Thursday, August 6, 2009

Butterflies from the garden...

Butterflies continue to show up, though the numbers are sparse. New visitors include a couple of skippers; I have tried my best to get the ID's correct. However, if there are any mistakes please forgive me and feel free to offer your corrections. Enjoy the photos.

The first image above, is of a Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta. Red Admirals tend to be found in moist environments such as marshes, woods, fields, and well-watered gardens. The characteristic coloration of the Red Admiral Butterfly is a black hindwing with a red-orange marginal band; the dorsal FW (forewing), is also black with white markings near the apex.

This is another view of a Red Admiral, with the wings closed. From a distance this look can be confused with Painted or American Lady. The distinctive red-orange band across the wing of the Red Admiral makes this butterfly species easy to distinguish from other species. Red Admirals are often found nectaring at red clover, aster, and Buddleia flowers. They may also feed on fermenting fruits, bird droppings, and sap from trees.

This is an open wings look at a Question Mark Polygonia interrogationis. The Question Mark prefers carrion, dung, rotting fruit, and tree sap. However, it will also nectar at plants such as Buddleia, which it is doing in the photo.

Here is one of the first skippers sighted and photographed in the garden this year. I believe this is a Sachem Skipper Atalopedes campestris. The upperside of the male, is yellow-orange with a wide brown border and a large squarish black stigma. Female upperside varies from yellow-brown to very dark brown, but always has a square transparent white spot at the end of the FW (forewing) cell. Underside of female HW (hindwing) is brown with nearly square cream or white spots.
Here is where the ID gets a bit tricky. This, I believe is also a Sachem Skipper, though it made me think of Fiery Skipper. My research showed that the male upperside can be confused with Whirlabout or Fiery Skippers.

I could not get the close up shot of this butterfly that I wanted. This is a Sliver Spotted Skipper Epargyreus clarus A closer look will show that the wings are brown-black; HW (hindwing) is lobed with a metallic silver band. While the FW (Forewing) has transparent gold spots. Tags: ,
Share with Bookmark and Share


Dawn Fine said...

Thanks! I always enjoy these informative posts with photos! I hope that some of this information sinks into my brain and I will be able to ID a few butterflies myself!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous shots. Skippers are dang near impossible. I get the grammar butterflies confused too.

Dawn Fine said...

Great pics and post!
I cant RT..twitter is not working for me tonight..I am so bummed.anyway I can see everyones tweets but cant get thru to tweet myself..
ooh well


@Dawn Thank you Dawn for stopping bu and leaving a comment. I sure do appreciate your kind comments. The butterflies are quite a challenge, but I love a good challenge :)


@Bev - Hi there, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Thank you...photographing butterflies is quite a challenge and requires a lot of patience. I am lucky to get some decent shots.


@Dawn - Hi Dawn, Twitter is acting up for a lot of us.

Kerri Farley said...

The butterflies are lovely! Amazing how different that Red Admiral looks when the wings are closed. I don't think I've ever seen that one or the Question Mark before. What a neat name for a butterfly :)