 45 or rarely 50 species.

What were much big bigger issues than the weather were the continued clearing and herbiciding of many ditches and canals in the area, and very sadly the obvious mosquito spraying that took place in much of the count circle, as evidenced by a near lack of most grass skippers and many other insects (including mosquitoes) where nectar sources were abundant. Masses of coastal Joe-pye-weed, ironweed, verbena, climbing hempweed, swamp milkweed, pickerelweed, etc., were devoid of nearly all butterflies and bees/wasps, even including swallowtails. This year has seen an increase in most butterfly populations across North Carolina since the devastating snow, ice, and freezes back in early 2013, but this area has been devastated by spraying. It was difficult to find skippers other than Least and Silver-spotted, but if you go to other areas of the Coastal Plain, this skipper dearth isn’t really a problem.

I want to sincerely thank the efforts of all of the observers, nearly all of whom had to travel 2-3 hours from their homes to reach the count circle, only to be confronted with a lack of skippers. Better butterflying back in your home areas!

Harry LeGrand

Triad Chapter – Reynolda Gardens – Aug 27, 2016

On Saturday morning, Aug. 27, 2016, under a sunny sky and in humid weather at Reynolda Gardens in Winston-Salem, NC, seven of us counted the following butterflies in about an hour and a half:

Pipevine Swallowtail – 2
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – 13 (incl. 2 black form)
Black Swallowtail – 1
Cabbage White – 2
Cloudless Sulphur – 1
Sleepy Orange – 1
Azure species – 2
Pearl Crescent – 1
Red Admiral – 1
Common Buckeye – 1
Silver-spotted Skipper – 10
Spread wing skipper species – 1
Clouded Skipper – 1
Fiery Skipper – 20+
Little Glassywing – 1
Sachem – 30+
Dun Skipper – 1
Ocola Skipper – 4

Total species: 18

There were so many skippers that they were uncountable. Not only were there a lot of them, they were moving constantly, so an exact count was impossible. The vast majority were Sachems followed by many Fiery Skippers.

Despite the high humidity, we had a great time in a beautiful garden setting. Thanks to Barbara Cullen for organizing and leading our group.

Posted for the Triad Chapter by Dennis Burnette, Greensboro, NC

Durham NABA Count – Aug 21, 2016


Again this year the annual Durham Butterfly Count produced above average numbers of butterflies making a very successful day! Conducted yesterday (21 Aug 2016), six field parties and one garden watcher cumulatively tallied 5096 individual butterflies comprising 57 species within a 15 mile diameter circle in Durham, NC. While most species showed up in generally average numbers (based on 18 years of conducting this survey), we found near record high numbers for three species (Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Pearl Crescent, Carolina Satyr), and we set new record highs for four species (Cloudless Sulphur, Sleepy Orange, Silvery Checkerspot, Hackberry Emperor). Skipper numbers overall were around average, and we found no mega-rarities. We rarely see Common Wood-Nymphs in large numbers, but this is the first year we’ve missed them entirely.

The weather was partly cloudy, hot, and humid. A couple of passing showers interrupted a couple of the northern parties for 15 minutes or so, but as soon as the rain dissipated, the sun returned, and the butterflies again took flight. My team actually saw several butterflies flying around in the rain including swallowtails, checkerspots, and satyrs.

Detailed results, links to a few photos, and other information may be found at http://www.jeffpippen.com/butterflies/durhamcount.htm

Brian Bockhahn’s team tallied the most individuals (1514), and the Krakauer/Pippen team found the greatest species diversity (42). Many thanks to all who helped make this a fun and productive day exploring fields and forests: Brian Bockhahn, Lori Carlson, Will Cook, Tom Driscoll, Randy Emmitt, Laura Hamon, John Jarvis, Tom Krakauer, Kelly Mieszkalski, Kati Moore, Mai Anh Ngo, Byron Perry, Jeffrey Pippen, Richard Stickney, and Derek & Elissa Treuer.

