Trip Reports – 2002

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Randy Emmitt`s Estate & Oconeechee State Preserve, March 30, 2002



Well our first trip of the season was a smashing success! The weather man called for good weather Friday morning and changed up Friday night predicting rain all day. Well he messed up as usual and scared off a few folks, and the weather turned from poor to good by mid morning and it even got sunny in mid day and we never saw a drop of rain. Given the forecast we lost all the out of towners that were coming on the trip. But we managed to have 14 people show up from the Durham area! Four people were members of the CBS, five were members of the Duke Natural History Group (actually nine altogether as some of us belong to both the CBS and DNHG) and five people were guests. I counted 7 people with cameras semingly a big a change of format this year as only one person had a film camera the rest of us had digital cameras.

We started off at my estate by wondering down into the back 2 acres of woods and found large numbers of Trout Lilies, Rue Anemone, Pennywort, May Apples and a few Bloodroot still in bloom to name a few anyway. We heard a calling Barred Owl, a first of the season Louisiana Waterthrush, and large numbers of Gold Finches.

We then headed up to the top of my road following several Six-spotted Tiger Beetles to find my first Pipevine Swallowtail of the season fly by and Sleepy Duskywings and 3 Henry`s Elfins in courtship flight. Redbuds were the main nectar source for butterflies. It was called to my attention there was an Osprey flying over head and I believe this might have been bird number 109 in my neighborhood, we also heard a Brown-headed Cowbird calling.

Next we checked my neighbors old garden plot for dragonflies we weren`t disappointed either! A female Stream Cruiser then another both posed for close up photos! Next a couple of Common Baskettails and a Uhler`s Sundragon that posed for all the cameras. I found a mated pair of azures that we believed they could have been Summer Spring Azures.

Most of us then headed out to Oconeechee State Preserve and we ate lunch while enjoying the larger pond. Common Green Darners were entertaining us on the water as we ate. We saw an azure likely a Summer Spring Azure attempting to lay an egg on Wild Cherry, but my moving in closer to watch scared it off the cherry, a Edwards Azure would have been laying eggs on Flowering Dogwood I believe. We then walked up to the Brown Elfin Trail and were rewarded with 6 Brown Elfins which I believe we all took photos of. We didn`t get to see and courtship flights like in years past, but still they were a fun find. While on the knob we saw both a male and female Black Swallowtail and a Pipevine Swallowtail. Service Berry was in bloom several places near the top of the Brown Elfin Knob.

Part of the crowd parted ways and headed back home and the remaining five of us walked down to the power line cut and found these new dragonflies Twin-spotted Spiketail, Selys` Sundragon and a Common Whitetail. We found these mystery bugs all over the broom sedge? under the power line. Falcate Orangetips, Spring Azures and Juvenal`s Duskywings were plentiful along the power line. We also found large numbers of a mystery bug on a species of tall grass under the power line.

Once we got back to the parking lot we thought we`d give the red buds a look for Henry`s Elfins but missed out on them but we got a nice early bonus Eastern Tailed-blue.

Here`s the Orange County, NC list first numbers were in my neighborhood and the second numbers from Occoneechee State Preserve.

Pipevine Swallowtail (1) (2)
Black Swallowtail (1) (2) m/f
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (8) (8)
Cabbage White (0) (1)
Falcate Orangetip (6)(20)
Orange Sulphur (1) (2)
Sleepy Orange (0) (1)
Brown Elfin (0) (6)
Henry`s Elfin (5) (0)
Eastern-tailed Blue (0) (1)
Spring Azure (8) (18)
Summer Azure (2) (1) ???
Eastern Comma (0) (1)
Mourning Cloak (1) (3)
Sleepy Duskywing(2) (0)
Juvenal`s Duskywing (25+) (40+)

Dragonflies were:

Anax junius, Common Green Darner (0) (3)
Basiaeschna janata, Springtime Darner (1) (0)
Cordulegaster maculata, Twin-spotted Spiketail (0)(1)
Didymops transversa, Stream Cruiser (3) (0)
Epitheca cynosura, Common Baskettail (4) (5)
Helocordulia selysii, Selys’ Sundragon (0) (1)
Helocordulia uhleri, Uhler’s Sundragon (1) (0)
Libellula deplanata, Blue Corporal (12) (15)
Libellula lydia, Common Whitetail (0) (1)

Herps found were:

Box Turtle
Spring Peeper
Northern Cricket Frogs
"Lead-backed" Salamander (redless color morph of Red-backed)
Two-striped or Three-striped Salamander, we’re still debating

Randy Emmitt

Forsyth County Butterfly Count, June 01, 2002



On Saturday, 6/1, the 8th annual Forsyth Butterfly Count was held under mostly bright skies and temperatures that rose from 70` up to the low 90s. Bob/Nancy Baldwin, Dennis/Lynn Burnette, Doug/Pam DeNeve, Jules Fraytet, Charlie Cameron, Elizabeth Riggs and I covered some gardens, trails, and farm fields before succumbing to the heat, which was broken at 4:30 by a 0.7 inch downpour.

Two unusual observations; – many Great Spangled Fritillaries, most common species of the day, were nectaring on Tiger Lilies. – when the temperature got above 90` at mid-day we started to find butterflies (Tiger Swallowtail, Great Spangled Fritillary, Silver-Spotted Skipper) hanging inside shrubs, leaving only mad dogs and butterfliers out in the sun. Butterfly Weed, Common Milkweed, and Dogbane were not quite open so next year this count may be the second weekend in June.

4 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
2 Spicebush Swallowtail
14 Cabbage White
2 Orange Sulphur (one white form)
2 Sleepy Orange
20 Eastern Tailed-Blue
7 Summer Azure
1 Variegated Fritillary
49 Great Spangled Fritillary (mating pair, high count)
5 Pearl Crescent
10 American Lady
1 Painted Lady
1 Carolina Satyr
2 Little Wood Satyr
23 Silver-Spotted Skipper
1 Juvenals Duskywing
1 Horaces Duskywing
2 Least Skipper
1 Crossline Skipper
2 Little Glassywing
3 Sachem
1 Zabulon Skipper
5 Dun Skipper

Jim Nottke
Pfafftown, NC 27040

Weymouth Woods State Natural Preserve Butterfly (Hairstreak) Count, June 02, 2002



Wanted to thank all of you who braved/endured the heat, humidity and ticks to help with the count. Despite the heat, scarcity of nectar sources and being a “slow” time of year, we managed a respectable 37 species. High temp was 98 degrees.

Harry managed to get some good stuff around Camp McKall. Still had some misses – between broods – perhaps next year will try second week in June.

2 Tiger Swallowtail
28 Spicebush Swallowtail
12 Palamedes Swallowtail
3 Cabbage White
1 Cloudless Sulphur(White form)
1 Great Purple Hairstreak
20 Coral Hairstreak
14 Edward’s Hairstreak
3 Banded Hairstreak
5 King’s Hairstreak
1 Oak Hairstreak – Harry found at Quwiffle Preserve
52 Gray Hairstreak
2 Red-banded Hairstreak
15 Eastern Tailed Blue
6 Summer Azure
17 Variegated Fritillary
15 Pearl Crescent
1 Red Admiral
3 American Lady
92 Common Buckeye
2 Creole Pearly Eye
2 Silver-spotted Skipper
1 Southern Cloudywing
1 Northern Cloudywing
32 Horace’s Duskywing
6 Zarucco Duskywing
1 Wild Indigo Duskywing
3 Common Sootywing
2 Fiery Skipper
10 Dotted Skipper
2 Tawny-edged Skipper
32 Crossline Skipper
2 Whirlabout
1 Southern Broken-Dash
3 Delaware Skipper
1 Dion Skipper fresh – upper end of Lake Aberdeen
2 Dun Skipper

Scott Hartley
Weymouth Woods – SNP
Southern Pines, NC Moore Co.

