White Mountains, AZ: 3-day trip - FULL

Date & Time: 
July 30, 2017 - 7:30am to August 1, 2017 - 12:00pm
Meeting Place: 
Travel Center of America Truckstop, Willcox (I-10 exit #340)
Trip Leader: 
Diane Touret
Special Notes: 
This TRIP is FULL! * * * RSVP to: seaba_publicity@yahoo.com to be put on a waiting list for this trip. * * * Donation of $15.00/participant (3 days x $5.00) will be appreciated.

Trip description:

1) Day 1: Sunday, July 30th – 7:30AM - meet in Willcox, AZ on the restaurant side of the Travel Center of America Truckstop. Drive via NM78 over the Big Lue Mountains into New Mexico and then north to Alpine via US180. Various stops for butterflies along the way. Overnight in Springerville. Several motels are available in the Springerville area.

2) Day 2: Monday, July 31st – This day we will need to carpool into no more than 4 vehicles. We can car pool either from the motel or from the Safeway parking lot nearby. Locations include Sheep Crossing and Mt. Baldy Trail 94, plus other sites depending on the weather (thunderstorms possible) including South Fork and Becker Lake, both near Springerville. Overnight in Springerville area.

3) Day 3: Tuesday, August 1st – Morning along FS 117 (Green's Peak Area). Trip ends around noon, probably at Pole Knoll (restrooms and picnic tables) near Greer. Note: The leader will probably not be returning to the Tucson area at the end of the trip.

The specialties of summer in the White Mountains are 4 kinds of Fritillaries, Garita and Edward's Skipperlings, White Mtns Ruddy Copper, Milbert's Tortoiseshell, Small Wood-Nymph, Peck's Skipper, checkerspots, and many other butterflies not found in SE AZ. Expect thunderstorms, sometimes violent! 

Travel will be on both paved and good gravel roads. The elevations in the White Mtns get up to over 9,000ft but the higher areas are on a plateau and the hills are gentle once you get up there from the lowlands.

Participants should bring lunch, water, and snacks for the first day. There is a Safeway, as well as a McDonald's, Subway, and 2 Circle K's in Springerville and/or Eagar where food can be purchased for the other days. We will be making frequent restroom stops at places with forest service restrooms, except for along the Green's Peak Rd where there will be available gullies, bushes, and trees.


Type of terrain: Mountain trails, meadows, and creek beds with the elevation between 6000’ and 9000’ therefore it will be mildly strenuous at times. There can be rocky areas and or slippery areas along the trails, in meadows, and alongside of streams and in stream beds etc.


Trip Butterfly Reports: 

We dodged thunderstorms all three days as we worked our way through western New Mexico and Alpine, AZ to the Springerville area in the White Mountains. Species seen by the group:

  1. Pipevine Swallowtail                                 Battus               philenor
  2. Two-tailed Swallowtail                             Papilio              multicaudata
  3. Pine White                                                   Neophasia       menapia
  4. Checkered White                                        Pontia               protodice
  5. Cabbage White                                           Pieris                 rapae
  6. Orange Sulphur                                           Colias                eurytheme
  7. Southern Dogface                                      Colias               cesonia
  8. Dainty Sulphur                                             Nathalis           iole
  9. Ferris's Copper                                            Lycaena           ferrisi
  10. Gray Hairstreak                                           Strymon           melinus
  11. Western Pygmy-Blue                                 Brephidium      exile
  12. Marine Blue                                                 Leptotes           marina
  13. Reakirt's Blue                                              Hemiargus       isola
  14. Eastern Tailed-Blue                                    Everes              comyntas
  15. Western Tailed-Blue                                  Everes              amyntula
  16. 'Echo' Spring Azure                                    Celastrina        ladon echo
  17. Melissa Blue                                                Lycaeides         melissa
  18. Boisduval's Blue                                          Plebejus           icarioides
  19. Acmon Blue                                                 Plebejus           acmon
  20. Atlantis Fritillary                                         Speyeria           atlantis
  21. Mormon Fritillary                                       Speyeria           mormonia
  22. Fulvia Checkerspot                                     Thessalia          fulvia
  23. Pearl Crescent                                             Phyciodes        tharos
  24. Field Crescent                                             Phyciodes        campestris
  25. Mylitta Crescent                                         Phyciodes        mylitta
  26. Satyr Comma                                               Polygonia         satyrus
  27. Mourning Cloak                                          Nymphalis       antiopa
  28. American Lady                                            Vanessa           virginiensis
  29. Painted Lady                                                Vanessa           cardui
  30. Red Admiral                                                 Vanessa           atalanta
  31. Common Buckeye                                      Junonia             coenia
  32. Small Wood-Nymph                                  Cercyonis         oetus
  33. Monarch                                                       Danaus             plexippus
  34. Queen                                                           Danaus             gilippus
  35. Golden-headed Scallopwing                    Staphylus         ceos
  36. Mournful Duskywing                                 Erynnis             tristis
  37. Pacuvius Duskywing                                   Erynnis             pacuvius
  38. Afranius Duskywing                                   Erynnis             afranius
  39. Common/White Checkered-Skipper      Pyrgus              communis
  40. Common Sootywing                                  Pholisora          catullus
  41. Four-spotted Skipperling                          Piruna               polingi
  42. Tropical Least Skipper                               Ancyloxypha    arene
  43. Garita Skipperling                                       Oarisma           garita
  44. Edwards' Skipperling                                  Oarisma           edwardsii
  45. Orange Skipperling                                     Copaeodes       aurantiacus
  46. Uncas Skipper                                              Hesperia          uncas
  47. Carus Skipper                                               Polites              carus
  48. Peck's Skipper                                              Polites              peckius
  49. Snow's Skipper                                            Paratrytone     snowi
  50. Taxiles Skipper                                            Poanes             taxiles
  51. Simius Roadside-Skipper                           Amblyscirtes   simius
  52. Large Roadside-Skipper                             Amblyscirtes   exoteria
  53. Bronze Roadside-Skipper                          Amblyscirtes   aenus
  54. Orange-headed Roadside-Skipper          Amblyscirtes   phylace

In addition to the butterflies, we also found these not so common wildflowers:

  1. Pine-needle milkweed          Asclepias linaria
  2. Horse-mint                           Agastache pallidiflora
  3. White virgin’s bower           Clematis ligusticifolia
  4. Buckbrush                            Ceanothis fendlerii
  5. Mexican hat                          Ratibida columnifera
  6. Yellow salsify                      Tragopogon dubius
  7. Mountain gromwell              Lithospermum cobrense
  8. Horned spurge                      Euphorbia brachycera
  9. Mogollon Indian paintbrush Castilleja sulphurea
  10. Wheeler’s wallflower           Erysimum capitatum
  11. *Yellow-eyed grass (Long-stalk star iris) Sisyrinchium arizonicum
  12. Scarlet cinquefoil                 Potentilla thurberi
  13. Leafybract aster                    Symphytrichum foliacium
  14. Harebell                                Campanula rotundifolia
  15. Blue-eyed grass                    Sisyrinchium demissum
  16. Wild bergamot                     Monarda fistulosa
  17. Narrowleaf penstamon         Penstamon linariodes
  18. New Mexican vervain          Verbena macdougalii
  19. Western blue flax                  Linum lewisii
  20. Nelson’s larkspur                  Delphinium nutallianum
  21. Green-flowered macromera  Macromeria viridiflora
  22. Coral root                              Corallorhiza maculata

*near endemic found in AZ & NM

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.