As you may have read elsewhere here on LepLog, I’m planning a Butterfly Big Year here in Maryland for 2010. So I read the recent piece in the Lakeland (FL) Ledger by columnist Tom Palmer about his recently concluded Florida Big Year with considerable interest.
Tom’s interest was piqued by an orange sulphur that visited his yard late last January, he says, and he’d just finished reading an account of Robert Michael Pyle’s 2008 North American Butterfly Big Year (read Pyle’s account in Orion magazine: Pyle’s Butterfly Big Year | Orion Magazine or at http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/butterfly).
Checking various sources, Palmer figured Florida has about 167 possible species to tally, of which he hoped to see at least 100 in 2009. He ended up with 125. For his home county, Polk, he picked up 79 of the probable 95 species in the county.
Highlights of his 2009 quest included a previously unreported population of Cuban crescents, malachites, atalas, and brown elfin (at its southernmost range).
Tom has posted a photo gallery of some of his butterfly finds form 2009 at http://www.theledger.com/floridabutterflies
Read his full column: 2009 Palmer theledger florida big year