Pettigrew State Park Butterfly Count, June 22, 2002



Just a quick note about the count. Pettigrew State Park is located 7 miles south of Creswell, NC – just off Highway 64 east of Plymouth, NC. First just Harry LeGrand and myself – don’t know what I can do to get more help – I think seeing button bush and verbena swarming with hundreds of Zebra Swallowtails, Sleepy Oranges along with lesser numbers of Red Admirals, American Lady’s, Variegated Fritillaries; the potential for a few unusual species, Palakta, Broadwing and Lacewing Roadside Skipper is worth the trip. Throw in the usual bear, rattlesnake and other potential wildlife sightings make this a very enjoyable count.

At any rate we tallied a respectable 36 species in less than 6 hours of counting – including several brief rain showers, ( the rain was a very significant sighting for me;), before the bottom fell out. No really unusual species – guess Whirlabout was good for us – have had it once before. Noticeably absent were wetland skippers – lace-winged, yehl, broadwing etc… no Eufala or Ocola – though I had Ocola last week at Morrow Mountain State Park near Albermarle, NC. Fiery skippers were abundant to say the least,(I saw them in my sleep all night). we estimated 800.

Here’s the butterfly list:

240 Zebra Swallowtail
1 Black Swallowtail
9 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
3 Spicebush Swallowtail
4 Palamedes Swallowtail
84 Cabbage White
35 Orange Sulphur
14 Cloudless Sulphur
35 Sleepy Orange
18 Gray Hairstreak
20 Red-banded Hairstreak
3 Eastern Tailed-Blue
1 Summer Azure
280 Variegated Fritillary
175 Pearl Crescent
1 Question Mark
55 American Lady
1 Painted Lady
32 Red Admiral
200 Common Buckeye
1 Red-spotted purple
14 Viceroy
1 Southern Pearly-eye
38 Carolina Satyr
9 Silver-spotted skipper
42 Horace’s Duskywing
1 Zarucco Duskywing
18 Common Checkered Skipper
35 Common Sootywing
9 Clouded Skipper
55 Least Skipper
800 Fiery Skipper
1 Whirlabout
3 Sachem
5 Dion Skipper
2 Dunn Skipper

Scott Hartley
Weymouth Woods – SNP
Southern Pines, NC

3rd annual Blowing Rock, NC Butterfly Count, June 29, 2002


The 3rd annual Blowing Rock, NC, count was held this past Saturday, June 29. Despite great weather (partly cloudy and rain held off until 6 pm, though rain the evening before kept meadows wet until mid-morning), we had a blah count — 31 species. I blame it simply on number of parties — 2 this year versus 3 the other years. This is too good a count circle to cover with two parties. Next year, if I don’t have enough experienced folks for 3 or more parties, I will probably call it off. I drive up from Raleigh, and I don’t want to put in the effort for a lackluster count. We can blame drought, a five-day frost period in mid-May, etc., for the "low" species number, but I think the butterflies were there, we just didn’t get to visit enough sites. We had six folks show up, including Rita Venable, the editor of the NABA butterfly gardener newsletter, who came from central TN just to visit on the count.

Here is the list:

11 Pipevine Swallowtail
31 E. Tiger Swallowtail
10 Spicebush Swallowtail
17 Cabbage White
6 Clouded Sulphur
5 Orange Sulphur very low
90 E. Tailed-Blue
79 Summer Azure
2 American Snout a surprise
8 Variegated Fritillary
2 Diana Fritillary fresh males
200 Great Spangled Fritillary
4 Aphrodite Fritillary overlooked, not scarce
13 Meadow Fritillary
2 Silvery Checkerspot
100 Pearl Crescent
1 Question Mark
3 Eastern Comma
2 American Lady
7 Red Admiral
12 Common Buckeye
7 Red-spotted Purple
1 Northern Pearly-eye
1 Gemmed Satyr a good find, making up for missing Carolina Satyr!
4 Common Wood-Nymph
190 Silver-spotted Skipper
2 Horace’s Duskywing
1 Wild Indigo Duskywing
3 Little Glassywing
16 Sachem
3 Dun Skipper

Note the lack of Am. Copper, any hairstreaks, etc, and the very poor skipper list. BTW, we had 44 species last year, so now you know why I’m bummed at the results for the count!

Harry LeGrand
NC Natural Heritage Program

Chapel Hill/Durham Garden Walk Report, June 29-30, 2002


A total of fifteen folks gathered on the
weekend of June 29-30 to explore some of the public gardens in the Chapel Hill and Durham, NC area, including a couple of people from Charleston and Clemson, as well as local members. Probably due to the extended drought in the area, the number of butterflies species seen only matched the number of participants at 15, but the well-watered gardens had plenty of flowers to see.

We started the morning at the NC Botanical Garden, where we had a few minutes to look around and get oriented to the layout. We began our butterfly list with two Pearl Crescents. We left the NC Botanical Garden earlier than planned, however, because we learned at the last minute that there would be a guided tour of Niche Garden at 10 a.m., a site we had planned to visit in the afternoon. We returned to the botanical garden later.

The Niche Gardens tour turned out to be a great opportunity that gave the gardeners in the group many great ideas for their home gardens. Nearly everyone left with pots full of plants for their own gardens. Lots of bees and other nectar lovers were attending the many flowers, but we saw only one butterfly, a Red-spotted Purple, to add to the list.

We came back to the NC Botanical Garden after lunch. We spent some time in the formal herb garden and among the flowering native plants, then at 1:30 we were given a special tour of the garden by a very knowledgeable staff member, Alan Johnson. Here we added a few more species to the butterfly list. Although there were many bees and wasps on the flowers, we were a bit surprised to see so few butterflies in the middle of the day in the full sun.

In mid afternoon we added a site to our itinerary that had not been part of the original itinerary, the extensive flower beds at Fearrington Village south of Chapel Hill. This allowed us to add our only Gray Hairstreak and a few more butterfly species.

On Sunday morning a smaller group met at the entrance of Duke Gardens. We spent quite a bit of time exploring the mostly wooded native plant collection, and then ventured out into the sun in the Terrace garden. Here we found the largest number of individual butterflies of the two days, mostly Fiery Skippers, Sachems, and a few Horace’s Duskywings.

This field trip was a great success since most of the participants are gardeners. Several folks are in the beginning stages of developing new butterfly gardens, while others were looking for ways to improve their existing gardens. The four garden sites we visited gave folks plenty of ideas. Although the butterflies themselves were disappointingly sparse, everyone did get to examine several up close, and a few beginners even saw a life butterfly or two.

Here is the list of butterflies for the two days (O = Chapel Hill/Orange Co.; D = Durham Co.; F = Fearrington):

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (O – 3)
Cabbage White (F – 1)
Clouded/Orange Sulphur (F – 1)
Gray Hairstreak (F – 1)
Eastern Tailed Blue (O – 1; D – 1)
Pearl Crescent (O – 3; D – 1)
American Lady (D – 1)
Red-spotted Purple (O – 1)
Carolina Satyr (D – 2)
Silver-spotted Skipper (O – 2; D – 2)
Horace’s Duskywing (O – 2; D – 5)
Common Sootywing (D – 1)
Fiery Skipper (O – 1; D – 12)
Whirlabout (D – 1)
Sachem (O – 4; D – 8; F – 3)

Francis Marion National Forest Butterfly Count, July 05, 2002


Clay & I immensely enjoyed being ON the counts again and seeing many of you.

