Category Archives: NABA

Aiken SC NABA Count, July 18, 2015

Here are my results from yesterday.

Event: Aiken NABA Count
Obs: Dennis Forsythe
Date: 18 July 2015
Time: 0800-1500 hrs
Effort: 53 mi by car 1/2 mi on foot
Weather: AM 72 f, light fog turning sunny, PM 95 sunny and scattered clouds
Coverage: The River Golf Course, Revco Road, Horse Creek Waste water Treatment Plant, Old Ferry Rd, Gum Swamp Rd, Silver Bluff Rd, Redcliffe Elem. School, Redcliffe Plantation State Park and Hy 278.
Black Swallowtail 10 all very fresh and at one location
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 11
Spicebush Swallowtail 2
Zebra Swallowtail 8
Cloudless Sulfur 8
Sleepy Orange 62
Gray Hairstreak 1 very worn
American Snout 15
Gulf Fritillary 2
Variegated Fritillary 21
Question Mark 2
Red Admiral 10
Common Buckeye 12
Pearl Crescent 20
Red-spotted Purple 15
Viceroy 7 tending toward the Florida race in color
Hackberry Emperor 60+
Silver-spotted Skipper 1
Horace’s Duskywing 4
Zarucco Duskywing 10+
Wild Indigo Duskywing 1
White Checkered-Skipper 15 we have collected individuals at this location
Clouded Skipper 1
Fiery Skipper 31
Whirlabout 2
(Very fresh) Male Sachem 1


Dennis M. Forsythe PhD
South Carolina Ebird Reviewer
Emeritus Professor of Biology
The Citadel

Savannah NWR, SC/GA NABA Count – June 6, 2015

The second Savannah NWR butterfly count was held on June 6, 2015 with mostly clear skies, warm temperatures and light winds. Three observers in two parties tallied 30 species and 135 individual butterflies. We had the following:

Black Swallowtail 8
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 3
Spicebush Swallowtail 2
Palamedes Swallowtail 5
Orange Sulfur 1
Cloudless Sulfur 1
Sleepy Orange 4
Red-banded Hairstreak 7
Gulf Fritillary 1
Common Buckeye 15
Red-spotted Purple 5
Hackberry Emperor 5
Tawny Emperor 3
Carolina Satyr 8
Horace’s Duskywing 2
Zarucco Duskywing 3
White Checkered-Skipper 1
Tropical Checkered-Skipper 5
Clouded Skipper 1
Least Skipper 6
Southern Skipperling 1
Fiery Skipper 18
Southern Broken-Dash 3
Sachem 1
Rare Skipper 1
Broad-winged Skipper 12
Salt Marsh Skipper 5

Theresa Thom (compiler) and Dennis Forsythe

Dennis M. Forsythe PhD
South Carolina Ebird Reviewer
Emeritus Professor of Biology
The Citadel

Savannah NWR NABA Count – June 7, 2014

The first Savannah NWR butterfly count was held on June 7, 2014 with mostly clear skies, warm temperatures and light winds. Ten observers in four parties tallied 43 species and 219 individual butterflies. We had the following:

Pipevine Swallowtail 2
Black Swallowtail 8
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 1 dark female
Spicebush Swallowtail 2
Zebra Swallowtail 4
Checkered White 2 new county record
Orange Sulfur 3
Cloudless Sulfur 1
Sleepy Orange 1
Red-banded Hairstreak 1
Eastern Tailed-Blue 1
Summer Azure 1
Gulf Fritillary 7
Variegated Fritillary 2
American Lady 1
Red Admiral 1
Common Buckeye 15
Red-spotted Purple 3
Viceroy 10
Hackberry Emperor 6
Tawny Emperor 1
Southern Pearly-eye 2
Appalachian Brown 1
Gemmed Satyr 5
Carolina Satyr 17
Little Wood Satyr 1
Silver-spotted Skipper 3
Zarucco Duskywing 9
White Checkered-Skipper 2
Tropical Checkered-Skipper 1
Least Skipper 13
Southern Skipperling 10
Fiery Skipper 14
Northern Broken-Dash 3
Sachem 1
Byssus Skipper 1
Rare Skipper 3
Zebulon Skipper 1
Broad-winged Skipper 51
Dion Skipper 1
Salt Marsh Skipper 1
spread-winged skipper sp. 1
White sp. 1

