From the common to the rare, we need your help in recording butterflies in Vermont. Everyone knows what a butterfly looks like and many of you are armed with a camera. Help us help the butterflies!
There are two ways for you to add your butterfly observations to the Vermont Atlas of Life.
e-Butterfly is a real-time, online checklist program for butterfly watchers, eButterfly is providing a new way to report, organize and access information about butterflies in Vermont and beyond. Many dedicated butterfly watchers enter their data directly on e-Butterfly. If you are recording a lot of butterfly sightings, check out e-Butterfly.
For those of you that are using iNaturalist Vermont to report all of your biodiversity observations and occasionally photograph butterflies too, iNaturalist Vermont is a good place to report your incidental sightings of butterflies. Adding your photo-observations to our iNaturalist Vermont site is easy. Once you sign up, check out the help and tutorials and then get outside and start collecting important biodiversity observations in your neighborhood, park, garden, meadow, or natural area.
With over 100 species of butterfly in Vermont, some that closely resemble each other, be sure to check out our tips on how to best photograph them to make it easier for experts to help you identify them.
- Close-ups are the best, but sometimes even a distant image will do for some species.
- Photograph them from a few different angles – top, side, front – if possible. If your camera has a macro setting (often indicated by a flower symbol, be sure to use it so you can focus on it closely for the most detail. If you are far away, often the zoom on your lens will allow you to get a great closeup.
- Even a poor photo may be good enough for identification, so don’t worry if you don’t have the perfect image; you can still share it with us.
Some species can be tricky, but with a bit of practice and patiences, you can learn to identify most of Vermont’s species. Here are a few great field guides to help you:
- A Handbook for Butterfly Watchers
- Butterflies of North America (Kaufman Field Guides)
- Butterflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Eastern North America
- Butterflies of the East Coast: An Observer’s Guide
- Wisconsin Butterflies – a great online resource to aid in identification of many Vermont butterflies