We’ve attached the results of this year’s count at Francis Marion National Forest. Couldn’t have done these counts without your help. Thank you all for your terrific efforts. We even added quite a few new species this year. Fun how we continue to learn even when we think we know what to expect. Thank you for making this possible! Hope you’ll join us for next year’s counts.

Pipevine Swallowtail (6)
Black Swallowtail (2)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (18)
Spicebush Swallowtail (15)
Palamedes Swallowtail (38)
Cabbage White (4)
Cloudless Sulphur (5)
Little Yellow (30)
Sleepy Orange (17)
Gray Hairstreak (3)
Red-banded Hairstreak (1)
Eastern Tailed Blue (1)
Little Metalmark (6)
American Snout (1)
Gulf Fritillary (5)
Variegated Fritillary (10)
Texan Crescent (5)
Pearl Crescent (39)
Common Buckeye (32)
Red-spotted Purple (4)
Southern Pearly Eye (6)
Creole Pearly Eye (1)
Appalachian Brown (3)
Gemmed Satyr (2)
Carolina Satyr (46)
Common Wood Nymph (44)
Monarch (2)
Silver-spotted Skipper (4)
Long-tailed Skipper (1)
Hoary Edge (7)
Southern Cloudywing (11)
Northern Cloudywing (9)
Horace’s Duskywing (8)
Zarucco Duskywing (1)
Wild Indigo Duskywing (2) duskywing sp. (7)
Common Checkered Skipper (39)
Swarthy Skipper (87)
Clouded Skipper (24)
Least Skipper (3)
Southern Skipperling (4)
Fiery Skipper (9)
Tawny-edged Skipper (1)
Whirlabout (17)
Southern Broken Dash (1)
Delaware Skipper (11)
Byssus Skipper (2)
Zabulon Skipper (2)
Broad-winged Skipper (5)
Dion Skipper (3)
Dun Skipper (7)
Lace-winged Roadside Skipper (14)
Reversed Roadside Skipper (11)
Eufala Skipper (4)
Brazilian Skipper (caterpillar)
Salt Marsh Skipper (1)
Ocola Skipper (2)



COUNT CIRCLE DESCRIPTION Center: @ 4 miles NNW of McClellanville. Count circle includes town of McClellanville, eastern Francis Marion National Forest, Santee Coastal Reserve, Hopsewee Plantation Area, Hampton Plantation, Santee Delta WMA, and North Tibwan (coverage added in 1999).

2002 FIELD NOTES: 56 species were recorded, 29 of which were skippers, plus 1 count week species (Little Glassywing). 3 new species were added in 2002 (Texan Crescent, Gemmed Satyr, & Zabulon Skipper), bringing the cumulative species total to 74.

WEATHER: 76-94 degrees F.; WSW 0-5 mph; 100% clear all day.

Take care & Happy Butterflying!
Pat Sutton & Wendy Allen, Count Compilers

Hobcaw Barony Butterfly Count, July 06, 2002


We’ve attached the results of this year’s count at Hobcaw Barony, SC. Couldn’t have done these counts without your help. Thank you all for your terrific efforts. We even added quite a few new species this year. Fun how we continue to learn even when we think we know what to expect. Thank you for making this possible! Hope you’ll join us for next year’s counts.

Pipevine Swallowtail (5)
Black Swallowtail (3)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (14)
Spicebush Swallowtail (2)
Palamedes Swallowtail (214)
Cloudless Sulphur (3)
Little Yellow (3)
Sleepy Orange (15)
‘Olive’ Juniper Hairstreak (1)
Gray Hairstreak (1)
Eastern Pygmy Blue (1)
American Snout (2)
Gulf Fritillary (2)
Variegated Fritillary (3)
Texan Crescent (1)
Pearl Crescent (9)
Red Admiral (1)
Common Buckeye (4)
Red-spotted Purple (2)
Viceroy (2)
Hackberry Emperor (1)
pearly eye sp. (2)
Appalachian Brown (2)
Carolina Satyr (8)
Little Wood Satyr (9)
Monarch (2)
Silver-spotted Skipper (29)
Southern Cloudywing (2)
Horace’s Duskywing (6)
Zarucco Duskywing (1)
Wild Indigo Duskywing (1)
duskywing sp. (1)
Common Checkered Skipper (2)
Swarthy Skipper (1)
Clouded Skipper (1)
Southern Skipperling (7)
Fiery Skipper (24)
Whirlabout (10) 0
Little Glassywing (1)
Sachem (1)
Delaware Skipper (5)
Broad-winged Skipper (10)
Dun Skipper (5)
Eufala Skipper (1) .
Salt Marsh Skipper (4)
Ocola Skipper (3)



COUNT CIRCLE DESCRIPTION Center: @ 8 miles NE of Georgetown on Kings River Road 1/2 mile north of intersection with Route 17. Count circle includes eastern Georgetown, Wendy & Dennis Allen’s yard & neighborhood, Hobcaw Barony (Belle Baruch Foundation), Debordieu Island, Samworth Game Management Area, Brookgreen Gardens, & southern Huntington Beach State Park.

2002 FIELD NOTES: 45 species were recorded. 5 new species were added in 2002 (‘Olive’ Juniper Hairstreak, Texan Crescent, Hackberry Emperor, Little Glassywing, & Sachem), bringing the cumulative species count up to 68. The ‘Olive’ Juniper Hairstreak was near its SC hostplant (a new tree for me), Southern Red Cedar (Juniper saliciola) on a saltmarsh island/road. The white thistle field at Hobcaw Barony, which is normally responsible for the enormous numbers of Palamades Swallowtails (National High 5 out of 9 years) was a mere shadow of itself & our swallowtail numbers reflected this. John Taggart ID’d this white thistle that is such a super nectar plant on our 2 SC butterfly counts as: Cirsium (or Carduus) nuttallii.

Weather: 72-84 degrees F; E 5-10 mph; 100% clear all day. Rain night before count.

Take care & Happy Butterflying!
Pat Sutton & Wendy Allen, Count Compilers

Charleston-East SC Butterfly Count, July 12, 2002


Black Swallowtail (2)
Giant Swallowtail (4)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (2)
Spicebush Swallowtail (3)
Palamedes Swallowtail (25)
Cabbage White (1)
Cloudless Sulphur (4)
Little Yellow (2)
Sleepy Orange (4)
Gray Hairstreak (1)
Eastern Pygmy Blue (1)
Summer Azure (1)
American Snout (9)
Gulf Fritillary (21)
Phaon Crescent (2)
Pearl Crescent (23)
Viceroy (3)
Hackberry Emperor (25)
Appalachian Brown (1)
Carolina Satyr (2)
Silver-spotted Skipper (4)
Southern Cloudywing (4)
Confused Cloudywing (2)
Horace’s Duskywing (38)
Common Checkered Skipper (2)
Common Sootywing (57)
Clouded Skipper (1)
Southern Skipperling (1)
Fiery Skipper (36)
Whirlabout (8)
Dun Skipper (1)
Eufala Skipper (2)
Brazilian Skipper (4) +4 cats
Salt Marsh Skipper (11)
Ocola Skipper (1)


COUNT CIRCLE DESCRIPTION: Center: Rathall Creek, Wando River, Charleston County, SC (32.5o N, 79.5o W) Circle Includes: Ft. Johnson, Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island and lower Francis Marion National Forest (FMNF)

FIELD NOTES: Very dry during 1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002 (severe drought for most of spring and early summer). Urban sprawl and development have significantly changed many habitats within the circle in recent years. Plant succession has also changed many areas, particularly within the FMNF.

