Butterfly Survey Results–Lots of butterflies this year.

I have been doing butterfly surveys for the past eight years–mostly informally.  I do report the results of some of them to the Iowa Butterfly Survey Network, which is associated with Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University.

I have been seeing numbers that are larger than any year I have surveyed so far.  There are record numbers of Colias species, the orange and clouded sulfurs.

Today I did a survey on our property and saw very large numbers of monarchs.  Specifically, I counted 74 monarchs in 45 minutes, but that is a very conservative number.  There were several places where the numbers flying around the small black walnut and mulberry trees were too high to count.

I am also seeing higher numbers of other butterflies this year.  I have not seen as many common buckeyes as I have seen this year–they are really thick.  Little yellows are back in Iowa after being gone (for the most part) for two years.  I also think I am seeing the start of a bloom of painted ladies–I am seeing small numbers of them and expect to see high numbers of them before the summer is out.

(monarch above, common buckeye below)


About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in butterflies, butterfly surveys, common buckeye, insects, monarch, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Butterfly Survey Results–Lots of butterflies this year.

  1. I read about your blog on NABA list..Nice that you are seeing monarchs..I haven’t seen one this year in my western NY yard..I am still working in a Monarch Way Station and am pretty new to butterflies….Michelle

    • Butterflies that migrate into an area are pretty unpredictible. A few years ago there were no painted ladies seen in the upper midwest for a whole season. The last two years we have had no little yellows in Iowa while in most years they are common.
      Good luck. Have fun.

  2. Julie Brown says:

    I have also noticed higher numbers of monarchs and swallowtails this season, as well as other species.

  3. Kay Meyer says:

    Really nice blog. It’s been great to see so many buckeye butterflies at the Arboretum this year.

  4. Stephanie Jessen says:

    I live in Tennessee & we have been seeing an unusual amount of butterflies the last two weeks. I am not familiar with the different ones but according to the pictures above I am seeing bunches of buckeyes. I had at least 75 in my yard yesterday.


  5. Pauline Rosenberg says:

    I’m seeing more buckeyes than ever. Also more fritillaries including variegated, meadow and great spangled. Also, seeing more black swallowtails and spicebush
    swallowtails. It’s great!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s