Here’s the species list and grand totals for the day:

Pipevine Swallowtail 11
Zebra Swallowtail 2
Black Swallowtail 9
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 1024
Spicebush Swallowtail 25
Cabbage White 7
Clouded Sulphur 1
Orange Sulphur 9
Cloudless Sulphur 378
Little Yellow 1
Sleepy Orange 592
Juniper Hairstreak 2
Gray Hairstreak 13
Red-banded Hairstreak 3
Eastern Tailed-Blue 125
Summer Azure 29
American Snout 14
Variegated Fritillary 57
Great Spangled Fritillary 5
Silvery Checkerspot 353
Pearl Crescent 512
Question Mark 12
Eastern Comma 10
American Lady 4
Red Admiral 57
Common Buckeye 270
Red-spotted Purple 68
Viceroy 9
Hackberry Emperor 46
Tawny Emperor 36
Northern Pearly-eye 4
Appalachian Brown 3
Gemmed Satyr 7
Carolina Satyr 408
Monarch 18
Silver-spotted Skipper 236
Hoary Edge 2
Southern Cloudywing 2
Horace’s Duskywing 21
Zarucco Duskywing 1
Wild Indigo Duskywing 6
Com. Checkered-Skipper 11
Common Sootywing 1
Swarthy Skipper 33
Clouded Skipper 54
Least Skipper 39
Fiery Skipper 308
Tawny-edged Skipper 2
Crossline Skipper 13
Southern Broken-Dash 15
Little Glassywing 21
Sachem 83
Delaware Skipper 11
Zabulon Skipper 61
Dion Skipper 7
Dun Skipper 13
Ocola Skipper 32

Good Butterflying,


Jeffrey S. Pippen
Durham, NC

Triad Chapter – Historic Bethabara Park, Winston-Salem, NC – August 13, 2016

15 people walked around the Butterfly Garden, the Community Garden, and the Medicinal Garden for an hour and a half under VERY muggy conditions this morning as the temperature rose from 77 to 84, with RH in the upper 90s and calm wind.

Plenty of butterflies, but not much diversity. Nectar sources were mainly zinnia, tithonia, and phlox.

20+ Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 20% dark form
1 Cloudless Sulphur
2 Sleepy Orange
3 Eastern Tailed Blue
3 Pearl Crescent
1 American Lady
1 Red Spotted Purple
1 Monarch
8 Silver Spotted Skipper
3 Horaces Duskywing
2 Clouded Skipper
10+ Fiery Skipper
10+ Sachem
20+ Zabulon Skipper

Jim Nottke

Latta Plantation Nature Preserve and Cowans Ford NP – Aug 7, 2016

A great Sunday for a CBS walk at Latta Plantation NP and Cowans Ford NP weather was hot and sunny temps in the upper 80’s for most of the day and the storms stayed away . Thanks to Lenny Lampel , Rob Gilson, Ron Clark and Jennifer Daggy for participating in the count. We ended up with a total of 36 species, here is the List

Latta Plantation Nature Preserve

Pipevine Swallowtail 1
Zebra Swallowtail. 3
Spice bush Swallowtail. 4
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. 13
Little Yellow. 33 +
Sleepy Orange. 23 +
Cloudless Sulphur. 9
Gray Hairstreak. 1
ETB. 11
Variegated Fritillary 4
Pearl Crescent. 5
Question Mark. 1
Common Buckeye. 6
Red- spotted Purple. 7
Hackberry Emperor. 3
Northern Pearly-eye. 2
Carolina Satyr. 8
Hoary Edge. 6
Silver-spotted Skipper. 1
Northern Cloudywing. 2
Southern Cloudywing. 1
Horace’s Duskywing. 7
Fiery Skipper. 6
Sachem. 8
Little Glassywing. 3
Dun Skipper. 4
Swarthy Skipper. 1
Delaware Skipper. 3
Zebulon Skipper. 19

