Sycamore Canyon

Date & Time: 
October 8, 2016 -
8:00am to 2:00pm
Meeting Place: 
1. 8:00 AM at McDonald's on Continental Road of I-19 in Green Valley. 2. 8:45 AM at White Rock Campground restroom near Pena Blanca Lake. To reach the campround from I-19, drive west on AZ 289 (Ruby Road) 9.7 miles to the Y-intersection of Ruby Road and
Trip Leader: 
Bill & Mary Adams

If you want to visit one of the premier canyons in SE Arizona, this is it! Although it is a long drive (approximately 1.5 hours from the 1st meeting place), most years it is quite productive and at the very least extremely scenic. We will be walking for approximately 1.0 - 1.5 miles down the canyon alonside the streambed. There is permanent flowing water in the canyon, beautiful rock formations, and high canyon walls to stimulate your senses. We will be looking for many species of butterflies, including Blues, Sulphurs, Admirals, Ladies, Checkerspots, Duskywings, Skippers, and possible tropical strays. Last year at this time we saw 44 species, including Barred Yellow and Common Mestra.

Walking will be on a narrow dirt trail alongside the streambed with a couple of stream crossings. Some areas are brushy and a few areas have moderately difficult rocky terrain. Sturdy hiking boots are recommended for this trip.

For further information contact Bill and Mary Adams or by phone at 520-574-6578.

Trip Butterfly Reports: 

On a sunny and mild day, the group walked downstream from the parking lot to the falls, a little over a mile, then back upstream to the parking lot. Fortunately, the predicted light rain and wind held off until the triip was ending back at the parking lot. 48 species of butterflies were observed by the group:

  1. Pipevine Swallowtail Battus philenor
  2. Giant Swallowtail Papilio cresphont
  3. Two-tailed Swallowtail Papilio multicaudata
  4. Checkered White Pontia protodice
  5. Orange Sulphur Colias eurytheme
  6. Southern Dogface Zerene cesonia
  7. Cloudless Sulphur Phoebis sennae
  8. Boisduval’s Yellow Eurema boisduvaliana
  9. Mexican Yellow Eurema mexicana
  10. Tailed Orange Eurema nicippe
  11. Little Yellow Eurema lisa
  12. Sleepy Orange Abaeis nicippe
  13. Dainty Sulphur Nathalis iole
  14. Gray Hairstreak Strymon melinus
  15. Western Pygmy-Blue Brephidium exile
  16. Marine Blue Leptotes marina
  17. Ceraunus Blue Hemiargus ceraunus
  18. Reakirt's Blue Echinargus isola
  19. 'Echo' Spring Azure Celastrina ladon
  20. Acmon Blue Plebejus Acmon 'texana'
  21. Fatal Metalmark Calephelis nemesis
  22.  Arizona Metalmark Calephelis arizonensis
  23. American Snout Libytheana carinenta
  24. Gulf Fritillary Agraulis vanillae
  25. Variegated Fritillary Euptoieta claudia
  26. Mexican Fritillary Euptoieta hegesia
  27. Bordered Patch Chlosyne lacinia
  28. Elf Microtia elva
  29. Tiny Checkerspot Dymasia dymas
  30. Elada Checkerspot Texola elada
  31. Texan Crescent Phyciodes texana
  32. Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
  33. Common Buckeye Junonia coenia
  34. 'Dark" Tropical Buckeye Junonia genoveva nigrosuffosa
  35. Red-spotted Purple Limenitis arthemis astyanax
  36. 'Arizona' California Sister Adelpha bredowii
  37. Tropical Leafwing Anaea aidea
  38. Empress Leilia Asterocampa leilia
  39. Monarch Danaus plexippus
  40. Queen Danaus gilippus
  41. Dorantes Longtail Urbanus dorantes
  42. Mournful Duskywing Erynnis tristis
  43. Funereal Duskywing Erynnis funeralis
  44. White Checkered-Skipper Pyrgus albenscens
  45. Desert Checkered-Skipper Pyrgus philetas
  46. Orange Skipperling Copaeodes aurantiaca
  47. Fiery Skipper Hylephila phyleus
  48. Eufala Skipper Lerodea eufala

Reptiles and Amphibians

  1. Canyon Treefrog Hyla arenicolor
  2. Sonoran Whipsnake Masticophus bilineatus
  3. Skink sp.

Dragonflies and Damselflies:

  1. Flame Skimmer Libellula
  2. Sabino Dancer Argia sabino

General Information

Beginners are welcome on all field trips! Experienced members will share their butterfly knowledge and expertise with all field trip participants. Children accompanied by a responsible adult are welcome on SEABA field trips. A donation of $5 per person to benefit SEABA will be appreciated. Carpooling from the meeting place is encouraged and it is kind to share gas expenses. If high clearance vehicles are required for a trip, it will be noted in individual trip descriptions. Dress for the field with sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, and insect repellant. Bring your own water, snacks, and lunch. Close-focusing binoculars, cameras, and field guides will be helpful aids for butterfly observation and identification. Trips usually end by mid-afternoon unless noted differently in individual trip descriptions.

Please be aware that:

1. Collecting or netting is NOT allowed on SEABA field trips.

2. Pets, with the exception of service animals, are NOT allowed on SEABA field trips.

3. All field trip participants are required to sign SEABA's Release and Assumption of Risk form at the beginning of the trip. The form may be viewed at SEABA Release.

4. Please arrive a few minutes prior to the meeting time posted for trips to facilitate paperwork and introductions to other trip participants.

    5. Field trips may be cancelled or rescheduled on short notice due to changing weather or road conditions. Please check the website for updates prior to the Field Trip.


    Our Southeastern Arizona Butterfly Checklist can be downloaded here. Please note that the SEABA checklist is copyrighted.

    Local NABA Butterfly Counts are listed at NABA Counts

    Field trips organized by the Central Arizona Butterfly Association are listed at their website: CAzBA.