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

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 »

10/1/2023      Atala butterfly returns to Florida Everglades. They were thought to be extinct!

Vibrant red caterpillars have been found clustered on plants at Everglades National Park and closer inspection has revealed it is not another invasive species in South Florida. The insects are a species of native butterfly once thought to be extinct, according to the National Park Service. “After an absence of 35 years, the Atala butterfly has returned to Everglades National Park,” the park reported in a Sept. 2 Facebook post. read more »

9/19/2023      Trip report: Aspen Corner, 22 July 2023 by Gail Morris and Marianne Jensen

Cool temperatures, sunny skies and inspired companions laid the groundwork for an exciting visit to Aspen Corner on Mount Humphrey in Flagstaff on 22 July 2023. Temperatures were still in the 60’s when we arrived eventually rising to the low 80’s – a perfect respite for many of the 13 participants escaping the lower desert heat to explore the mountain trails and meadows. Sneezeweed was in vibrant flower and the most popular pollinator plant (as always) but we were also lucky to find Flagstaff Iris still in bloom. Surprisingly, we didn’t see as many other arthropods as previous years such as Tachinid Flies and Day Flying Moths (such as the Police Car Moth) for instance. Despite their absence, we explored the area and found 20 butterfly species. Species list (20 species) Western Tiger Swallowtail, Checkered White, Orange Sulphur, Dainty Sulphur, Marine Blue, Spring Azure, Reakirt’s Blue, Gray Hairstreak, Mourning Cloak, Painted Lady, West Coast Lady, Northwestern (Atlantis) Fritillary, Queen, Variegated Fritillary, Arachne Checkerspot, Hoary Comma, White/Common Checkered Skipper, Taxiles Skipper, Garita Skipperling and Northern Cloudywing read more »

8/31/2023      Trip report: Pivot Rock Canyon, 12 August 2023 by Ron Rutowski

Five adults and two boys met at the upper trailhead in Pivot Rock Canyon on 12 August to explore the canyon and its butterfly denizens. The canyon was wonderfully green, cool, and humid, with a nice flow of water in the stream bed. However, the weather was not cooperative. Clouds blocked the sun for the first hour. There was then about 90 minutes of sun until the buildup of monsoon storms over the Rim. Our return to the cars was accompanied by light rain and thunder. As a result, our list of butterflies seen was not impressive: Orange Sulphur, Northern Fritillary, Gray Buckeye, Pacuvius Duskywing, Taxiles Skipper, unidentified blue. I would not give up on this new-for-CAZBA location yet. With good weather and recent rains it should be good. read more »

8/25/2023      In memory of Lola White

From Adriane Grimaldi: It’s with a sad heart we announce that Dr. Lola White, 103, passed away on August 13. She was a valued member of CAZBA for many years. Lola was instrumental in having the Two-tailed Swallowtail butterfly become Arizona’s State Butterfly in 2001. A few of the members of Butterfly Wonderland visited her in July and honored her with a special t-shirt and hat depicting the State Butterfly. From https://coe.arizona.edu/notable-alumni University of Arizona’s Notable Alumni: Lola White graduated from University of Arizona in 1942. In 2001, she worked diligently to make the Two-tailed Swallowtail (Papilio multicaudata) Arizona’s State Butterfly. Why this butterfly? According to White, it is only found west of the Mississippi. “This butterfly has the colors of the Arizona flag and has 14 blue dots to mark February 14, the day in 1912 when Arizona Territory became a state. Having a state butterfly highlights problems that construction, herbicides, and global warming have on butterfly lives. Butterflies are second behind bees for plant and tree pollination.” read more »

5/22/2023      Trip report: Colonel Devin Trail, 20 May 2023 by Marceline VandeWater:

What a perfect weather on Saturday! Finally, after a couple of rainy days the sun came out and even though it still was only 63 degrees when we started up the trail, the butterflies were in a frenzy to find nectar. Nothing ultra rare was found, but besides a solid list of 32 species of butterflies, the scenery and company made it a super nice morning. Thank you all for coming up to Payson and exploring this in my opinion underappreciated area. Species list: Two-tailed Swallowtail (7), Checkered White (25), Orange Sulphur (4), Southern Dogface (5), Sleepy Orange (3), Dainty Sulphur (6), Western Green Hairstreak (3) (old name: Bramble Hairstreak), Gray Hairstreak (2), Western Pine Elfin (1)(pictured), Marine Blue (3), Reakirt’s Blue (2), Spring “Echo” Azure (10), Acmon Blue (8), Western Tailed-Blue (5), Zela Metalmark (3), Variegated Fritillary (1), Mylitta Crescent (4), Field Crescent (3), Satyr Anglewing (Comma) (3), Painted Lady (1), Common Buckeye (14), Red-spotted Purple (2), Arizona Sister (4), Mourning Cloak (3), Silver-spotted Skipper (7), Northern Cloudywing (4), Pacuvius Duskywing (2), Meridian Duskywing (1), Rocky Mountain Duskywing (1), Com/white Checkered-Skipper (6), Northern White-Skipper (2), Orange Skipperling (1). Plants and flowers are behind this year, so in a few weeks, this place should be even better! read more »

