Sycamore Canyon - UPDATED Meeting Times!

Date & Time: 
August 20, 2017 -
7:30am to 2:00pm
Meeting Place: 
1. 7:30 AM at Safeway on Continental Road of I-19 in Green Valley or 8:15 AM at White Rock Campground restroom near Pena Blanca Lake. The campround is 9.7 miles west of I-19 on Ruby Road (AZ 289)
Trip Leader: 
Larry Fellows
Special Notes: 
The leader last drove Ruby Canyon Road on August 10th and it was passable for all vehicles, albeit a bit rough in places. Low clearance sedans may have difficulty negotiating the wash crossing just before the turnoff to the Sycamore Canyon parking area.


If you want to visit one of the premier canyons in SE Arizona, this is it! We will carpool from both meeting places. 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 don’t know what’s blooming now or what species we might see, but it’salways possible that some strays may have blown in during the monsoons.

We will be walking for approximately 1.0 - 1.5 miles down the canyon alongside 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.

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 and insect repellant for chiggers are recommended for this trip.

Acacia Skipper photo by Larry Fellows


Trip Butterfly Reports: 

Under partly cloudy skies, the group had a great hike down recently flood scoured Sycamore Canyon to the usual palisades lunch spot. Very good nectar between the parking lot and the "elf alcove." 47 species were seen by the group:

  1. Pipevine Swallowtail         Battus philenor
  2. Black Swallowtail               Papilio polyxenes
  3. Western Giant Swallowtail   Papilio rumiko
  4. Two-tailed Swallowtail     Papilio multicaudata
  5. Orange Sulphur                   Colias eurytheme
  6. Southern Dogface             Colias cesonia
  7. Cloudless Sulphur               Phoebis sennae
  8. Mexican Yellow                  Eurema mexicana
  9. Tailed Orange                     Eurema proterpia
  10. Sleepy Orange                    Eurema nicippe
  11. Dainty Sulphur                    Nathalis iole
  12. 'Siva' Juniper Hairstreak   Callophrys  gryneus siva
  13. Gray Hairstreak                   Strymon  melinus
  14. Marine Blue                         Leptotes marina
  15. Ceraunus Blue                     Hemiargus ceraunus
  16. Reakirt's Blue                      Hemiargus  isola
  17. Fatal Metalmark                 Calephelis  nemesis
  18. Arizona Metalmark            Calephelis  arizonensis
  19. Palmer's Metalmark          Apodemia  palmeri
  20. American Snout                  Libytheana carinenta
  21. Gulf Fritillary                        Agraulis  vanillae
  22. Variegated Fritillary           Euptoieta   claudia
  23. Bordered Patch                  Chlosyne   lacinia
  24. Tiny Checkerspot                Dymasia  dymas
  25. Elada Checkerspot             Texola  elada
  26. Texan Crescent                   Phyciodes  texana
  27. American Lady                    Vanessa virginiensis
  28. Painted Lady                       Vanessa cardui
  29. Red Admiral                         Vanessa atalanta
  30. Tropical Buckeye                Junonia  genoveva
  31. Red-spotted Purple            Limenitis arthemis astyanax
  32. Leafwing sp.                        Anaea  sp. (fly-by)
  33. Red Satyr                              Megisto  rubricata
  34. Monarch                               Danaus  plexippus
  35. Queen                                   Danaus   gilippus
  36. Dull Firetip                           Pyrrhopyge araxes
  37. Dorantes Longtail              Urbanus  dorantes
  38. Golden-banded Skipper    Autochton cellus
  39. Desert Cloudywing            Achalarus  casica
  40. Acacia Skipper                   Cogia  hippalus
  41. Mournful Duskywing         Erynnis  tristis
  42. Funereal Duskywing          Erynnis  funeralis
  43. Common Sootywing          Pholisora  catullus
  44. Many-spotted Skipperling   Piruna cingo
  45. Sheep Skipper                     Atrytonopsis  edwardsii
  46. Large Roadside-Skipper    Amblyscirtes exoteria
  47. Elissa Roadside-Skipper    Amblyscirtes  elissa
Leader email:

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.