Central Arizona Butterfly Association

Phoenix Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association.

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News Articles

Check here regularly for current articles and news items related to Central Arizona Butterfly Association, conservation and nature. If you see an interesting article please let one of our board members know and we will post it here

6/25/2024      Trip report: Rackensack Canyon 20 April by Adriane Grimaldi

Had great weather for hike to Rackensack Canyon and Sears Kay Ruins. 13 people attended. Great group! 20 species were seen: Dainty Sulphur, Red Admiral, Blue (Marine?), Checkered White, Two-tailed Swallowtail (pictured), Tiny Checkerspot, Variable Checkerspot, Common Buckeye, Painted Lady, Acmon Blue, California Patch, White Checkered-Skipper, Duskywing sp., Spring "Echo" Azure, Empress Leila, Metalmark sp., Southern Dogface, Orange Sulphur, Pipevine Swallowtail read more »

6/25/2024      Verde Valley Butterfly Count 2024 info

A NABA butterfly count in Verde Valley is scheduled for Friday, August 23rd, time TBA based on the team leader and location. If it rains that day, we will do the count on Friday, 8/30. Those interested should contact Denise Gibbs. Her contact information is: Denise Gibbs monarchtagger at gmail.com read more »

6/25/2024      Schedule Butterfly Counts Summer 2024 for Southeast Arizona, by Fred Heath

Dear SEABA Members and Butterfly Friends, our local summer NABA sponsored butterfly counts will be starting a month from now. Last year because of the late start for the monsoon rains (July 17) and record setting high temperatures in July, many of these counts recorded less than average numbers of species and individuals. This year the monsoon rains have already started in the last few days. Sabino Canyon recorded more than 2.5" of rain in less than 2 hours on June 22! Will this translate to copious butterflies on this year's counts? Join one or more these upcoming counts to find out. The counts are open to all. Please contact the listed compilers for further details. (Tawny Emperor pictured) Santa Rita Mountains Summer Friday July 26, 2024 Compiler: Greg Greene (greenecycle at hotmail.com) The Count Circle includes Montosa, Madera, Florida, Box and Gardner Canyons and surrounding areas in the Santa Rita Mountains. Santa Rita Mountains counts are held twice, one in the summer and one in the fall. Last year this count recorded 69 species. Ramsey Canyon Sunday July 28, 2024 Compiler: Doug Danforth (dougofbis at gmail.com) This count circle includes the area from the Huachuca Mountains to the San Pedro River and Ramsey Canyon to the Mexican Border. The Ramsey Canyon count, which has been run for 44 years, is usually in the top 5 for species nationally. Sabino Canyon Summer Tuesday July 30, 2024 Compiler: Greg Greene (greenecycle at hotmail.com) The count circle includes Sabino Canyon proper as well as all the areas along the Catalina Highway up to Mount Lemmon itself. There are two Sabino Canyon counts, one in the spring and one in the summer. The spring count which has already been run this year, finds most of its species in the lower parts of the circle, while this summer count does much better in the higher and cooler elevations. A White-striped Longtail was among the better butterflies found last year. Portal Friday, August 2, 2024 Compiler: Lori Conrad (lconrad6853 at gmail.com) The count circle includes the Chiricahua Mountains from Portal to Rustler and Barfoot Parks and the SW Research Station. In 2023 the Portal count recorded 83 species which was the highest count in Arizona and may well be the highest in the nation. Patagonia Sunday, August 4, 2024 Compiler: Rich Bailowitz (rbailowitz at gmail.com) The count circle includes Patagonia, AZ and vicinity with an excellent variety of habitats. This is why the Patagonia count is usually one of the top three species-wise in the nation. read more »

6/17/2024      Trip report Boyce Thompson Arboretum Butterfly Walk 15 June 2024 by Ron Rutowski

The trip on Saturday was more productive (20 species) and better attended (11 participants) than I thought it might be, which was good. Pipevine Swallowtail (1), Checkered White (6), Sleepy Orange (8), Mexican Yellow (1), Large Orange Sulphur (1), Dainty Sulphur (4), Southern Dogface (2), Marine Blue (60), Ceraunus Blue (1), Western Pygmy-Blue (1), Gray Hairstreak (4), American Snout (2), Common Buckeye (1), Empress Leilia (5), Queen (20), Funereal Duskywing (4), Common/White Checkered-Skipper (3), AZ Powdered-Skipper (1), Northern White-Skipper (3), Fiery Skipper (1) read more »