5/17/2023      In memory of Phil McNally

CAZBA lost a cherished member earlier this month. Dr. Phil McNally passed away at age 69 on 7 May 2023 after a multiyear battle with VEXAS Syndrome and its complications. Phil was an accomplished entomologist who after earning his PHD at UC Riverside had a long career in the pest control industry. He was an avid lepidopterist and made a very valuable and beautiful contribution to the literature on Arizona butterflies with his book, Butterflies of the Central Arizona Highlands, published in 2020. He joined the Board of the Central Arizona Butterfly Association in 2020 and was an active, thoughtful, knowledgeable, and well-liked member. Phil will be sorely missed by his CAZBA friends and colleagues. Plans for a memorial service will be posted here as soon as they are available. read more »

5/5/2023      Upcoming Summer 2023 Southeast Arizona Butterfly Counts:

Contact compilers if you wish to participate in any of these counts.. Sabino Canyon Summer Count: Thursday, July 27, 2023 Compiler Greg Greene (greenecycle at hotmail.com).Includes foothills and along Catalina Highway up to Mount Lemmon. Santa Rita Mountains Summer Count: Saturday, July 29, 2023 Compiler Mary Klinkel (grizzledelfin at gmail.com). Includes Montosa, Madera, Florida, Box and Gardner Canyons. Ramsey Canyon Canyon Count: Tuesday, August 1, 2023 Compiler Doug Danforth (dougofbis at gmail.com). Huachuca Mts. to San Pedro River, Ramsey Canyon to Mexican border. Portal Count: Friday, August 4, 2023 Compiler Lori Conrad (lconrad6853 at gmail.com). Chiricahua Mountains Portal to Rustler and Barfoot Parks. SW Research Station Patagonia Count: Tuesday August 8, 2023 Compiler Rich Bailowitz (rbailowitz at gmail.com). Patagonia and vicinity. Usually #1 or #2 in species counts in the nation Past 2023 Count The Sabino Canyon Spring Count was held on Thursday, April 6, 2023. Compiler Mary Klinkel reports that 29 observers in 13 parties fanned out in the Santa Catalina Mountains and foothills to find 61 species including Xami Hairstreak and Tropical Leafwing which both were new for the count. read more »

4/24/2023      2 (maybe 3) Colorado Plateau 2023 butterfly counts.

The Bryce Canyon butterfly count will be held on Saturday 8 July 2023. At 9:00 AM, we will be meeting at the Sinclair Station across from Ruby’s Inn. $3 per participant for NABA administration costs. It’ll probably last until 3PM, but people can leave whenever. $35 admission waived. The North Rim Grand Canyon butterfly count will be held on Saturday 15 July 2023. $30 per participant Grand Canyon Conservancy service course. Park entrance fee will be waived. Look up: North Rim Butterfly Count on grandcanyon.org. At this time there are no plans for a La Sal Mountains Count. (Possibly there will be a Mesa Verde NM count this year though). For more information, please contact project lead Robb Hannawacker: hannawacker at gmail.com (435-259-4711 x220) read more »

4/24/2023      Trip report: Rackensack Canyon 22 April by Ron Rutowski

Conditions for butterflying were close to ideal for twelve field trip participants in Rackensack Canyon last Saturday (22 April 2023). The stream was flowing and the day was bright and warm. We tallied 28 species in the canyon with Variable Checkerspots and White/Common Checkered Skippers being most numerous. We moved on on to Sear Kay Ruin for lunch and a walk up to the hilltop ruins where many male California Patch butterflies and Pipevine Swallowtails were waiting for females to appear. There, we added another three species to our list for the day bringing the total to 31. Thanks to Marceline for keeping a record of the butterflies we saw and to all the participants for their enthusiasm and watchful eyes! Two-tailed Swallowtail, Pipevine Swallowtail, Checkered White, Dainty Sulphur, Orange Sulphur, Southwestern Orangetip, Southern Dogface, Sleepy Orange, Variable Checkerspot, Reakirt’s Blue, Spring Azure, Acmon/Lupine Blue, Juniper Hairstreak, California Patch, Gray (Common) Buckeye, Dark (Tropical) Buckeye, American Snout, Queen, Painted Lady, American Lady, Elada Checkerspot, Empress Leilia, White/Common Checkered-Skipper, Northern White-Skipper, Funereal Duskywing, Meridian Duskywing, Orange Skipperling, Golden-headed Scallopwing. Added at Sear Kay Ruin: Cloudless Sulphur, Common Powdered-Skipper, Pahaska Skipper. read more »