Charleston Butterfly Blitz 2021
Charleston Butterfly Blitz 2021 was a success, with over 1500 butterfly photos of 43 different species submitted to iNaturalist from Coles County from July 24th to August 1st. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who participated!
For the 3rd year in a row, monarchs were the most submitted species, and silver-spotted skippers, pearl crescents, zabulon skippers, spicebush swallowtails, cabbage whites, and tawny- edged skippers were also common.
Zabulon skipper, Peck’s skipper, and tawny-edged skipper submissions were all at higher numbers this year than in previous Blitzes. Common buckeyes and painted ladies were surprisingly rare. Both buckeyes and painted ladies were in the Top 10 of submissions in previous Blitzes but this year only a few buckeyes were submitted, and no painted ladies were submitted at all. Little yellows were also not found this year and fiery skippers and eastern tiger swallowtails were also relative low. Tracking these trends from year to year is one of the main scientific benefits of the Blitz.
One of the most exciting finds included 2 harvester butterflies, a very uncommon and unusual butterfly that is the only butterfly species in North America with carnivorous caterpillars. Their caterpillars feed on woolly aphids instead of leaves.
All participants in the Charleston Butterfly Blitz 2021 qualified for 10% off any in-stock accessory at Bike & Hike-Charleston. Winners of prizes for number of species and submissions were Kathryn Bulver, Nathan Carpenter, Marge Phelps, and Tom Canam.
To see the Blitz results on iNaturalist, click "2021 Blitz Results" below. 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.
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.