Mariton: 26th Butterfly Census
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager. Photos by Carole Mebus.
We held the Annual Butterfly Census on Saturday morning. Dating back to 1991, this was the 26th butterfly count at Mariton. We ended up with 15 species and 120 butterflies. The species count is a little low from recent counts, but the individual count is similar to recent years. It felt like there were less butterflies this year (with the exception of Great-spangled Fritillaries and Silver-spotted Skippers which were abundant). The milkweeds and butterfly weed are blooming, which is usually a good attractant. It will be interesting to see if some of the butterflies we expected to get on the count show up in the fields over the next few weeks. Mariton definitely has great pollinator habitat to attract butterflies. More importantly, the diversity of food plants for caterpillars translates into diverse butterfly species.