Billy McCord

Charleston-South SC Butterfly Count, July 19, 2002


Black Swallowtail (9)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (3)
Spicebush Swallowtail (4)
Palamedes Swallowtail (17)
Cabbage White (22)
Orange Sulphur (1)
Cloudless Sulphur (31)
Little yellow (7)
Sleepy Orange (6)
White-M hairstreak (1)
Gray Hairstreak (5)
Red-banded Hairstreak (6)
Eastern Pigmy Blue (20)
Cassius Blue (2)
Summer Azure (6)
American Snout (6)
Gulf Fritillary (15)
Pearl Crescent (7)
Common Buckeye (3)
Red-spotted Purple (4)
Viceroy (11)
Hackberry Emperor (15)
Tawny Emperor (6)
Creole Pearly-eye (8)
Appalachian Eyed Brown (5)
Gemmed Satyr (1)
Carolina Satyr (49)
Silver-spotted Skipper (7)
Horace’s Duskywing (83)
Wild Indigo Duskywing (1)
Common Checkered Skipper (14)
Clouded Skipper (4)
Southern Skipperling (10)
Fiery Skipper (48)
Whirlabout (17)
Southern Broken Dash (1)
Delaware Skipper (2)
Dun Skipper (2)
Eufala Skipper (1)
Brazilian Skipper (2)
Salt Marsh Skipper (11)
Ocola Skipper (1)


COUNT CIRCLE DESCRIPTION: Center: Upper Church Creek off of Wadmalaw Sound, Charleston County, SC (32.4o N, 80.1o W) Circle Includes: Johns Island, much of Wadmalaw Island, portions of southwestern James Island, James Island and Tea Farm (Caw Caw) County Parks, Clemson Univ. and USDA experimental farms, and suburban and urban portions of the city of Charleston.

FIELD NOTES: Very dry during 1999, 2000, 2001 & 2002 (severe drought for most of spring and early summer). Urban sprawl and development have significantly changed many habitats within the circle in recent years. Plant succession has also changed many areas, particularly within the FMNF.

Billy McCord

Southeast Guilford County, NC (8th Annual Count), Saturday, July 27, 2002


Carolina Butterfliers:

We had a good turn out of 10 folks for the Eighth Annual Southeast Guilford County (NC) Butterfly Walk and Count yesterday, Saturday, July 27, 2002. There were several new butterfliers in the group. Special thanks are due to Charlie Cameron and Jim Nottke for making sure the new folks felt welcome and for helping them to spot and identify butterflies.

This count produced low numbers of butterflies, despite the good weather and availability of nectar sources. However, the effects of the severe drought in this area on the butterfly population were not quite as bad as anticipated, possibly due to a few recent rains over a two week period in some parts of Guilford county prior to count day. (This is said to be the worst drought in the last half century, and local cities have instituted mandatory water usage restrictions.) Our 2002 total of 26 species was 87% of the average total of 30 species, while the 2002 total of 165 individual butterflies represented 79% of an average total of 212 individuals.

We were pleased to see a good number of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, a normally common species that has been scarce in the county until the last few days. There was a remarkable number of fresh butterflies, suggesting that a large number were newly-emerged. Nearly all of the Fiery Skippers were very orange, and the single American Lady was very bright. On the other hand, sulphurs of all species were few or completely missing from the count. We recorded a single Monarch laying an egg on common milkweed. Except for two Red-spotted Purples, woodland species were nonexistent on this count.

Below is a complete list of butterfly species and individuals recorded on the count.

Black Swallowtail – 4
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – 36 (including 10 black females)
Spicebush Swallowtail – 5
Cabbage White – 6
Orange Sulphur – 3
Cloudless Sulphur – 2
Sleepy Orange – 7
Eastern Tailed Blue – 8
Spring (Summer) Azure – 1
American Snout – 1
Variegated Fritillary – 1
Pearl Crescent – 7
American Lady – 1
Common Buckeye – 10
Red-spotted Purple – 2 (+1 larva &1egg)
Hackberry Emperor – 2
Monarch – 1 (+1egg)
Silver-spotted Skipper – 33
Horace’s Duskywing – 1
[Erynnis sp. – 1]
Com.mon Checkered-Skipper – 4
Common Sootywing – 1
Least Skipper – 2
Fiery Skipper – 6
Crossline Skipper – 2
Sachem – 17
Zabulon Skipper – 1

TOTAL INDIVIDUALS: 165 (79% of average total)
TOTAL SPECIES: 26 (87% of average total)
AVERAGES*: 212 individuals, 30 species
(*dropping highest and lowest year totals)

Temperature – low 70° at 5:00 a.m., 87° at noon, high 91° at 2:00 p.m.
Clouds -100% sun morning, 90% sun afternoon Precipitation – trace (brief afternoon shower) Wind – 0 to 5 mph

Time: Begin – 9:15; End-4:45. Party hours: 6 1/2 (5 on foot, 1 1/2 by car).

Party miles: 49 (3 on foot, 46 by car, 10 people in 1 party)

Dennis Burnette
Greensboro, NC

Raven Rock State Park Butterfly Count, July 30, 2002


5th year count held. Center at 35 deg. 23 min. N, 78 deg. 48 min. W. Center at railroad bridge at Cape Fear River in Lillington. Elevation 110 to 350 ft. July 30, 2002. 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. AM clear, 100% sun. PM clear, 100% sun. Temperature 74 to 98 degrees F. Wind direction variable , 0 to 3 mi./hr. 7 observers including 2 children under 12 in 1 to 3 parties. Total party hours: 23.0 (17.0 on foot and 6.0 by car). Total party miles: 76.0 (15.0 on foot and 61.0 by car).

Observers: Brian Bockhahn, Will Cook, Patrick Hart, Paul Hart, Steven Hart, Tom Howard, Mary Stevens.

Pipevine Swallowtail 2
Zebra Swallowtail 1
Black Swallowtail 4
E. Tiger Swallowtail 43
Spicebush Swallowtail 27
Palamedes Swallowtail 4
Cabbage White 5
Cloudless Sulphur 135
Little Yellow 2
Sleepy Orange 590
Gray Hairstreak 4
E. Tailed-Blue 8
‘Summer’ Spring Azure 26
American Snout 5
Variegated Fritillary 1
Pearl Crescent 36
Question Mark 2
American Lady 7
Red Admiral 1
Common Buckeye 20
Red-spotted Purple 22
Viceroy 8
Hackberry Emperor 2
Tawny Emperor 1
Northern Pearly-eye 3
Appalachian Brown 1
Carolina Satyr 14
Common Wood-Nymph 2
Silver-spotted Skipper 17
Hoary Edge 1
Southern Cloudywing 6
Horace’s Duskywing 13
Zarucco Duskywing 1
Common Checkered-Skipper 34
Common Sootywing 8
Swarthy Skipper 9
Clouded Skipper 2
Least Skipper 4
Southern Skipperling 8
Fiery Skipper 18
Tawny-edged Skipper 1
Whirlabout 11
Little Glassywing 2
Sachem 1
Zabulon Skipper 1

Total Individuals: 1,114
Adult Species: 46
3 Black Swallowtail caterpillars were seen on Foeniculum vulgare (fennel).

Compiler comments: A very hot day! The dedication and perseverance of the participants is to be commended. May and June were very dry months, but July was very wet at this location with over 9 inches of rain recorded. Many species had new broods emerging, as many fresh individuals were noted. The individual total is a count record, exceeding the total of 1,060 individual seen in 2001. Cloudless Sulphur (135) and Sleepy Orange (590) accounted for most of the total. There is plenty of Cassia obtusifolia, a host plant for Sleepy Orange, in the count circle. On the other hand, the number of adult species seen (46) is the lowest total for this count. Delaware Skipper, seen by Will Cook and Brian Bockhahn, is new for the count and a new species for the park. This was the first time that six swallowtail species have been tallied on the count. Four Gray Hairstreaks were the only hairstreaks seen. Only 11 species of grass skippers were seen.

