Projektin CVC Butterfly Blitz 2021 Päiväkirja

Päiväkirja-arkisto kohteelle syyskuu 2021

1. syyskuuta 2021

Observation of the week – August 21-27, 2021

Our sixteenth observation of the week is this Common Ringlet observed by Patrick (@patrick2008) and Alan at our butterfly blitz event on August 21st. It was a hot morning exploring for butterflies at Chris Gibson Park in Brampton. One of the first butterflies caught was this Common Ringlet that Patrick netted and jarred for everyone to see.

Patrick did a great job of using the netting technique that Laura, our ecologist demonstrated. Once in the net, Patrick placed the jar inside to get a better look at the butterfly. Patrick recounts, “It was flying around with others of its kind and skippers as well. The colours of the butterfly were orange, dark brown, and light brown with a dot on its wings. This species of butterfly is not endangered and can be found in grassy habitats.”

Patrick told us about his interest in rearing butterflies, especially monarchs and black swallowtails. He was introduced to them by a neighbour. As a student going into Grade 8, we were very impressed with Patrick’s knowledge of butterflies and other insects. It’s always great to see young ecologists in action!

The Common Ringlet is an interesting butterfly. You may have noticed that it recently underwent a taxonomic name change. The Common Ringlet that we have here (now called Coenonympha california) was formerly considered to be Coenonympha tullia or a subspecies of Coenonympha tullia, Coenonympha tullia ssp. california. Coenonympha tullia is known from Europe and is called the Large Heath there. Recent taxonomic evidence suggests that the Coenonympha species found here is different from that found in Europe, so it has been renamed Coenonympha california.

There does seem to be one or more subspecies of Coenonympha tullia found in North America – but only in the northwest (e.g., the Yukon Ringlet Coenonympha tullia ssp. yukonensis).

The taxonomic change on iNaturalist was made on July 29th of this year. If you added a Common Ringlet to the project before then it would have been identified as Coenonympha tullia but now is Coenonympha california. There’s always something new to learn about butterflies! What have you discovered recently? Let us know!

Lähetetty 1. syyskuuta 2021 12:58 käyttäjältä lindseyjennings lindseyjennings | 0 kommenttia | Jätä kommentti

8. syyskuuta 2021

Observation of the week: August 28 - September 3, 2021

With only two weeks left to go in this year’s Butterfly Blitz, our seventeenth observation of the week is this female Black Swallowtail seen by @debbiechang. We can tell that it’s a female because of the extensive blue markings on the base of their hindwings. Males have less noticeable blue in this area and have larger yellow spots above.

The Black Swallowtail falls into the very large butterfly category with a wingspan of 6.9-8.4 cm. Both female and male Black Swallowtails have two distinctive orange eye spots on the base of their hindwings. Predators will sometimes mistake these spots for the head and will try to bite it off.

Black Swallowtails lay their eggs on host plants from the carrot family, like Dill, Fennel, Parsley, and Queen Anne’s Lace. Because of their love for these common garden plants, they are often seen in backyards and other urban areas. But Black Swallowtails will also feed on native species in the carrot family – like Sweet Cicely and Water Parsnip.

At first glance, you may not notice Black Swallowtail caterpillars since they look like bird droppings. This camouflages them in their environment and makes them less likely to be eaten. As they grow and moult out of their skins, the caterpillars transform. Their body turns bright green with black stripes dotted with yellow spots.

A fun fact about Black Swallowtails is that they participate in an activity called “puddling.” The male butterflies gather around puddles and take in salts and other nutrients from sand and mud. They later pass on these nutrients to the females during reproduction.

Not only do these butterflies get nutrition from flower nectar, drinking from puddles also provides them with another way to build up their fluids and get their electrolytes. This not only benefits reproduction but also helps them to prepare for long flights. Other species of butterflies, like other swallowtails, admirals, whites and sulphurs are known to puddle too.

Have you seen any butterflies puddling? Let us know!

At the wrap up event on September 18th, we will discuss some other butterfly patterns that we have seen this summer. We will gather safely to submit timed survey datasheets, hear about our 2021 project results, discuss exciting field finds and award prizes for the following categories: most species, rarest find, most observations, best photo, most participation, and the lucky day prize.

Park admission is free for participants.
Register here:

Lähetetty 8. syyskuuta 2021 19:22 käyttäjältä lltimms lltimms | 1 kommentti | Jätä kommentti

15. syyskuuta 2021

Observation of the week: September 4 - 10, 2021

It’s our last OOTW before our virtual wrap up event on Saturday! Thank you for your participation in this year’s project.

We hope you can join us this Saturday, September 18 from 9:30-10:30am for our virtual wrap-up event. We will be celebrating the end of our third year of Butterfly Blitz. We will provide a project overview, discuss some exciting observations, share video footage and have time for you to share your experiences with observing butterflies this summer. Oh and of course, there will be prizes too! If you didn’t get the invitation by email, reach out to Lindsey ( to get the link.

We’re happy to share our 18th observation of the week, from Julie (@sunrisegardener). This Clouded Sulphur caught our attention with the pink markings on the butterfly beautifully complementing the pink Coneflower it’s drinking from. The level of detail in the photo is remarkable.

The Clouded Sulphur is one of the most widespread and common butterflies in North America. The name Sulphur comes from the element – when in its solid state is a bright yellow. In other areas of the world, these butterflies are simply known as “Yellows”.

You may have noticed that Julie has been posting a lot in our Butterfly Blitz project this year. The garden she has created just might be the reason why. Julie shares, “For me, butterflies are magical. They bring me joy all summer long. All my Butterfly Blitz photos were taken in our suburban garden, as I want to show people what a difference they can make by planting natives and host plants at home.

Julie worked with others to start a Facebook group called Let's Nurture Nature Halton Hills. The goal of the group is to share knowledge and resources to increase pollinator habitat in Halton Hills. They also give away free pollinator plants, mostly grown by Julie. Anyone in the area can join the group – if you live in Halton Hills, check it out!

Julie loves sharing plants to help pollinators and has given away over 2,500 this year! She says: “All summer long I have received delighted text messages with photos of butterflies and bees in people's gardens, often on plants I have given them. Some families took home Monarch caterpillars to raise and they involved all the children in their neighbourhoods. Then they shared their precious photos of children delighted by the little caterpillars they were nurturing. Being able to bring such joy into people's lives, while creating sanctuary for wildlife, is a priceless gift.

We truly appreciate the wonderful contribution Julie is making to increase butterfly habitat in her area. We are delighted to hear about her efforts to attract butterflies to not only to her space, but also to many others.

Post written by Miranda Floreano (@mfloreano), Crew Leader, Community Outreach

Lähetetty 15. syyskuuta 2021 13:15 käyttäjältä lltimms lltimms | 1 kommentti | Jätä kommentti