Durham NABA Count – Aug 16, 2015


Despite laments that the 2015 butterfly season in the eastern half of North Carolina has been poor, we enjoyed a very good 17th annual Durham Butterfly Count today (Sun 16 Aug 2015), with a total of 54 species (average 56) and 4155 individuals (average 3755). Near perfect weather helped our cause with mostly clear to partly cloudy skies and highs reaching into the low 90s. Eleven counters in six parties spent the day in fields and forests around Durham, NC searching for butterflies. Most of the species’ tallies today were a little above or a little below average with a few record highs set: Silvery Checkerspot, Tawny-edged Skipper, Delaware Skipper, and Ocola Skipper. The only record low was a complete lack of ladies, as this was the first time we’ve ever missed American Lady, and it was only the second time we’ve missed Gemmed Satyr. “Best” butterfly of the day was a Gulf Fritillary found by Richard Stickney, only the second ever for the Durham Count. Jeff Pippen’s party tallied the most individuals with 1558 thanks in big part to gangbuster numbers of Silver-spotted Skippers and Sachems in the Duke Gardens. Brian Bockhahn’s and Randy Emmitt’s parties tied for the highest diversity with 41 species.

Many thanks to all participants who helped with the Count this year: Brian Bockhahn, Lori Carlson, Randy Emmitt, John Jarvis, Ashley and Marshall Johnson-Prentice, Tom Krakauer, Meg Millard, Jeffrey Pippen, Lynn Richardson, Will Cook, and Richard Stickney.

Here’s our list!

5 Pipevine Swallowtail
1 Zebra Swallowtail
8 Black Swallowtail
300 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
14 Spicebush Swallowtail
3 Cabbage White
13 Orange Sulphur
154 Cloudless Sulphur
263 Sleepy Orange
1 Juniper Hairstreak
12 Gray Hairstreak
3 Red-banded Hairstreak
188 Eastern Tailed-Blue
34 Summer Azure
13 American Snout
1 Gulf Fritillary
31 Variegated Fritillary
11 Great Spangled Fritillary
132 Silvery Checkerspot
235 Pearl Crescent
4 Question Mark
1 Eastern Comma
9 Red Admiral
354 Common Buckeye
30 Red-spotted Purple
7 Viceroy
5 Hackberry Emperor
6 Tawny Emperor
6 Northern Pearly-eye
150 Carolina Satyr
4 Common Wood-Nymph
30 Monarch
443 Silver-spotted Skipper
5 Hoary Edge
14 Horace’s Duskywing
1 Zarucco Duskywing
1 Wild Indigo Duskywing
13 Com. Checkered-Skipper
4 Common Sootywing
67 Swarthy Skipper
21 Clouded Skipper
35 Least Skipper
210 Fiery Skipper
11 Tawny-edged Skipper
33 Crossline Skipper
56 Southern Broken-Dash
4 Northern Broken-Dash
74 Little Glassywing
1003 Sachem
15 Delaware Skipper
41 Zabulon Skipper
3 Dion Skipper
16 Dun Skipper
57 Ocola Skipper

Additionally, I’ve posted pics of a somewhat intermediate yellow morph/dark morph Eastern Tiger Swallowtail that I found on the count. It could be re-named a dusky tiger swallowtail, based on appearance! Scroll about half way down the page to the 16 Aug 2015 pics to see:


For past results, see:

Good Butterflying,

Jeffrey S. Pippen
Durham, NC