Paul C. Hart
Park Superintendent
Raven Rock State Park

Caswell County Butterfly Count, August 04, 2002


The third annual Caswell County Butterfly Count was a huge success finding 53 species of butterflies and one new county record a Hayhurst’s Scallopwing! So far after 3 years of doing this count the Caswell Count has not fell below 50 species. Surely its one of North Carolinas best counts in species numbers and excellent teams of butterfliers! We had 8 people in 4 parties out looking in 92 degree heat. Five people in the group went home at lunch time leaving Will, Jim and I working the fields till 4 pm I think we did fantastic!

Reports from each group were as follows:

Emmitt and Bockhahn:

Did pretty good at Hilda’s 200 acre farm visiting her small butterfly garden and horse pasture with mowed down Buttonbush that provided 3 Tawny-edged Skippers and the only Clouded Sulphur of the count. We also found large numbers of Clouded and Zabulon Skippers early in the morning on morning glories and heal all near a reconstruction site of a bridge that wasted a Appalachian Brown site. Buttonbush, Sneezeweed, Goldenrod, Red Clover and New York Ironweed were the main nectar sources. The Sneezeweed produced record numbers of Variegated Fritillaries, Common Buckeyes, Common Checkered Skippers and Common Sootywings.

Nottke and Funderburk:
Blew everyone away by finding an incredible 40 species including the Hayhurst’s Scallopwing, anglewings, browns and satyrs. They walked down into the drought stricken Hyco lake via Hyco Creek. The lower than normal water levels allowed passage into this area, you could say they used the drought to their advantage! Jim reported Swamp Milkweed to be their best nectar source.

Cook and Krakauer:

They found very little in the way of nectar sources in fact Will said they barely found any good sources of nectar, though Joe-pye-weed did have a few swallowtails on it. Juniper Hairstreak at Sandy’s garden was their best find. According to Will Sandy’s garden really added to his list.

LeGrand and Rexrode:

I did not hear directly from them, but heard they couldn’t find much in the way of nectar plants at all. Even with what I’d call one of the circles best areas they handed in the towel at lunch time.

CRH means count record high number. CRL means count record low number. NTC means new to count. Here`s the Butterfly list:

Pipevine Swallowtail (6)
Zebra Swallowtail (4) CRH (all fresh)
Black Swallowtail (3)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (200) *had 318 in 2000
Spicebush Swallowtail (44)
Cabbage White (6)
Clouded Sulphur (1)
Orange Sulphur (8)
Cloudless Sulphur (18) CRH
Sleepy Orange (53)
Juniper Hairstreak (1)
Gray Hairstreak (3)
Red-banded Hairstreak (3)
Eastern-tailed Blue (60)
Summer Azure (41)
American Snout (3) CTL
Variegated Fritillary (39) CRH
Great Spangled Fritillary (20) CRH
Pearl Crescent (92) *had 211 in 2000
Question Mark (2) CRL
Eastern Comma (4) CRL
American Lady (5) CRL
Red Admiral (1) CRL
Common Buckeye (84) CRH
Red-spotted Purple (14)
Viceroy (3)
Hackberry Emperor (16)
Tawny Emperor (3)
Northern Pearly-eye (7)
Appalachian Brown (16) CRH
Carolina Satyr (11) CRL
Little Wood Satyr (1)
Common Wood Nymph (3) CRL
Monarch (2) (26 last year) CRL
Silver-spotted Skipper (30) CRL
Hoary Edge (21) 3 last year
Southern Cloudywing (44)
Hayhurst’s Scallopwing (1) NTC(new county record)
Horace`s Duskywing (2) CRL
Zarucco Duskywing (3) NTC
Common Checkered Skipper (24) CRH
Common Sootywing (37) CRH
Swarthy Skipper (1) CRL
Clouded Skipper (13)
Least Skipper (6)
Fiery Skipper (6)
Tawny-edged Skipper (3) CRH
Crossline Skipper (5)
Southern Broken Dash (1)
Little Glassywing (10)
Sachem (36)
Zabulon Skipper (54) *17 last year
Dun Skipper (3) CRL

1072 adult butterflies total.

Thanks to Brian Bockhahn, Will Cook, Sharon Funderburk, Tom Krakauer, Harry LeGrand, Jim Nottke and Toni Rexrode for all your hard work.

Randy Emmitt
Rougemont, NC

The Big Diana Hunt and Transylvania County Count, August 10, 2002


Greetings, The Big Diana Hunt and Transylvania County count on Saturday suffered from the drought just like most field trips this year.

The four foot timber rattler who crossed the road behind us and headed into the open-grassy area we had just checked out was of some interest! It was brightly marked, suggesting that it had recently shed its skin.

Here is a rough draft of the results.
Transylvania County Butterfly Count August 10, 2002
Pipevine Swallowtail 3
E. Tiger Swallowtail
31 Spicebush Swallowtail
1 Cabbage White
2 Clouded Sulphur
1 Cloudless Sulphur
9 Sleepy Orange
1 Eastern-tailed Blue
9 Summer Azure
10 Diana Fritillary
2 Pearl Crescent
5 Question Mark
1 Red-spotted Purple
2 Monarch
2 Silver-spotted Skipper
13 Long-tailed Skipper
1 Fiery Skipper
4 Sachem
3 Zabulon Skipper

On Sunday we visited the gardens of the NC Arboretun in Buncombe County. Pickings were still slim. Several of each of the black swallowtails, including Black, Spicebush, Pipevine and E. Tiger One American Lady "Gazillion" silver-spotted Skippers (direct quote of a participant) Lots of Sachems One Eastern-tailed Blue An interesting number of Hummingbird clearwing Moths, Hemaris thysbe

Two interesting caterpillars we found immediately on our first stop in Transylvania County. Steve Mix found a Tulip-tree Silk Moth cat on a small tulip tree right by our cars. It still has some growing to do. Then folks on the other side of the tree (a sapling) found a mature tiger swallowtail caterpillar on its resting pad. It had already turned brownish. when we returned to the cars 40 minutes laterr it was gone. Off to pupate?

But the weather was pleasant as was the company, so a good time was had by all. Lynn Smith Camden, SC

Southern Lake Norman Butterfly Count, August 16, 2002


The 2nd annual Southern Lake Norman Butterfly Count was held on August 16 2002. A group of 8 plus several garden observers at Latta counted for several hours that day. We covered Latta Plantation Nature Preserve prairie and powerlines; Cowan’s Ford Wildlife Refuge fields, powerlines, and roadsides; Jetton Park latana garden; a flower patch on McCoy Rd.; and a powerline and streamside area at the Duke Power Energy Explorium.

This year we counted 39 species!! – despite overcast conditions. That’s 11 more than last year. Many thanks to all who participated!!

Here is the list:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 99
Black Swallowtail 2
Spicebush Swallowtail 5
Orange Sulphur 2
Cloudless Sulphur 6
Sleepy Orange 12
Harvester 3 *new record for Lincoln county
Eastern Tailed-Blue 16
Summer Azure 4
Gulf Fritillary 2
Variegated Fritillary 11
Great Spangled Fritillary 2
Silvery Checkerspot 1
Pearl Crescent 17
Question Mark 1
American Lady 1
Commom Buckeye 7
Red-spotted Purple 5
Hackberry Emperor 1
Tawny Emperor 2
Carolina Satyr 4
Common Wood-Nymph 2
Silver-spotted Skipper 8
Long-tailed Skipper 2
Hoary Edge 2
Southern Cloudywing 1
Horace’s Duskywing 3
Zarucco Duskywing 1 * new record for Lincoln County
Common Checkered Skipper 1
Clouded Skipper 12
Fiery Skipper 37
Tawny-edged Skipper 1
Crossline Skipper 5
Northern Broken-dash 1
Sachem 67
Delaware Skipper 9 *new record for Lincoln County
Zabulon Skipper 4
Dun Skipper 5
Ocola Skipper 1 * new record for Mecklenburg Co.

