Finding Butterflies on Ambler’s Campus

On Saturday, Temple University’s Ambler Campus held a Butterfly ID walk, allowing for butterflies in its public arboretum.

Kristy Morley, a Naturalist at the Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association hosted the walk.

“Today we are having a butterfly ID walk. So the idea is to try to get people to come out and understand about butterflies and their life cycles and just learn a little bit about how to identify them and know what they are seeing,” said Morley.

Morley started off the walk with a presentation on butterflies which included facts on the species and tips on how to successfully spot them.

One helpful tip is that you should never point at a butterfly, as, due to their compound lenses, it would feel like hundreds of arms are pointing at the bug, which could scare the insect away.

Stephine Fortunato became interested in butterflies after starting to build a garden of her own.

“The milkweed is very important, we have swamp milkweed in our yard. It also smells really good, fun fact like marshmallows. It’s got a really cool scent,” explained Forunato.

Joshua Rusbuldte was surprised at how much their was to learn during the walk, “Just the diversity, you see a butterfly and you’re like oh that’s a butterfly, but the fact that there are 650 or something just in Pennsylvania alone. That was pretty wild.”

During the walk Kristy was trying to catch and tag monarchs with a sticker in order to track their migration.

Photo taken by Kristy Morely

 “So the biggest migration of butterflies that probably everybody knows about is the monarchs which migrate all the way to Mexico every year,” said Kristy.

Another fact that Kristy taught the group was that butterflies have clear wings and that it is the scales on the insect that give them their color.

Photo from Kristy Morley’s Presentation


The Wissahickon Valley Watershed Association provided binoculars and with them some of the participants said that the scales looked like shingles on a roof.

The weather during the walk was perfect for butterfly spotting. Sunny skies with little to no wind, just how the butterflies like it.

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