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Charleston Butterfly Blitz 2020

The Charleston Butterfly Blitz is a community effort to record as many butterflies as possible in the Charleston, Illinois area. The 2020 Blitz went from Saturday, July 25th to Sunday, August 2nd.

We found 46 different species this year, beating last year’s mark by 2 species. Top honors (and Bike & Hike-Charleston prizes) went to Kathryn Bulver, Marge Phelps, Mary Danley, and Jana & Makenzie Pamperin.  


Interesting finds this year included a couple of late season little wood-satyr, several gray commas, and an ocola skipper.


One of the benefits of doing the Butterfly Blitz every year is being able to compare results from year to year. This year, we saw 8 species we didn’t see last year, but didn’t see 5 that we saw in 2019. Some species, like monarch, tiger swallowtail, and silver-spotted skipper, were common both years, with the monarch being the most commonly submitted butterfly both years. Northern broken-dash, eastern giant swallowtail, and fiery skipper were definitely more commonly submitted this year, while cabbage white, pipevine swallowtail, and wild indigo duskywing were significantly less commonly submitted. With data from more years, we might be able to pull out more trends and begin to understand why certain species are more or less common in a given year.


PRIZES: Each participant that submitted at least one butterfly observation from Coles County to iNaturalist during our Blitz received a 10% discount on any in-stock accessory from Bike & Hike-Charleston (must be redeemed by August 31, 2020).


There were also prizes for most observations submitted and most different species (including $100 off any bike purchase from Bike & Hike, $75 off labor for Bike & Hike-Charleston, a free water bottle, or t-shirt from Bike & Hike). 

The Charleston Butterfly Blitz is co-sponsored by the Urban Butterfly Initiative (, BIKE & HIKE-Charleston, the Grand Prairie Butterfly Club (join the group on Facebook!), the City of Charleston, Eastern Illinois University, and Fox Ridge State Park.

To look at the Blitz results on iNaturalist, click "2020 Blitz Results." For a map showing the location of UBI hotspots, click the "UBI Hotspots" button. And to sign up for a FREE iNaturalist account, click on the "iNaturalist" button.

Charleston Bfly Blitz 2020 poster.jpg

This image shows photos of all of the species found this year, in order of their submission numbers, the most common being in the upper left and least common in the lower right.

2020 Butterfly Blitz Flyer.jpg
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