Theresa Thom (compiler) and Dennis Forsythe

Dennis M. Forsythe PhD
South Carolina Ebird Reviewer
Emeritus Professor of Biology
The Citadel

Rockingham County NABA Count – August 28, 2014

Belated results, but here they are!

The fourth ever Rockingham County butterfly count was held on 8/28/14 with mostly clear skies and temperatures ranging from 78-90 degrees. Six observers in two parties tallied 42 species and 857 butterflies. 224 of those were Sachem, 138 Eastern tailed Blue. Just to give you an idea of how bad this year has been for butterflies, let’s take a look at the numbers of last years most numerous butterflies! Last year we had 1101 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, this year only 12! Carolina Satyr went from 582 to 83 and Silver-spotted skipper from 271 to 22.

One species was new to the park area, though long overdue: Red-banded Hairstreak.

Misses were: Black Swallowtail, Cabbage White, Cloudless Sulphur, Question Mark or Eastern Comma, Painted Lady, Red Admiral and Common Wood-nymph.

Many thanks to the counters!

2-Pipevine Swallowtail
12-Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
8-Spicebush Swallowtail
3-Clouded Sulphur
3-Little Yellow
9-Sleepy Orange
3-Gray Hairstreak
1-Red-banded Hairstreak
138-Eastern Tailed-blue
95-Summer Azure
3-Variegated Fritillary
33-Great Spangled Fritillary
6-Silvery Checkerspot
6-Pearl Crescent
1-American Lady
32-Common Buckeye
26-Red-spotted Purple
3-Hackberry Emperor
3-Tawny Emperor
21-Northern Pearly-eye
7-Gemmed Satyr
83-Carolina Satyr
22-Silver-spotted Skipper
2-Horace’s Duskywing
3-Common Checkered-skipper
3-Swarthy Skipper
2-Clouded Skipper
7-Least Skipper
1-Fiery Skipper
2-Tawny-edged Skipper
9-Crossline Skipper
4-Southern Broken-dash
6-Northern Broken-dash
2-Little Glassywing
36-Deleware Skipper
29-Zabulon Skipper
2-Dun Skipper
2-Ocola Skipper


Brian Bockhahn

Surry County NABA Count – Sept 07, 2014

Seven (7) of us participated in the “delayed” Surry Count this year and 15 skipper species saved what could have been a fairly meager count. But we still ended up with 38 species and 320 individual butterflies. The best find was probably the Southern Pearly-eyes which are rarely seen in area. Thanks to all who helped out!

Pipevine Swallowtail 2
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 2
Spicebush Swallowtail 1
Cabbage White 1
Orange Sulphur 2
Cloudless Sulphur 1
Sleepy Orange 20
Gray Hairstreak 1
Eastern Tailed-blue 13
Summer Azure 11
Variegated Fritillary 1
Great Spangled Fritillary 8
Pearl Crescent 22
American Lady 1
Red Admiral 5
Common Buckeye 6
Red-spotted Purple 21
Southern Pearly-eye 2
Appalachian Brown 1
Gemmed Satyr 8
Carolina Satyr 60
Common Wood Nymph 2
Horace’s Duskywing 2
Common Checkered Skipper 1
Least Skipper 3
Fiery Skipper 2
Peck’s Skipper 2
Tawny-edged Skipper 3
Crossline Skipper 6
Southern Broken-dash 3
Northern Broken-dash 18
Little Glassywing 7
Sachem 56
Delaware Skipper 8
Zabulon Skipper 7
Dun Skipper 6
Common Roadside Skipper 4
Silver-spotted Skipper 3

