seal  Purdue News

June 27, 2003

Volunteers needed for July 5 butterfly count

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Butterfly enthusiasts can participate in the North American Butterfly Association's (NABA) annual butterfly count at two locations near Lafayette, Ind. on Saturday (7/5).

"This national count has been held since 1975," said Tom Turpin, a Purdue University professor of entomology. "Last year nearly 500 counts were held in 48 U.S. states, five Canadian provinces and two Mexican states."

The count is intended to promote interest in butterflies and provide results for scientific monitoring.

This is the second year Purdue entomologists have led a butterfly count, although this is their first official participation in NABA's butterfly count. "Last year our goal was to see what butterflies were out there and to perfect the process," Turpin said.

Counts are scheduled at Lilly Tippecanoe Labs Wildlife Habitat Areas on Lilly Road in Lafayette and at the Prophetstown Museum near Battle Ground. During the count, participants hike a designated route and record what butterflies they see and the numbers of those butterflies.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. counters will observe butterflies at the Lilly Wildlife Areas. Orientation for the Lilly count begins at 11 a.m.

The afternoon count is slated from 3 to 6 p.m. at the prairie museum at Prophetstown. Counters should meet at the Prophetstown farmstead for orientation at 3 p.m. Museum fees will apply. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children under 18. Participants will have the opportunity to tour the museum as well as participate in the count. Participants may bring picnic meals to either of the counts.

In addition to the butterfly counts, Purdue entomologists will lead a firefly walk at Prophetstown from 8 to 10 p.m. The walk will include a lecture about the blinking bugs and a catch-and-release program.

Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for each of the programs.

"All count volunteers should wear long pants, hats and walking shoes, and bring DEET insect repellent," Turpin said. "After all, butterflies and fireflies aren't the only insects we might encounter during the count."

Writer: Kay Hagen, (765) 494-6682,

Source: Tom Turpin, (765) 494-4568,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

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