5/30/2024      Fieldtrip report: Col. Devin Trail, 25 May by Marceline VandeWater

The weather was very pleasant but could have been a bit sunnier this year! 14 Participants started up the col. Devin Trail from Washington Park Trailhead and in the beginning the butterflying was really slow. In the end though: 24 species of butterflies were seen within the group, with Western Pine Elfin and Morisson’s Skipper being the most special, but Zela Metalmark the photo-op favorite. Total list: Two-tailed Swallowtail (3), Checkered White (3), Dainty Sulphur (2), Orange Sulphur (4), Bramble Hairstreak (2), Marine Blue (6), Spring “Echo” Azure (6), Western Tailed-Blue (4), Gray Hairstreak (1), Western Pine-Elfin (1), Zela Metalmark (2), Northwestern “Atlantis” Fritillary (2), Mylitta Crescent (1), Common Buckeye (3), Red Admiral (1), Red-spotted Purple (2), Weidemeyer’s Admiral (1), Arizona Sister (3), Mourning Cloak (4), Funereal Duskywing (2), Silver-spotted Skipper (9), Northern Cloudywing (3), Morisson’s Skipper (1), Common Checkered Skipper (1). I want to thank all participants for a great trip! Hope you will come out again soon! read more »

3/30/2024      Status of Butterflies in the United States by John Wesley Powell Center

As part of a USFWS -USGS Powell Center funded Working Group, we evaluated trends in abundance for all butterfly species across the United States, using data from 35 monitoring programs. Almost a quarter of these species were declining at their range-wide continental scale and over half of the species declining in at least one USFWS region. Butterfly species are declining across all butterfly families and ecological traits provide little predictive power in explaining overall trends. However, almost a quarter of the species were increasing in at least one USFWS region. We discuss biases in these data with respect to likely drivers of butterfly declines, as well next steps for developing collaborative efforts across organizations to rebuild butterfly populations. read more »

3/18/2024      Fieldtrip report: Superstition Mountains, 16 March by Ron Rutowski

Twelve of us ventured up the Apache Trail on a day after substantial rain storms moved through central Arizona. The passage of the storm was evident in the visible dusting of snow on Four Peaks and the water flowing over the fords at Tortilla and Mesquite Creeks. No butterflies were seen on our first and brief stop at Tortilla Flat. We moved on to Mesquite Flat where we spent about an hour and saw just one American Snout, although the birding was good (Sage Thrasher, Costa’s Hummingbird, three species of Towhees, etc.). We moved on to the Fish Creek Vista where butterflying was more productive, especially on the hilltop beyond the end of the paved trail. There, we were especially pleased to find a Fulvia Checkerspot (pictured) among the hilltopping species. What started out as a slow day ended with some good sightings. Our list of butterflies for the day is short which is not surprising for a beautiful but cool spring day following a major storm: Pipevine Swallowtail, Gray Hairstreak, American Snout, California Patch, Fulvia Checkerspot, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Meridian Duskywing. read more »

3/11/2024      Climate Change Leading to Early Butterfly Activity in Central Europe

Climate Change Leading to Early Butterfly Activity in Central Europe read more »

3/11/2024      Upcoming Summer 2024 Southeast Arizona Butterfly Counts:

The following are the butterfly counts for July and August of this year. Update information will be provided on the SEABA website (www.seaba.org) as it is available. Santa Rita Mts. Summer late July Greg Greene greencycle@hotmail.com Sabino Canyon Summer late July/early August Greg Greene greencycle@hotmail.com Ramsey Canyon Sunday, July 28 Doug Danforth dougofbis@gmail.com Portal Friday, Aug 2 Lori Conrad lconrad6853@gmail.com Patagonia Sunday, Aug 4 Rich Bailowitz rbailowitz@gmail.com read more »

2/28/2024      Butterfly Wonderland Conservation Speaker Series

We have a speaker from NAU sharing about mapping the rainforest with NASA technology. Our very own Gail will be one of our amazing speakers with a timely topic on Monarchs. Danielle Carlock from SCC and Maricopa Pollinator Pathway will also be a speaker. Tickets can be purchased on our website - www.butterflywonderland.com read more »