In late July, the fourth annual butterfly count took place in Yosemite.
Butterfly experts aka “lepidopterists” accompanied 40 enthusiasts to count and find out how many species and individual butterflies can be observed within a 15-mile diameter circle during a 24-hour period.
They went to Dana Meadows, Gaylor and Granite Lakes, Saddlebag Lake, Ellery Lake, Warren Canyon, Hall Natural Area, lower Lee Vining Canyon, Mono Lake County Park, and Lundy Lake.
The count was: 40 butterfly species composed of 680 individuals. The three most frequently detected butterflies were Sandhill Skipper (133 individuals), Shasta Blue (102 individuals), and Greenish Blue (72 individuals).
Four species that hadn’t been seen on previous counts were seen: Becker’s White, Sylvan Hairstreak, Reakirt’s Blue, and Common Checkered-Skipper.
Butterflies can migrate all the way to Costa Rica in their annual treks. The monarch is the long haul trucking line. There are 20,000 species of butterflies. It’s estimated that they have existed for up to 50 million years!
Bring your net next time – but nothing can be removed forma National Park.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: The name for the town of Mariposa near Yosemite means “butterfly.”
MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com