The Xerces Society annual butterfly count is in its 14th year. Orange County joined the count for the first time in 1987, and repeated the count last year. Local counters recorded more species and more individuals than in 1987. For the 1987 survey, Orange County had the most participants out of 86 counts nationwide. The county also had five national highs for individual species: the common white (125 individuals); sylvan hairstreak (26); funeral dusky-wing skipper (16); fiery skipper (111) and wandering skipper (5).
Last year, 36 species of butterfly were counted. More species live in the county, but not all can be seen in a single count because they do not fly at the same time of year. Here's how the 1987 count compares to 1988:
THE XERCES SOCIETY: WHAT'S IN A NAMESAKE?
The Xerces Society, named for the extinct Xerces blue butterfly, is an international organization dedicated to the conservation of invertebrate species and their habitats. In addition to organizing the annual July 4 butterfly survey, the group publishes two journals, Wings and Atala. For information on the society, call (503) 222-2788 or write to the following address: Xerces Society, 10 Southwest Ash St., Portland, Oregon 97204.
The Xerces Society also sponsors the Monarch Project, which monitors the thousands of monarch butterflies that winter along the California coast. For information, write to Chris Nagano of the entomology section of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles 90007.