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

8/28/2019      Moth Night 27 Aug. at Gilbert Water Ranch

With temperatures still over 100 degrees at 6 pm, we first spent a good hour inside a library classroom, enjoying Margarethe’s presentation on pollinators. Then we walked over to Honeybee Point, while searching for scorpions along the way. Several scorpions were found! One even had several babies on her back. It was ID-ed by an expert as a Bark Scorpion! At the sheets, about 30 people enjoyed all the wiggly, chirping, always flying in your hair or shirt, group of insects attracted by the black-light and mercury-vapor light. This summer has been hot and dry so far, which has had a negative effect on the number of moths (and butterflies), and it was very noticeable tonight. It still was fun to be out in the dark, and always great to learn something new! read more »

6/12/2019      Upcoming Travel Tours to Costa Rica & Mexico with Butterfly Wonderland

*Informative info (not affiliated with CAZBA). Join Butterfly Wonderland Director of Education Adriane Grimaldi Sept. 28 thru Oct. 5, 2019 in Costa Rica as the group visits a local Butterfly Farm, travels to volcano, enjoys the beach, tranquil waterfalls in the rainforest and learns more about where the beautiful tropical butterflies come from. Mark your calendar for an amazing trip with Butterfly Wonderland to visit the Mexico Monarch Overwintering Sites Feb. 21-28, 2020. This is a bucket list kind of trip. See millions of Monarchs in the forest trees in Mexico, visit beautiful cathedrals in Mexico City, and visit the Cosmovitral Botanical Gardens. For more information, contact Adriane Grimaldi at adriane@butterflywonderland.com read more »

5/31/2019      "Vanishing Point" Art Show by member & painter TJ Oxley

{9} The Gallery presents Vanishing Point, a new series by Arizona-based acrylic painter TJ Oxley, opening First Friday, June 7th, 6-10 PM at {9} The Gallery, 1229 Grand Avenue, Phoenix, AZ. Through this series, Oxley creates a dialogue around environmental awareness and the threats endangering animal species on our planet. His haunting works quiver with the essence of near loss; a point of disappearance. read more »

5/26/2019      Fieldtrip report 25 May: dragonflies and damselflies of Papago Park with Justin Jones.

It was fun exploring the 3 old fish hatchery ponds at Papago Park! A nice crowd of 20 adults and 4 kids showed up eager to learn about the differences between dragonflies and damselflies, the dragonfly life-cycle, names of colorful species zipping around or laying eggs on vegetation floating in the ponds. We found a total of 18 species, some small, some big, some colorful and some really cool! Here is the list: Blue-ringed Dancer (8), Dusky Dancer (7), Rambur’s Forktail (6), Familiar Bluet (35), Common Green Darner (1), Red-tailed Pennant (2), Black Setwing (1), Western Pondhawk (4), Plateau Dragonlet (2), Comanche Skimmer (1) pictured!, Flame Skimmer (2), Straw-colored Sylph (2), Roseate Skimmer (2), Blue Dasher (9), Wandering Glider (3), Mexican Amberwing (5), Black Saddlebags (3), Red Saddlebags (2). We will organize another dragonfly walk in the fall. Stay tuned! read more »

4/15/2019      Field trip report: Rakensack Canyon by Marceline VandeWater

On Saturday April 13th, 13 butterfly friends plus Ron and I, explored Rackensack Canyon. The weather was sunny and the temperature perfect! There was a small stream of water flowing in Rackensack: what a difference with last year! Everything was lush and green, with plenty of flowers. Between all of us, we saw a total of 25 species: Pipevine Swallowtail (6), Two-tailed Swallowtail (4), Checkered White (25), Sara Orangetip (4), Sleepy Orange (2), Orange Sulphur (8), Dainty Sulphur (6), Reakirt’s Blue (2), “Martin’s” Blue (2), Variegated Fritillary (2), Elada Checkerspot (1), Variable Checkerspot (4), Sagebrush Checkerspot (1), Red Admiral (7), Painted Lady (10), Empress Leilia (2), Mourning Cloak (1), Common Buckeye (9), Tropical Buckeye (1), Queen (5), Monarch (1), Funereal Duskywing (3), Common Streaky-Skipper (2), White Checkered-Skipper (20), Orange Skipperling (1). I want to thank all participants for you good company and sharp eyes! Marceline read more »

3/27/2019      Field trip report: Butterflies along the Beeline Highway by Ron Rutowski

