Monday, June 1, 2015

Detective Work on the Brukner Butterfly Transit Monitoring Trail

There are not many butterfly transit monitoring sites in Ohio. It would be great if people in each of our eighty-eight counties would set up transits. A transit is a route that butterfly lovers follow weekly.  They count the butterflies within fifteen feet of them.  The fifteen feet can be in the air or in any direction or on the ground.

Butterflies are a good indicator of habitat.  If plants are destroyed, butterflies disappear because each species has particular plant needs.  Many people know that Monarch butterflies require milkweeds but may not realize that other butterflies require hackberry trees or violets or nettles.

On Saturday, May 9,  Jackie spotted this butterfly on a redbud tree.  


Our consensus was that the butterfly was that the butterfly was an elfin.  There are several elfins in Ohio.



This is a second photo of the same butterfly.  It looks as though the butterfly is ovipositing (laying an egg).  Henry's Elfins  lay their eggs on redbud trees.   

Ruth has sent the photo to the experts for an opinion.  Butterfly photos are an important means of identification.

This butterfly is not showy or large.  But all butterflies are important.

Whether you live in Ohio or somewhere else in the world, you can do a bit for our earth by taking a walk each week during butterfly season and noting the butterflies you see.

On Saturday, May 30, Jackie found further confirmation that Henry"s Elfins are at Brukner.  On a redbud leaf she found its caterpillar.





1 comment:

Far Side of Fifty said...

Hi Pauline, I am not seeing many Butterflies up here yet. I saw some Sulphers and one large yellow with black..and that is it so far this year. Saw one huge Bumbly Bee and two wasps...the farmers nearby spray:(