Butterfly sighting

Aug 3 2014

Scott and Ann Swengel

Location: Leola Grassland
Adams County

Purplish Copper blowout! 11:31 am to 2:12 pm and 4:01-5:20 pm. 72-81 degrees F, 32% sunshine, wind west 4-8 mph. We walked 4 miles in the grassland and an additional 1.5 miles of roadside walking surveys. All of these butterflies are from walking surveys. We also saw more than 500 Red Admirals on County Hwy W. Today was about trying to learn more about Purplish Copper distribution, focusing on seven of the eight 40 acre (1/4-1/4 mile) tracts (we surveyed one of them July 30) bordering Archer Road west of County Hwy W. We found 217 Purplish Coppers at Archer Road and in all seven 40-acre plots searched there today. The coppers concentrated in scattered patches of the wider-leaved of the two species of Smartweed (Polygonum) we saw. The largest number of coppers (>50 per plot) were seen in the 2nd quarter mile west of County W, on both north (all parts of plot) and south sides (especially immediately southwest of the one quarter mile mark), and in the first quarter west of County W and north of Archer, (especially E, N, and S parts of plot). It is likely that the first quarter west of County W on the south side of Archer is also very good (NW part of plot likely the best area), as we found 6 Purplish Coppers here July 30 under failing end of day weather. All six 1/4 miles of roadside (2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter miles west of County W, on both south and north sides) we walked along Archer had 3-10 Purplish Coppers, but the 4th quarter west of County W had the fewest coppers. We also saw 15 Purplish Coppers in upland grassland immediately NW of the Apache Road/County W jct. (11 of them were in two Smartweed patches 20-40 meters north of the big ditch and about 100 and 250 meters west of County W, respectively). Two Purplish Coppers were north of Alp Avenue east of 5th, more than 2 miles from the other places.

☆ = New county sighting record