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Iowa City Butterfly Count 2019 by Chris Edwards

On Monday 7/22, 2 people joined me on the annual Iowa City Butterfly Count as part of the North American Butterfly Association’s 4th of July Butterfly Count Program.  The count was postponed from the original date because the heat.

We visited Kent Park, Hawkeye Wildlife Area, Macbride Nature-Recreation Area, Lake Macbride State Park, and Turkey Creek Preserve, and also counted along roadsides.  The long-term average for the count is 33 species and 1129 individuals.  This year in 9.25 hours we found 34 species and 645 individuals.  The number of individuals was down this year largely because we didn’t have any alfalfa fields in bloom along our route, which in past years contained large numbers of sulphurs.

Species seen in significantly above-average numbers:  Summer Azure, Painted Lady, Monarch, Silver-spotted Skipper, Least Skipper (record high count), Fiery Skipper.

Species seen in significantly below-average numbers:  Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Cabbage White, Clouded Sulphur, Orange Sulphur, Eastern Tailed-Blue, Great Spangled Fritillary, Pearl Crescent, Eastern Comma (missed), Viceroy, Common Wood-Nymph.

Species List: Black Swallowtail 5, Giant Swallowtail 1, Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 2, Checkered White 1  (fifth record in 21 years), Cabbage White 74, Clouded Sulphur 23, Orange Sulphur 10, Little Yellow 45, Dainty Sulphur 5, Gray Copper 1  (fifth record in 21 years), Bronze Copper 1, Banded Hairstreak 2  (third record in 21 years), Gray Hairstreak 1  (fifth record in 21 years), Eastern Tailed-Blue 16, Summer Azure 166, Great Spangled Fritillary 12, Meadow Fritillary 5, Pearl Crescent 2, Question Mark 1, American Lady 2, Painted Lady 15, Red Admiral 20, Common Buckeye 9, Red-spotted Purple 4, Viceroy 5, Common Wood-Nymph 3, Monarch 80, Silver-spotted Skipper 63, Least Skipper 54, Fiery Skipper 11, Peck’s Skipper 2, Tawny-edged Skipper 2, Black Dash 1, Dun Skipper 1.


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