Gene Schepker (and Maggie Wallace Martin, Bud Webster, Lois Koufman, Charles Cameron, Jim Nottke, Sven Halling)

Pettigrew State Park, NC NABA Count – August 31, 2014

Better late than never — the results of the Pettigrew count, held 8 days ago (August 31) have been compiled by Ed Corey, and sent to me for submitting to NABA. The weather was typical hot — 93 degrees for the high at nearby Plymouth, and generally partly cloudy all day; no rain. Of course, the count was hampered by the very severe March weather, and also by the continuing bush-hogging and cleaning of canals and ditches (for better irrigation of fields, I think). This cleaning up has resulted in much fewer stands of verbena along the road margins, and buttonbushes are hard to find, though most were finished blooming anyway.

We again had 5 parties, as with last year; we managed 50 species and 2,510 individuals last year. Thanks to Brian Bockhahn and several others with him, Nick Flanders, Elisa Enders, Signa and Floyd Williams, and Ed Corey for assisting me in the field. Salman Abdulali came down from Greenville, but was called back home early on for a family emergency.

Here are totals, with some comments (most numbers are quite a bit lower than last year, held on Sept. 8):

Zebra Swallowtail 16
Black Swallowtail 2
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 13 terribly low; 88 last year
Spicebush Swallowtail 9
Palamedes Swallowtail 288 (but 250 by Brian’s group)
Cabbage White 11
Orange Sulphur 92
Cloudless Sulphur 101 very low
Sleepy Orange 393
Great Purple Hairstreak 2
Gray Hairstreak 18
Red-banded Hairstreak 49
Eastern Tailed-Blue 2 typically scarce here
Summer Azure 19
Variegated Fritillary 27 quite low
Pearl Crescent 74
Question Mark 1
Eastern Comma 1
American Lady 1 only 1 on last year’s count also!
Painted Lady 8
Red Admiral 23
Common Buckeye 94
Red-spotted Purple 32
Viceroy 24
Southern Pearly-eye 5
CREOLE PEARLY-EYE 1 photo by the Williams; new count record, and a first for Washington County
Carolina Satyr 55 (presumed all this species and not Intricate)
Common Wood-Nymph 8
Monarch 5
Silver-spotted Skipper 177
Horace’s Duskywing 2
Common Checkered-Skipper 3
Common Sootywing 1
Least Skipper 128
Fiery Skipper 83
Crossline Skipper 3 two parties; scarce in this area
Whirlabout 1
NORTHERN BROKEN-DASH 2 photos by Brian; new to the count and new to Washington County; Southern Broken-dash still has never been found on this count!
Sachem 5
Delaware Skipper 1
Dion Skipper 1 low, but early count date; 46 last year on Sept. 8
Dun Skipper 8
Carolina Roadside-Skipper 1 uncommon, but not new for the count
Twin-spot Skipper 3 not new either; near northern edge of range
Ocola Skipper 6

45 species; 1,799 individuals. Missing — Clouded Skipper! Hard to fathom missing this one; we had 9 last year. Other misses from last year were mainly skippers, as we got nearly all of the expected true butterflies.

Harry LeGrand

Transylvania County NABA Count – August, 27, 2014

Six participants located 36 species of butterflies during the Transylvania NABA count on Wednesday, August, 27, 2014. The morning was cool, about 60 degrees, ending at about 80 degrees by the afternoon. There was full sunshine all day. Here are the results:

Pipevine Swallowtail 24
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 31
Spicebush Swallowtail 2
Cabbage White 8
Clouded Sulphur 55
Orange Sulphur 25
Cloudless Sulphur 8
Little Yellow 1
Gray Hairstreak 2
Eastern Tailed-Blue 39
Summer Azure 31
Variegated Fritillary 35
Diana Fritillary 7 ( one male, six females)
Great Spangled Fritillary 3
Meadow Fritillary 14
Pearl Crescent 8
Eastern Comma 1 (One Polygonia as well)
American Lady 1
Red Admiral 1
Common Buckeye 6
Red-spotted Purple 25
Viceroy 2
Northern Pearly-Eye 1
Carolina Saytr 1
Common Wood-Nymph 1
Silver-spotted Skipper 104
Horace’s Duskywing 2
Wild Indigo Duskywing 8
Clouded Skipper 3
Least Skipper 9
Fiery Skipper 1
Tawny-edged Skipper 1
Sachem 14
Zabuon Skipper 2
Dun Skipper 1
Lace-winged Roadside-Skipper 1