Sudie E. Daves
Conservation Science Specialist
Mecklenburg County Division of Natural Resources

Durham Butterfly Count, August 17, 2002



Despite droughty conditions for the last several months and oppressively humid weather last Saturday, Thirteen intrepid butterfliers enjoyed a record-setting day of butterflying on the NABA Durham Butterfly Count! We tallied a Durham count record high of 8038 individuals and tied the state record of 60 species. Contributing significantly to the total individual count was a probable new national single day record high for a whopping 1236 Common Buckeyes and an amazing new national high for Sachems — 2707 (previous record was only 1838, set by us two years ago)!

Additionally, we tallied record high numbers for the Durham count (conducted annually since 1999) for several other species, most notably Sleepy Orange, Gray Hairstreak, Variegated Fritillary, and Ocola Skipper. On the other hand, numbers of anglewings and American Lady were conspicuously low. We also found five species that were new to the Durham Count: Great Purple Hairstreak, Appalachian Brown, Northern Cloudywing, Hayhurst’s Scallopwing, and Dion Skipper.

Tremendous thanks to Brian Bockhahn, Sandra Cavalieri, Derb Carter, Will Cook, Randy Emmitt, Bonnie Forbes, Laura Gardner (on her birthday — Happy Birthday Laura!), Tom Krakauer, Paula LaPoint, Harry LeGrand, Roger Rittmaster, and Richard Stickney for their counting perseverance! Also deserving is a special thanks to Tom Krakauer and the NC Museum of Life and Science on Murray Ave. for providing a place for us to congregate and compile!

Conditions for the count were mostly sunny, hot (80-90s), and very humid with only an occasional breeze. Here are the totals:

12 Pipevine Swallowtail
35 Black Swallowtail
708 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
78 Spicebush Swallowtail
1 Cabbage White
20 Clouded Sulphur
41 Orange Sulphur
168 Cloudless Sulphur
1 Little Yellow
554 Sleepy Orange
2 Great Purple Hairstreak
6 Juniper Hairstreak
110 Gray Hairstreak
12 Red-banded Hairstreak
266 Eastern Tailed-Blue
100 Summer Azure
10 American Snout
628 Variegated Fritillary
9 Great Spangled Fritillary
41 Silvery Checkerspot
479 Pearl Crescent
3 Question Mark
3 Eastern Comma
4 American Lady
6 Red Admiral
1236 Common Buckeye
32 Red-spotted Purple
9 Viceroy
10 Hackberry Emperor
4 Tawny Emperor
14 Northern Pearly-Eye
8 Appalachian Brown
90 Carolina Satyr
4 Gemmed Satyr
3 Common Wood-Nymph
24 Monarch
77 Silver-spotted Skipper
18 Hoary Edge
5 Southern Cloudywing
1 Northern Cloudywing
3 Hayhurst’s Scallopwing
45 Horace’s Duskywing
3 Zarucco Duskywing
1 Wild Indigo Duskywing
31 Com. Checkered-Skipper
10 Common Sootywing
10 Swarthy Skipper
30 Clouded Skipper
39 Least Skipper
104 Fiery Skipper
18 Crossline Skipper
23 Southern Broken-Dash
7 Northern Broken-Dash
25 Little Glassywing
2707 Sachem
9 Delaware Skipper
61 Zabulon Skipper
3 Dion Skipper
21 Dun Skipper
56 Ocola Skipper

60 Total Species
8038 Total Individuals

Jeff Pippen, Durham Count Compiler

Iredell Butterfly Count, August 18, 2002


The third annual Iredell County count was held on Sunday, 8/18. While it was a bit hot, it had rained the previous day, skies were mostly clear, and the four of us (Charlie Cameron, Pam & Doug DeNeve, and I, hosted by Dr and Mrs Harberts) had an excellent day of butterflying. Indicative of the many recently emerged adults, we saw a number of mated pairs; Orange Sulphur, Pearl Crescent, Buckeye, Clouded Sulphur. Late in the day Charlie and I found a new very long greenway and powerline cut where we would have spent a few hours if we had been fresher. Next year we will be sure to have a group count there.

Other than very high numbers of Cloudless Sulphur and Buckeye, most numbers were similar to previous counts.

42 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
5 Spicebush Swallowtail
4 Cabbage White
6 Orange Sulphur
13 Sleepy Orange
25 Cloudless Sulphur – very high number
1 Gray Hairstreak
10 Eastern Tailed Blue
30 Summer Azure
1 American Snout
14 Variegated Fritillary
2 Great Spangled Fritillary
15 Silvery Checkerspot
86 Pearl Crescent
1 Question Mark
2 Eastern Comma – new county record
1 American Lady
1 Red Admiral
56 Common Buckeye – ten times higher than previous counts
30 Red Spotted Purple
15 Hackberry Emperor
2 Tawny Emperor
2 Northern Pearly-Eye
2 Gemmed Satyr
18 Carolina Satyr
1 Little Wood Satyr
11 Silver-Spotted Skipper
1 Hoary Edge
1 Common Sootywing
159 Clouded Skipper
5 Least Skipper
6 Fiery Skipper
4 Crossline Skipper
4 Little Glassywing
8 Sachem
12 Zabulon Skipper
1 Dun Skipper

37 species (vs 34 last year and 40 in 2000)
539 individuals (vs 503 last year and 1597 in 2000, when we had over 700 Clouded Skipper, 220 Sachem and 250 Carolina Satyr).

Jim Nottke
Pfafftown, NC 27040

Wilmington NC Butterfly Count, August 24, 2002



The Wilmington, NC, count was held on Saturday, Aug. 24. Four folks — all from the Piedmont, of course — Derb Carter, John Dole, Will Cook, and I — split into two to three parties to cover the circle. The weather was, as expected, very hot and sunny — sultry and stifling are proper words. High temperature in the shade reached 98 degrees. But, at least it wasn’t rainy, so the butterflies were out in force. A couple of sad notes — Eagle Island has been sprayed for mosquitoes (West Nile scare, or maybe just routine spraying each year?), so it was pretty bleak. And the drought has caused the Cape Fear River marshes — normally quite fresh — to be a bit brackish, and the grasses and forbs (cattails, etc.) are quite brown, incluing the cypresses. Despite the recent rains, the plants are soaking in all the moisture and most places look green, but ditches and creeks are about bone dry.

We did pretty well, thanks to good success at nurseries (well watered) and a few other places.

