This August’s eButterflyer of the month is one of our youngest contributors, 11 year old Colin Walton from Toronto, Ontario. Colin has been exposed to insects throughout his life by his mother, Antonia Guidotti, an entomologist at the Royal Ontario Museum and co-author of the new ROM Field Guide to the Butterflies of Ontario. As we say, the apple never really falls far from the tree! Colin began posting his sightings to eButterfly in mid-July and has continued on a daily basis. He has already contributed 130 observations for a total of 23 species to the eButterfly database. In 2013, he won third place in the Entomological Society of Ontario Photo contest (kids’ category) for a photo of an Anicia Checkerspot that he took in Alberta that year.
1) What triggered your interest in butterflies?
Just the fact that my mom works with insects triggered me to become interested in insects. I specifically like butterflies because they are easier to identify than most other insects. I enjoy going on the Toronto Centre Butterfly Counts. I was 7 when I went the first time. I enjoy taking photos of butterflies and other insects.
2) What is your favorite butterfly?
I like the White Admiral and some of the swallowtails are really cool to see.
3) What do you like about eButterfly? What type of records do you keep? Sightings, photos, specimens?
I like eButterfly because it keeps an overall record of where each species has been sighted and if that species moves over the years then it will be recorded. So far I have only posted sightings but I would like to put some pictures up.
4) Which butterfly species do you dream of seeing?
I would love to see a Zebra Swallowtail but it is extremely unlikely that I would see one in Ontario so I would have to travel somewhere to see one. I think it would be really cool to go to the Amazon and see some of the tropical butterflies that live there.
On that note, until eButterfly accepts sightings from the Amazon, we wish Colin strong southernly winds until the end the season in hopes they might bring rare migrants such as Zebra Swallowtails to his butterflying spots!