Many thanks to Nancy Cowal, Doug Johnston, Janie Owens, Sue Perry, and Vin Stanton for their participation!
Ruth Young

Southern Lake Norman NABA Count – August 17, 2014

The Southern Lake Norman NABA Butterfly Count was held Sunday August 17, 2014 after being postponed from the previous week. Temperatures were hot but humidity could have been much worse. Seventeen participants in six parties identified 57 species and 1238 individuals, spending 33.5 party hours in the field. Rob Van Epp’s group spent the most hours in the field and appropriately tallied the most species (44). Thanks to all who participated.

Rob Van Epps, Christine Lisiewski, Jeff Lemons, Lenny Lampel, Ethan Lampel, Robert Gilson, Laura Domingo, Thanh Huynh, Taylor Piephoff, Steve Tracy, Chris Talkington, Jan Fowler, Phil Fowler, Gene Schepker, Kevin Metcalf, Tom Sanders, Tammy Sanders.

Pipevine Swallowtail 12
Zebra Swallowtail 4
Black Swallowtail 4
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 81
Spicebush Swallowtail 33
Cabbage White 12
Orange Sulphur 10
Cloudless Sulphur 9
Little Yellow 1
Sleepy Orange 24
Red-banded Hairstreak 1
Gray Hairstreak 7
Summer Azure 26
Eastern Tailed-Blue 69
American Snout 12
Gulf Fritillary 2
Variegated Fritillary 30
Great Spangled Fritillary 4
Pearl Crescent 22
Question Mark 3
Eastern Comma 2
Painted Lady 4
American Lady 1
Red Admiral 6
Common Buckeye 133
Red-spotted Purple 23
Viceroy 5
Hackberry Emperor 8
Tawny Emperor 2
Northern Pearly-Eye 7
Creole Pearly-Eye 4
Appalachian Brown 13
Gemmed Satyr 1
Carolina Satyr 200
Common Wood-Nymph 4
Monarch 20
Silver-spotted Skipper 112
Hoary Edge 8
Southern Cloudywing 3
Northern Cloudywing 2
Horace’s Duskywing 8
Wild Indigo Duskywing 2
Common Checkered-Skipper 9
Common Sootywing 10
Swarthy Skipper 4
Clouded Skipper 22
Least Skipper 40
Southern Skipperling 1
Fiery Skipper 39
Tawny-edged Skipper 2
Crossline Skipper 1
Little Glassywing 21
Sachem 62
Delaware Skipper 25
Zabulon Skipper 45
Dun Skipper 4
Ocola Skipper 19

Taylor Piephoff
Matthews, NC

Durham NABA Count – August 17, 2014


As has been widely reported across the southeastern US, butterfly numbers are dramatically reduced in 2014 in many areas. Results of the 15th Annual NABA Durham Butterfly Count support that trend. Although wet/dewy vegetation and cloudy conditions made for a slow start to the 2014 Durham Count, nine butterfliers persisted and cumulatively tallied 54 species (average=56) composed of 1433 individuals, drastically below our average number of 3726 individuals! Late spring hard freezes seem to be the prevailing theory for depressed numbers in our area.