10 Black Swallowtail
22 E. Tiger Swallowtail but missed Giant Swallowtail
12 Spicebush Swallowtail
89 Palamedes Swallowtail
1 Cabbage White
3 Orange Sulphur
585 Cloudless Sulphur
4 Little Yellow
38 Sleepy Orange
1 Great Purple Hairstreak at a nursery!
1 Juniper Hairstreak ditto
7 Gray Hairstreak Derb saw 2 White-M on Sunday at Figure Eight
6 Red-banded Hairstreak
1 LITTLE METALMARK new record for New Hanover County, found by Will
135 Gulf Fritillary
19 Variegated Fritillary
29 Pearl Crescent
2 Painted Lady but nary an American Lady
1 Red Admiral
80 Common Buckeye
2 Red-spotted Purple
5 Viceroy
4 Carolina Satyr
9 Monarch
51 Silver-spotted Skipper
13 Long-tailed Skipper
14 Horace’s Duskywing
4 Zarucco Duskywing
4 Common Checkered-Skipper
1 Swarthy Skipper
65 Clouded Skipper
6 Least Skipper
14 Southern Skipperling
74 Fiery Skipper
1 Tawny-edged Skipper
26 Whirlabout
2 Southern Broken-Dash
9 Delaware Skipper
2 Byssus Skipper but missed Rare Skipper this time
18 Broad-winged Skipper
4 Dion Skipper
2 Dukes’ Skipper
9 Dun Skipper
10 Eufala Skipper
2 Twin-spot Skipper
4 Brazilian Skipper 2 at Eagle I., 2 at Tinga Nursery "big"
numbers in NC now!
107 Salt Marsh Skipper
31 Ocola Skipper

Total — 48 species. Good numbers and diversity of "migrants". Things like Little Yellow, Painted Lady, Long-tailed Skipper, Eufala and Ocola Skipper, Brazilian Skipper — can be missed in some years. Cloudless Sulphurs are streaming N in big waves now at Figure Eight (fide Derb), so hopefully folks near the coast in NC and SC will have a much better late summer and fall for strays and migrants.

Harry LeGrand
NC Natural Heritage Program

Croatan National Forest Butterfly Count, August 25, 2002



The Croatan National Forest count was held yesterday, Aug. 25. It started out as most others, with me deciding not to have a count unless we started to find numbers. That is because Randy Emmitt backed out at the last moment, leaving just Will Cook and myself to count. Randy, who unfortunately was down in the area on Saturday to do some leisurely photography (he should have come down Sunday and not Saturday, to get both photography and counting in together), told Will that our usual Arogos Skipper spot was nearly devoid of flowers and that he saw no Arogos. Thus, I told Will that if we didn’t start out the day with Arogos or a lot of butterflies, we’d just have fun (not worrying about finding a lot of species) and not conduct a count.

We spent only 10 minutes wading thru flower-less savanna — not that way because of drought but because the last controlled burn was in spring 2000 (2000 and 2001 had lots of flowers). Savannas don’t flower much 2 or more years after a burn. We did get a Little Metalmark and Tawny-edged Skipper, and got quickly out of there. (The Arogos are probably there, but just sitting in grasses — absence of fire for two years certainly doesn’t destroy the colony, but sure makes it difficult to spot them if they aren’t perched on flowers).

We skipped our usual second stop, a very good forest service road with mistflower, in order to travel north to work a powerline where Randy had claimed 7-8 Arogos Skippers the day before. Will and I figured he was seeing Delaware Skippers, as Arogos isn’t known from there but only from the previous spot and is one of NC’s rarest butterflies. We spent about 3-4 hours working various places along the powerline. Portions had recently been burned, and Liatris (blazing-star) was everywhere. I don’t think we had any new county records for Craven, but we did get one VERY nice butterfly. And, as we kept picking up things along the way, and starting seeing record Fourth of July count numbers for a few things, we decided to tally up in mid-afternoon, quitting at 2:30 (I was pooped after 2 straight days of 95-100 degree heat, and nothing was flying around the dirt roads and edges). Supposedly a cold front passed Saturday night, but it was still 90-95 degrees, hardly any wind, and a bit humid — great for the butterflies but draining on me! (Will even had time to stop off in Lenoir County on the way home and add some county records, according to his carolinaleps posting.)

Here’s the tally — all in Craven except the first stop; almost all things were found in the powerline:

4 Black Swallowtail
18 E. Tiger Swallowtail
6 Spicebush Swallowtail
250 Palamedes Swallowtail
1 Orange Sulphur rare here
300 Cloudless Sulphur
8 Little Yellow
15 Sleepy Orange
3 Gray Hairstreak
2 Red-banded Hairstreak Great Purple should be around
1 Summer Azure
1 Little Metalmark didn’t spend time in habitat
6 Variegated Fritillary
4 Pearl Crescent
1 Red Admiral
60 Common Buckeye
1 Viceroy
10 Carolina Satyr
40 Georgia Satyr national record? Not that awesome of a total, really
5 Common Wood-Nymph
4 Monarch
4 Silver-spotted Skipper
3 Southern Cloudywing
8 Zarucco Duskywing all patrolling males, very fresh
30 Swarthy Skipper
1 Southern Skipperling
8 Clouded Skipper
10 Fiery Skipper
1 Tawny-edged Skipper
1 Whirlabout
4 Southern Broken-Dash
12 Delaware Skipper
1 BERRY’S SKIPPER previously found in the powerline, but new for the count
1 Dun Skipper
1 Lace-winged Roadside-Skipper didn’t spend time in its favored spots
4 Carolina Roadside-Skipper
2 Eufala Skipper
100 Twin-spot Skipper national record; powerline is full of them!
6 Ocola Skipper

Total — 38 species. Not bad for a "non" count, just working a powerline for most of the day! Will photographed a small orange skipper in the powerline that he thought might be an Arogos, but looking at the photo on the back of his camera, I didn’t think it looked right. Hopefully, he’ll have for folks to view and comment on. As I saw a Delaware in the powerline there, I think it could have been a somewhat worn and runt Delaware male. (Will has a great shot of an Arogos from the Carteret spot on his website.

Harry LeGrand
NC Natural Heritage Program

Yadkin County Butterfly Count, September 08, 2002



Our party of 10 had a great time counting a record number of butterflies at the 4th Yadkin County count today under blue skies and mild temperatures. We found 4 species not previously reported for the county and 13 new highs for previously reported species. Cloudless Sulphur turned out to be the most common species, with large puddling parties mesmerizing us with the brilliant green light coming through their wings. The group found several caterpillars, 2 of which are being raised by Charlie Cameron to confirm their identity.

I thank the participants for their help; Burnettes, DeNeves, Baldwins & their guests, and Charlie.

39 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
2 Orange Sulphur
83 Cloudless Sulphur new county high
46 Sleepy Orange new county high
5 Gray Hairstreak new county high
1 Red Banded Hairstreak
56 Eastern Tailed Blue new county high
4 Azure
3 American Snout tied county high
1 Gulf Fritillary new county species
12 Variegated Fritillary
4 Great Spangled Fritillary
59 Silvery Checkerspot new county high
36 Pearl Crescent
1 Question Mark
1 Eastern Comma
26 Common Buckeye new county high
12 Red Spotted Purple
6 Hackberry Emperor
1 Tawny Emperor
15 Northern Pearly-eye new county high
3 Appalachian Brown new county high
35 Gemmed Satyr new county high
43 Carolina Satyr new county high
1 Little Wood Satyr
21 Common Wood Nymph new county high
14 Silver-spotted Skipper
1 Long-tailed Skipper new county species
2 Common Checkered Skipper new county species
4 Swarthy Skipper new county species
8 Clouded Skipper new county high
4 Least Skipper
17 Fiery Skipper new county high
7 Crossline Skipper
8 Sachem
4 Delaware Skipper new county species
5 Zabulon Skipper

37 species
590 adults new county high

Jim Nottke
Pfafftown, NC 27040

Mainland Dare County, NC Butterfly Count, September 14, 2002



While many or most of you were sitting at home in the rain on Saturday (Sept. 14), four PIEDMONT butterfliers (again, no Coastal Plain folks) traveled all the way to Dare County for the butterfly count. The weather was partly cloudy in the morning but became cloudy by 2 PM, and things got slow after that as skies darkened a bit. It didn’t rain until after we quit at 4:30. Temps were in the low 80s, and it was very humid. Thankfully, there had been no mosquito spraying, which I feared because of the West Nile scare. So, I sampled the very large mosquito population more so that the others (Jeff Pippen, Derb Carter, and Randy Emmitt).