Twenty avid butterfliers led by Ron Rutowski and Marceline Vandewater visited two sites along the Beeline Highway on 23 March 2019. Round Valley was the first stop. Initially at 56 degrees, there was no activity, but more and more butterflies came out as the morning warmed up. At this location we saw 15 butterfly species. At the next stop in Upper Sunflower Valley we walked down the old Beeline Highway to have lunch at the Forest Service work camp. Along the way and at the camp we saw over 70 individual butterflies in 17 species. Our sunny but cool morning along the Beeline yielded a total of 24 species which is about average for this annual spring trip we’re doing since 2009. (2013 was a low year with 10 species, and 2011 & 2015 were high years with over 30 species observed). Here are the species and approximate numbers of each seen per location: Round Valley (15 species; more than 50 individuals) Pipevine Swallowtail 3, Checkered White 8, Pearl Marble 2, Orange Sulphur 1, Dainty Sulphur 4, Western Pygmy Blue 1, Spring Azure 1, American Snout 3, Red Admiral 1, Painted Lady 1, Variable Checkerspot 12, Empress Leilia 1, Queen 10, White Checkered Skipper 2, Funereal Duskywing 2 Upper Sunflower Valley (17 species; more than 70 individuals) Two-tailed Swallowtail 2, Pipevine Swallowtail 2, Checkered White 10, Sarah Orangetip 4, Mexican Yellow 1, Orange Sulphur 12, Dainty Sulphur 10, Western Pygmy Blue 1, “Siva” Juniper Hairstreak 2, Red Admiral 2, Painted Lady 1, Variegated Fritillary 1, Sagebrush Checkerspot 2, Mourning Cloak 1, Common Buckeye 1, Monarch 2, White Checkered Skipper 20 read more »

2/5/2019      First signs of border wall construction spotted at National Butterfly Center.

On Sunday February 3, the National Butterfly Center alerted that earlier that day, construction equipment and eight local law enforcement units materialized at the 100-acre sanctuary in Mission, Texas, along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last year, Congress approved funding to build new border-wall sections atop a levee that runs through the center, which protects habitat for hundreds of butterfly species as well as birds and other wildlife. An officer told center staff that “effective Monday morning, [the center’s land south of the levee] is all government land,” according to the post, suggesting that plans to construct the new wall sections continue. (These wall plans are separate from President Trump's larger proposed wall project that is still being negotiated.) read more »

2/5/2019      Western Monarch Call to Action!!

An iconic migration is on the verge of collapse—we must all do our part to save western monarchs! Once, millions of monarchs overwintered along the Pacific coast in California and Baja, Mexico—an estimated 4.5 million in the 1980s. But by the mid-2010s, the population had declined by about 97%, and in 2018, the decline was that much more dramatic. The annual Xerces Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count showed that the population hit a record low: Volunteers counted only 28,429 butterflies. This number is an 86% drop from the previous count done at Thanksgiving 2017, when 192,668 monarchs were counted at 263 sites (comparing only the sites monitored in both years)—and a dizzying 99.4% decline from the numbers present in the 1980s. read more »

7/31/2018      Butterfly expert Thomas Emmel has died.

The Florida Museum is shocked and saddened by the passing of Thomas Emmel, our colleague and friend, who died over the weekend, apparently from natural causes, while traveling in Brazil. Many of you have known Dr. Emmel for decades; others know him as a professor, mentor, researcher, travel guide, lepidopterist extraordinaire and as the initiator and founding director of the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity. Dr. Emmel’s death represents a personal loss for many, as well as a loss that will be felt across the scientific and avocational Lepidopterist communities. He will be sorely missed. Many of Dr. Emmel’s friends have asked about making a gift in his memory, and the Museum suggests gifts be directed to the Thomas C. Emmel Founding Director’s Endowment, which supports collections and research at the Florida Museum’s McGuire Center. Here is information on how to make a gift in his memory: https://www.uff.ufl.edu/give-now/?fund_id=019211 read more »

7/31/2018      Renowned monarch butterfly expert Dr. Lincoln Brower dies, but his legacy lives on!

The Sweet Briar community was saddened to learn of the death of Lincoln Brower, a world-renowned entomologist and research professor at the College. Brower died peacefully at his home in Nelson County on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, after an extended illness. Born in New Jersey on Sept. 10, 1931, he was well-known internationally for his research on the chemical and physiological ecology of monarch butterflies, and was an ardent conservationist on their behalf. He worked tirelessly to protect the monarch’s overwintering habitat in Mexico, raising awareness through his research reports and dozens of interviews with national and international media organizations. Here is the information on how to make a gift in his memory: Gifts: https://monarchconservation.org/grants/small-grants-program/ read more »