Brian Bockhahn’s party found the most species of the day (41) including a Great Purple Hairstreak (only the second time for this count). Amazingly, two parties (Bockhahn and Stickney) found a single Harvester each, only the second time for that species on this count. Jeff Pippen’s party found the most individuals (454) and only the second ever Long-tailed Skipper. While we had no terrible “misses”, we also set no record-high counts for any species, and we had too many record or near record low species’ counts to mention. Our avearge # of individuals per party hour was 49 (an all time low). This count averages 120 individual butterflies seen per party hour. While it’s a bummer to not see as many butterflies as usual, it’s great to have some real data that support the various casual and anecdotal observations that “butterfly numbers seem down this year.” Fortunately, insects lay hundreds to thousands of eggs per pair, hence they have a strong capacity to rebound after setbacks by such factors as unusually rough weather. I expect numbers to bounce back up for most species in the next couple of seasons.

Many thanks to all participants who helped with the Count this year: Brian Bockhahn, Randy Emmitt, Owen McConnel, Tom Krakauer, Salman Abdulali, Harry LeGrand, Jeffrey Pippen, Kelly Mieszkalski, and Richard Stickney.

Here are our results for the Durham Butterfly Count, 17 Aug 2014:

4 Pipevine Swallowtail
13 Black Swallowtail
24 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
33 Spicebush Swallowtail
12 Cabbage White
2 Orange Sulphur
85 Cloudless Sulphur
48 Sleepy Orange
2 Harvester
1 Great Purple Hairstreak
17 Gray Hairstreak
107 Eastern Tailed-Blue
62 Summer Azure
1 American Snout
9 Variegated Fritillary
1 Great Spangled Fritillary
99 Pearl Crescent
3 Question Mark
4 Eastern Comma
5 American Lady
5 Painted Lady
15 Red Admiral
66 Common Buckeye
21 Red-spotted Purple
3 Viceroy
12 Hackberry Emperor
4 Tawny Emperor
10 Northern Pearly-eye
1 Appalachian Brown
1 Gemmed Satyr
77 Carolina Satyr
9 Common Wood-Nymph
20 Monarch
225 Silver-spotted Skipper
1 Long-tailed Skipper
11 Hoary Edge
2 Southern Cloudywing
18 Horace’s Duskywing
1 Zarucco Duskywing
1 Wild Indigo Duskywing
3 Com. Checkered-Skipper
17 Swarthy Skipper
41 Clouded Skipper
5 Least Skipper
80 Fiery Skipper
5 Crossline Skipper
20 Southern Broken-Dash
1 Northern Broken-Dash
41 Little Glassywing
102 Sachem
4 Delaware Skipper
50 Zabulon Skipper
5 Dun Skipper
24 Ocola Skipper

For more info about the Durham Count, including data from all years, go here:

Good Butterflying!

Jeffrey S. Pippen
Durham, NC

Iredell County NABA Count – August 16, 2014

Seven of us went to Statesville and surveyed mostly Allison Woods and finished the day at the Greenway. We had 30 species and 320 butterflies on a hot day under mostly sunny conditions. In light of a trying butterfly year and sparse nectaring plants in the fields, it was a good effort and fairly good results. Several common butterflies were glaringly missing though. The best finds were probably a Lace-winged Roadside Skipper and Harvester, a “lifer” for several in the group.” Everyone had a good chance to photograph the very accommodating Harvester including some National Guard members working in the park and one of the Allisons, the owners of the site.

Black Swallowtail 1
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 15
Cabbage White 1
Clouded Sulphur 2
Sleepy Orange 7
Harvester 1
Gray Hairstreak 2
Eastern Tailed-blue 7
Summer Azure 22
American Snout 1
Pearl Crescent 2
Question Mark 1
Eastern Comma 1
Common Buckeye 110
Red-spotted Purple 19
Hackberry Emperor 5
Northern Pearly-eye 34
Carolina Satyr 43
Appalachian Brown 1
Silver Spotted Skipper 1
Common Checkered/White Skipper 4
Clouded Skipper 2
Least Skipper 1
Tawny-edged Skipper 1
Crossline skipper 2
Northern Broken-dash 1
Little Glassywing 6
Sachem 5
Zabulon Skipper 21
Lace-winged Roadside Skipper 1

30 species, 320 butterflies

Compiler, Gene Schepker