Friday, November 23, 2007

Butterflies of Panama City Beach and other Wildlife

Although I thought the Red-cockaded Woodpecker post would be my last Panama City Beach Trip discussion, here comes another aspect of my trip that I forgot to mention before: other wildlife! Although birds always come first when I'm in the field, I also study butterflies and dragonflies, and pay attention to any other wildlife like mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Unfortunately, I do not have a comprehensive dragonfly guide so I skipped trying to identify new species. However, I did get 4 new butterfly species.

My list of butterflies is short and this is no doubt due to the time of year as well as me mostly paying attention to birds. However, here are the species I recorded (those with stars were new species):

Monarch - I saw Monarchs everywhere but always in small numbers.

*Gulf Fritillary - by far the most common species, this butterfly was most abundant right in Panama City Beach. There were hundreds along the beach, along the road, in marshes, and next to woodlots.

Buckeye - quite common

*Cloudless Sulphur - common and found in all of the same locations as Gulf Fritillary but in far fewer numbers (usually 1 or 2 per location)

*Long-tailed Skipper - this attractive skipper was fairly common in open areas and along roadsides

Least Skipper - found in similar locations as Long-tailed Skipper but more abundant in marshy locations

*Little Yellow - a single individual at Apalachicola National Forest

In the mammal category, I saw White-tailed Deer, a Coyote at roadside, Raccoon (roadkill), and numerous wild Dogs and Domestic Cats. I wasn't lucky enough to see any dolphins on this trip.

Reptiles: Five-lined Skink, which was numerous in St. Andrew's State Park and a single, large Alligator at St. Andrew's as well (basking in the sun).

1 comment:

Blake A. Mann said...

Nice butterflies to see! I've seen Little Yellow in Ontario, as it is an annual migrant.
I'll have to get out of Ontario one of these years!