Cowans Ford Nature Preserve

Pipevine Swallowtail. 1
Spicebush. Swallowtail. 1
Tiger Swallowtail. 5
Little Yellow. 3
Sleepy Orange. 3
Cloudless Sulphur. 3
ETB. 2
Red-banded Hairstreak. 2
Juniper Hairstreak. 1
Variegated Fritillary. 3
Great Spangled Fritillary
SIlvery Checkerspot. 1
Pearl Crescent. 25+
Common Buckeye. 3
Red-spotted Purple. 1
Northern Pearly-eye. 1
Creole Pearly-eye. 3
Carolina Satyr. 35+
Hoary Edge Skipper. 2
Silver-spotted Skipper. 1
Southern Cloudywing. 1
Horace’s Duskywing. 1
Swarthy Skipper. 1
Fiery Skipper. 12
Sachem. 16
Little Glassywing. 3
Dun Skipper 2
Delaware Skipper 2
Zebulon Skipper. 2.
Clouded Skipper. 1
Ocola Skipper. 2


Citrine Forktail
Swamp Darner
Black-shouldered Spineylegs
Calico Pennant
Halloween Pennant
Swift Setwing
Eastern Pondhawk
Little Blue Dragonlet
Slaty Skimmer
Great Blue Skimmer
Widow Skimmer
Common Whitetail
Blue Dasher
Wandering Glider
Carolina Saddlebags
Black Saddlebags

Sent from my iPad

North Buncombe NABA Count – Aug 5, 2016

Almost postponed the date as the weather prediction was mostly cloudy and 60% rain. Well, it did rain on 2 groups, but not on 2. And we had mostly sun all day.
The “copper meadows” did not produce a single copper this year. And meadows at end of Cedar Hill trail had been recently bulldozed. Monarch was another sad miss. As were Crossline and Hayhurst’s Scallopwing. So we were very lucky to end up with 52 species; individual numbers low – 1231. This was our 7th count. Our species numbers have ranged from 51 to 55. Individuals from 937 to 2726.

Participants were Doug Johnston, Simon Thompson, Jamie Harrelson, Nancy Cowal, Sue Perry, Joe Tomcho, Dan and Joanne Lazar, and myself.

Gail Lankford

Pipevine ST – 17
Black ST – 7
E. Tiger ST – 128
Spicebush ST – 25
Cabbage White – 49
Clouded Sulphur – 24
Orange Sulphur – 35
Cloudless Sulphur – 21
Gray HS – 6
Red-banded HS – 1
ETB – 153
Summer Azure – 10
Harvester – 1 (first on count)
Variegated Frit – 29
GS Frit – 14
Meadow Frit – 21
Silvery Checkerspot – 2
Pearl Crescent – 120
Question Mark – 2
Eastern Comma – 3
American Lady – 5
Red Admiral – 3
C. Buckeye – 76
Red spotted Purple – 14
Viceroy – 4
Hackberry Emperor – 1
No. Pearly-eye – 30
Gemmed Satyr – 20
Carolina Satyr – 71
Common Wood-nymph – 9
SSS – 1-9
Hoary-edge – 1
Southern Cloudywing – 4
No. Cloudywing – 1
Horace’s Duskywing – 2
Mottled DW – 2
Zarucco DW – 4
Wild Indigo DW – 24
C. Checkered Skipper – 15
C. Sootywing – 1
Swarthy Skipper – 8
Clouded Skipper – 5
Least Skipper — 1
Fiery Skipper – 25
Peck’s Skipper – 25
Tawny-edged Skipper – 2
Little Glassywing – 1
Sachem – 33
Zabulon Skipper – 48
Dun Skipper – 12
Lace-winged RS Skipper – 6
Ocola Skipper – 1

Midlands Chapter – Enoree District, Sumter National Forest, SC – July 16, 2016


Midlands Chapter-Carolina Butterfly Society- Enoree District, Sumter National Forest, SC 16 July 2016 Trip Report

Date: 16 July 2016
Location: Enoree OHV Area Laurens Co., section of the Enoree District, Sumter National Forest.
Participants:Doug Allen, Jerry and Pat Bright, Dennis Forsythe (leader), Jeff Kline, Irvin Pitt, Roger Wellington, Rusty Wilson
Time: 10:00-14:00 hours
Weather: AM 82 f, overcast. PM 92 overcast light rain at 14:00 hours,
Coverage: Walked from Enoree OHV parking lot down Garlington School Rd, to CSX RR Tracks
Miles: 2.66 mi (GPS)
Others: Verbena brasillensis main nectar source
Species List:

