Butterfly Count – Petroglyphs 2012

On Saturday July 21, 2012 eleven butterfly enthusiasts completed the 15th Annual Petroglyphs Butterfly Count. This count covers an area contained with a circle with diameter of 24 kilometres. It covers primarily the area north of Stoney Lake northwards to the Apsley area between Highway 28 and Peterborough County Road 62 between Lasswade and Oak Lake. Part of the count circle is south of Stoney Lake.

This year with record warm conditions, the migratory butterflies such as Question Mark and Monarch arrived earlier than normal and other species emerged as adults up to two weeks ahead of historic patterns. The drought conditions, especially on the open rocky ridges of the Canadian Shield resulted in the flowers the adults butterflies visit in search of nectar being dried out and without blooms. These factors resulted in fewer butterflies surviving causing a drop in the number of individuals being found.

Two new species were recorded for the first time on this count. Two Harvesters were found. The caterpillar of this butterfly is carnivorous, feeding on Wooly Aphids. A female was observed laying eggs within a colony of Wooly Aphids. Two groups also found Dreamy Duskywings.

The total count results:

Whites and Sulphurs

Mustard White (2), Cabbage White (2), Clouded Sulphur (44), Orange Sulphur (15), Pink-edged Sulphur (5), white spp – 1

Gossamer Wings

Harvester (2), American Copper (2), Bronze Copper (1), Bog Copper (5), Acadian Hairstreak (5), Coral Hairstreak (4), Banded Hairstreak (3), Grey Hairstreak (13), hairstreak spp (2), Eastern Tailed Blue (10), Summer Azure (8)


Great Spangled Fritillary (17), Aphrodite Fritillary (62), Atlantis Fritillary (6), Silver-bordered Fritillary (4), fritillary spp (4), Pearl Crescent (30), Northern Crescent (21), Question Mark (2), Eastern Comma (1), Grey Comma (1), anglewing spp (3), American Lady (10), Common Buckeye (2), Red Admiral (1), White Admiral (9), Viceroy (29), Northern Pearly-eye (10), Eyed Brown (4), Common Wood-nymph (49), Monarch (301)


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (2)


Silver-spotted Skipper (8), Columbine Duskywing (126), Dreamy Duskywing (3), duskywing spp. (1), Delaware Skipper (38), Least Skipper (2), European Skipper (7), Peck’s Skipper (28), Tawny-edged Skipper (14), Long Dash Skipper (3), Northern Broken-Dash(10), Little Glassywing (1), Mulberry Wing (7), Broad-winged Skipper (138), Dion Skipper (16), Dun Skipper (2,000)

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