Second Annual White Mountain Butterfly Count and Insect Survey 2006

The second annual "4th of July" White Mountain Alpine Butterfly Count and Insect Survey took place on Tuesday July 25, 2006. This year we added a general insect survey component to the count, headed up by WMRS Research Associates Jeff Holmquist and Jutta Schmidt-Gengenbach. Counters gathered at the Crooked Creek station at 8:30 am and travelled up and down the White Mountain road observing, counting and collecting voucher specimens as needed to confirm identification. Count sites were approximately the same as those in the 2005 count, although some modifications were made to improve the scientific value of the count. We had much better weather than in 2005. The count ended back at the Crooked Creek station at about 5 pm. At least 18 butterfly species were seen totalling 441 individuals. See WM count list excel file for details.

The insect survey sweep samples were diverse and abundant.  We collected an average of 80 insects and spiders in each sweep sample, representing an average of 27 species from an average of 18 families.  We collected a total of 57 families.  The vacuum results were similar.  Calculated diversity was high and in turn "dominance" by any single species was low—only about 32%.

Here is the species list for each site, including vouchers identified by John Emmel (italics):

Campito meadow: 7 Coleas eurytheme, 2 Lycaena. cupreus, 17 L. editha, 1 Hemeiargus isola, 8 Plebejus saepiolus, 31 P. icarioides, 5 P. shasta, 1 P. lupinus, 1 Nymphalis antiopa, 2 N. milberti, 1 Vanessa virginiensis, 1 Cercyonis oetis, 6 Neominois ridingsii, 2 Thorybes mexicanus, 10 Polites sabuleti. Vouchers: P. saepiolus albomontanus (1 m + 1 f ) and Icaricia. lupini ssp. (1m)

Barcroft Plateau: 1 L. cupeus, 4 P. saepiolus, 6 P. shasta, 2 P. lupinus, 2 P. sabuleti. Vouchers: P. saepiolus albomontanus (1 f ) and I. lupini ssp. (1f)

McAfee Meadow: 5 L. cupeus, 37 P. saepiolus, 3 P. shasta, 8 P. lupinus, 39 P. sabuleti. Vouchers: I. lupini ssp. (5 m, 2 f)

Sheep Pass: 4 P. saepiolus, 10 P. shasta, 3 P. lupinus, 2 N. milberti. Vouchers: I. shasta (1 f)

Crooked Creek turnoff: 1 L. cupreus, 1 H. isola, 1 Lycaeides melissa, 1 Plebejus saepiolus, 26 P. icarioides, 9 P. shasta 1. C. oetus, 2. P. sabuleti. Vouchers: I. icarioides albihalos (2 m, 1 f), L. melissa near fridayi (1 f).

Crooked Creek station: 5 C. eurytheme, 2 L. editha, 1. P. melissa, 81 P. icarioides, 1. P. shasta, 1 N. antiopa, Hesperia uncas, 1 H. comma, 4 P. sabuleti. Vouchers: C. eurytheme (albinic) (1 f), Icaricia. icarioides albihalos (1 f), I. lupini ssp. (2 m), Lycaeides melissa near fridayi (2 m, 2 f), Plebjus saepiolus albomontanus (1 f), Hesperia colorado ssp. (1 m), H. uncas macswaini (1 f), P. sabuleti albamontana (3m, 1f)

2006 Counters included Derham Giuliani, Paul MacFarland, Sean Schoville and John Smiley.

male Plebejus shasta Shasta blue photos Sean Schoville

Plebejus saepiolus mating pair

The netted quadrat in mid-air at Campito Meadow.  Photo: Lance Iversen, San Francisco Chronicle.

A Cuckoo wasp (Chrysis) at Crooked Creek turnoff.

Lycaena cupreus Lustrous copper

Paul MacFarland and Derham Giuliani on Barcroft Plateau

In Campito meadow

What species?