Mariton: 27th Annual Butterfly Census

July 3, 2017

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager.  Photos by Carole Mebus.

Photo by Carole Mebus

Common Buckeye

We conducted the 27th Annual Butterfly Count on Saturday.  It was postponed last week because of rain.  The weather was slightly better this Saturday.  We ended up with 15 species, so there were a few species that still hadn’t worked up through the wet vegetation.  We had a good representation of the species,  but we only had 64 individuals.  It isn’t the lowest number of butterflies we have ever had on a count, but it is on the low side.  The upside of the poor weather was that many of butterflies we saw were lethargic and allowed Carole to use the macro instead of the telephoto lens.  Great Spangled Fritillaries were the most abundant (25), with Silver-spotted Skippers second with 11.

Photo by Carole Mebus

Little Wood Satyr

I expected that the Little Wood Satyrs would be all gone by this time, but we found one in really good shape.  Mariton has been conducting this count annually since 1991.  There have been exciting counts, and some ho-hum counts.  We always see beautiful butterflies and re-discover why Mariton is such a wonderful wild place to visit.