Lack of butterflies

Charles V. Covell Jr. cvcove01 at
Mon Jul 6 17:19:38 EDT 1998

Regarding butterfly numbers:  As of July 1 I had recorded only 6 butterfly species in 
my backyard garden in which I have 4 butterfly bushes and several other attracting 
plants.  As of July 5 the number jumped to 15 species, including 2 I had never seen in 
the yard before: the Least Skipper (_Ancyloxipha numitor_) and the Common Wood Nymph 
(_Cercyonis pegala_).  Total species seen their last year was 19; the year before, 29.  
Despite this recent bursting forth, I think numbers overall are somewhat low in May and 
June here, though woodland butterflies in April seemed about normal.  We have had a lot 
of very heavy rain again this summer.  I have seen abnormally few monarchs so far, 
including returnees in April and May.
  Yesterday we had the 14th July 4th Count in Oldham Co., KY, out in the fields and 
forests, and recorded 30 species.  Most abundant species were Pearl Crescents, then 
Eastern Tailed Blues, then Little Wood Satyrs.  There were 673 butterflies counted by 5 
people in 5 hours on a lovely day.  Best sightings were Northern Metalmarks, Edwards' 
hairstreaks and Olive Hairstreaks nectaring on white sweet clover. So far, I think 
numbers are still within the normal range of population fluctuations, at least here.
Charles V. Covell Jr.   cvcove01 at
Dept. of Biology, University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292-0001   PHONE: (502) 852-6771 (office)
(502) 852-0725 (FAX); (502) 456-6122 (home).  "So many bugs..."

More information about the Leps-l mailing list