Mariton: Butterfly Census

June 24, 2012

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

(Painted Lady by Carole Mebus)

We held our annual butterfly cenus on Saturday.  In all, we counted 22 species and 212 individuals.  Some things surprised me.  We saw lots of Painted Ladies (pictured above), Monarchs and Red Admirals.  Red Admirals appeared uncommonly early this spring, then basically disappeared.  Perhaps this is a second brood?

Another surprise was the lack of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Spicebush Swallowtails.  These are generally very common at Mariton due to a great source of food plants.  I am still scratching my head on this one, and will be watching the fields for the rest of the summer to see if they eventually appear.

The Milkweed still has lots of blossoms, so butterflies will abound at Mariton for some time.  We will have our last scheduled butterfly walk on Tuesday morning.