E. Tiger Swallowtail 9
Cloudless Sulfur 3
Sleepy Orange 3
Gray Hairstreak 1
Eastern Tailed-Blue 2
Summer Azure 1
Eastern Comma 1
Red Admiral 2 plus one DOR
Common Buckeye 5
Pear Crescent 12
Red-spotted Purple 6
Hackberry Emperor 3
Carolina/Intricate Satyr 1 female
Silver-spotted Skipper 3
Hoary Edge 20
Southern Cloudywing 2
Northern Cloudywing 1
Horace’s Duskywing 3
Wild Indigo Duskywing 1 county record
Swarthy Skipper 2
Clouded Skipper 4
Zabulon Skipper 3
Dun Skipper 6
Common Roadside-Skipper 9 a record count?
Ocola Skipper 2


Dennis M. Forsythe PhD

Triad Chapter – Greensboro Arboretum Butterfly Walk – July 10, 2016

Twenty-four of us (a great turnout!) took a butterfly walk in the Greensboro Arboretum on Sunday afternoon, July 10. This was a joint outing with the T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society of Guilford County. We had moderate success finding butterflies for this time of year, and everyone seemed to have a good time. The weather was quite cooperative with temperature in the upper 80s and a sunny sky with a light breeze.

Butterflies have been a bit scarce in the Triad lately, presumably because the recent dry weather may have caused plants to stop producing nectar. Recent rain seems to have turned that around. We were successful in finding eleven species of butterflies, including three Monarch butterflies, at least one of which was a female. We searched through many milkweed plants along the creek but didn’t find any caterpillars. Maybe she’s laying eggs now and we’ll find caterpillars in a week to 10 days.

We were able to find Pawpaw trees, the host plant for Zebra Swallowtail butterflies, that had fruit on them, a first for many folks. Unfortunately, that particular species of butterfly was a no-show, however. One of the nicest sightings was a very fresh and colorful Red Admiral butterfly sipping nectar from Purple Coneflower. See the attached photo.

Below is our list for the afternoon.


Dennis E. Burnette


Greensboro Arboretum, Guilford County, 7-10-16

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 8
Cabbage White 7
Gray Hairstreak 1
Eastern tailed-Blue 3
Silvery Checkerspot 1 (new for the Arboretum)
Red Admiral 1
Monarch 3
Silver-spotted Skipper 3
Juvenal’s Duskeywing 4
Fiery Skipper 4
Sachem 5
Unidentified skippers – about 6

Triad Chapter – Pilot Mountain SP Surry Co, NC – June 25, 2016

The Carolina Butterfly Society Triad Chapter sponsored a field trip to Pilot Mountain State Park in Surry County, NC, on Saturday, June 25. We had a congenial group of 9 participants.

The weather was very comfortable for us humans, although possibly not so much for the butterflies. Although it was mostly sunny for the first hour and a half, the sky became hazy and then overcast later in the morning. The temperature ranged for around 73 to about 78, an unusually cool morning for this time of year.

We found only nine butterflies of six species. The list is below. We speculated that the low numbers are influenced by the on-going drought in this area, which is likely to have reduced the nectar availability. We also wondered if the natural midsummer decline in some butterfly species that are between broods already has begun.

Although it was a butterfly walk, we saw other things of interest. In the dry meadow at the base of the mountain access road we saw two species of dragonflies, 1 Widow Skimmer and 2 Eastern Amberwings, all females. In addition, we were happy to see two blooming native plants that we don’t often see, the native orchid Nodding Lady’s Tresses (Spiranthes cernua) in the meadow and a small native of the lily family, Yellow Star Grass (Hypoxis hirsuta) on the top of the mountain.

The birders in the group saw or heard quite a few species of birds but nothing unusual or unexpected, and we saw two different spotted Whitetail Deer fawns, one in the meadow and one in the mountaintop picnic area.

Despite the low number of butterflies, it was a very nice outing!

Here is the butterfly list:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 1
Spicebush Swallowtail 1
Eastern Tailed-Blue 3
Azure sp 1
Red Admiral 1
American Lady 2


Dennis E. Burnette