Here’s the list, which is practically all from Dare Co. A small portion may be in Hyde, but there is still some uncertainty about boundary lines between these two counties, so I’m considering it all in Dare.

1 Black Swallowtail
3 E. Tiger Swallowtail
40 Palamedes Swallowtail very low
2 Orange Sulphur
125 Cloudless Sulphur quite low
3 Little Yellow
3 Sleepy Orange very low, but didn’t spend much time in fields
12 Great Purple Hairstreak
70 Gray Hairstreak pretty fair count
50 Red-banded Hairstreak
16 E. Tailed-Blue
3 Summer Azure
25 Pearl Crescent
1 lady – sp. can’t assume American, as Painted is possible here
25 Common Buckeye
10 Viceroy
8 Carolina Satyr
1 Georgia Satyr
30 Common Wood-Nymph
2 Monarch
2 Silver-spotted Skipper
1 Common Checkered-Skipper
1 Swarthy Skipper
110 Clouded Skipper
3 Least Skipper
7 Fiery Skipper
5 Tawny-edged Skipper
7 Southern Broken-Dash
2 Delaware Skipper
15 Aaron’s Skipper record state count
6 Yehl Skipper all fairly fresh males
28 Broad-winged Skipper
12 Palatka Skipper probably 4th of July count record, but not a big deal here
20 Dion Skipper
4 Berry’s Skipper
6 Dun Skipper
10 Lace-winged Roadside-Skipper
30 Twin-spot Skipper
1 Salt Marsh Skipper
25 Ocola Skipper very good count here

40 species, with 20 true butterflies and 20 skippers! Plus, we saw a Red Admiral outside the count circle at 4:30. The wetland skippers were in good numbers, and the mistflower (Eupatorium coelestinum) was in peak bloom. A little bit more is being encroached on every year by Phragmites, and a small portion was mowed. But, there was more than enough mistflower to make all the skippers happy. Where are all the true butterflies? We knew that Vanessa species, and the anglewings, were down this summer, but there weren’t many swallowtails, sulphurs were down, etc. Thankfully, we had no trouble finding decent number of the Poanes and Euphyes skippers, and they often perch side by side on the mistflower for nice comparison. As usual, there were a few mystifying ones, generally on the worn side.

This time we had no exciting non-butterfly sightings (e.g., bears, Timber Rattlesnake, etc.), but we did see Corn Snake, a few N. Harriers, and a good array of dragonflies (Mocha Emerald, Seaside Dragonlet, and others).

Harry LeGrand
NC Natural Heritage Program

Great Dismal Swamp Butterfly Trip, In both NC and VA, September 15, 2002



After leaving the Dare County, NC butterfly count I found a motel in Edenton, NC and hoped that the heavy rains would subside in the mourning so I could butterfly the Great Dismal Swamp like I’d planned for months. I didn’t have anyone interested in joining me on this remote trip so I did it solo.

My luck prevailed on the rain as it was done in the morning, yet the area called for a 70% chance of rain in the area! I also had this kind of luck in Ohio a few weeks back, as it rained the entire week in NC while Ohio was gorgeous.

I started out along highway 17 on the southeast end of the swamp and headed northward. True butterflies were out in fair numbers, yet skippers were hard to find. I checked out a few spots along hwy 17 mostly Jewelweed had Palamedes Swallowtails and Cloudless Sulphurs on it. There was a little Mist Flower, Goldenrod and Joe-pye-weed that did some other butterflies on it. At noon I headed back south on hwy 17 and headed west on hwy 158 and checked a huge over grown field with lots of Goldenrod and found considerably less numbers of species than Will Cook and I had last year, I did find a Dion Skipper though.

Next I decided to finally put on bug spray and head up the only trail along hwy 158 in NC in the Dismal Swamp. Well I didn’t hardly need the bug spray as the mosquito population must have been sprayed because of West Nile Virus. My girlfriend’s yard in Durham has three times the mosquitoes I saw in the swamp.Two Pearl Crescents and a Sleepy Orange was all I found in a 1/4 mile walk of the road.

I had heard on September 7 a Zebra Longwing was found along the George Washington Ditch in the VA portion of the swamp, so I walked about 3 miles of it. Again no mosquitoes to speak of, about half the ditch was bone dry and all of the swamp was dry. I did find several goodies along the trail including 2 female Tawny Emperors (not recorded in NE NC at all) and 9 Southern Pearly-eyes.. Also a fresh Red Admiral and Question Mark made them selves known along the trail. The coolest thing I found was a Clamp-tipped Emerald hammering in eggs in the sand bar that’s supposed to be the Washington Ditch!

After exiting the Washington Ditch I headed north and found a huge patch of Joe-pye-weed, granted it was very cloudy by now and yet most butterflies were hiding. I did find 4 Ocola Skippers and a Tawny-edged Skipper. I headed up to the Jericho Ditch at 3:30pm and it was gloomy out and only a Common Buckeye showed up there, yet birding was picking up. All day I did not run into one migrant flock, yet now with rain ready to let go I found a huge flock of Gray Catbirds (they surrounded me), Red-eyed Vireo, White-eyed Vireo, American Red Start and Magnolia Warbler. Other warblers were present but with failing light and eventual rain I had to leave.

Here’s the lists:

Camden County, NC (sunny to partly cloudy)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (7)
Palamedes Swallowtail (5)
Cloudless Sulphur (65)
Sleepy Orange (2)
Great Purple Hairstreak (1)
Gray Hairstreak (3)
Red-banded Hairstreak (11)
Eastern Tailed-Blue (5)
Pearl Crescent (5)
Common Buckeye (12)
Viceroy (2)
Monarch (1)
Silver-spotted Skipper (4)
Common Checkered Skipper (3)
Clouded Skipper (3)
Least Skipper (2)
Fiery Skipper (2)

Chesapeake City VA (partly cloudy)

Zebra Swallowtail (1)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (4)
Palamedes Swallowtail (6)
Cabbage White (1)
Orange Sulphur (1)
Cloudless Sulphur (65)
Sleepy Orange (3)
Gray Hairstreak (2)
Red-banded Hairstreak (2)
Variegated Fritillary (3)
Pearl Crescent (2)
Common Buckeye (1)
Red-spotted Purple (2)
Viceroy (1)
Carolina Satyr (3)
Monarch (1)
Silver-spotted Skipper (3)
Common Checkered Skipper (1)
Clouded Skipper (1)
Fiery Skipper (1)
Ocola Skipper (2)

Pasquotank County NC (overcast skies)

Zebra Swallowtail (1)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (4)
Palamedes Swallowtail (3)
Spicebush Swallowtail (2)
Cloudless Sulphur (20)
Sleepy Orange (3)
Common Buckeye (3)
Monarch (1)
Silver-spotted Skipper (2)
Common Checkered Skipper (1)
Fiery Skipper (1)
Dion Skipper (1)

Suffolk City VA (overcast and partly sunny)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (16)
Palamedes Swallowtail (16)
Cloudless Sulphur (60)
Sleepy Orange (2)
Eastern Tailed-Blue (1)
Summer Azure (3)
Pearl Crescent (10)
Question Mark (1)
American Lady (1)
Red Admiral (1)
Common Buckeye (5)
Red-spotted Purple (2)
Viceroy (8)
Tawny Emperor (2) females!
Southern Pearly Eye (9)
Carolina Satyr (50)
Silver-spotted Skipper (12)
Clouded Skipper (2)
Least Skipper (3)
Fiery Skipper (2)
Tawny-edged Skipper (1)
Ocola Skipper (4)

Randy Emmitt
Rougemont, NC