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Charleston Butterfly Blitz 2023

Charleston Butterfly Blitz 2023 is in the books, with fifty-two participants submitting ~1300 butterfly photos of 46 species to iNaturalist from Coles County from July 22nd to July 30th. The 46 species ties 2020 for the second highest species total we have had in our 5 years of the Blitz. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who participated!


All participants in the Charleston Butterfly Blitz 2023 qualified for 10% off any (single) in-stock accessory at Bike & Hike - Charleston in August 2023. Winners for number of species and submissions were Marge Phelps, Brett Spengler, and Teresa Dewitt & Melissa Records. Steve Pamperin submitted a remarkable 44 species this year, which is an all-time record for our Blitz!


For the first time, Pipevine Swallowtails were the most submitted species. Monarchs came in second, which is a rebound from last year when they came in sixth. Most of the top 10 species were similar to last year.


There were some interesting differences this year, though. Horace’s Duskywing and Sleepy Orange were more commonly submitted this year, and for only the second time, Dainty Sulphurs (found in the 2019 Blitz) and Harvesters (2021 Blitz) were found. Dainty Sulphurs and Sleepy Oranges are more southern species that sometimes can be found further north. Sleepy Oranges were unusually common this year.


Eastern Commas and Red-spotted Purples were less commonly submitted during the Blitz this year, and no Zebra Swallowtails, Little Glassywings, Tawny Emperors, Dun Skippers, or Southern Dogfaces were found, which differs from the results of most of the previous Blitzes.

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.

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