wonderful UFO b-fly
Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 8:24 AM
what a wonderful new format on your website. thanks for doing that. and here i am again with a question. i got this UFO butterfly picture that i thought you might be able to id, or know someone who can. the photo was taken last june 25, 6 miles north of nederland colo. this b-fly got away from me so fast i was surprised i even got this photo.
in my quest for identification, i have searched thru my books and i also took the photo down the mountain to a butterfly pavilion. they didn’t know who this was either.
i appreciate any help you might offer, and i appreciate your work always. i’m on your website all the time, it is such fun.
thanks so much,
Hi Again Venice.
We have done copious amounts of research on this and are confident that we can supply you with something akin to an answer. First, all indications are that this is one of the Satyrs, in the Nymphalidae subfamily of Satyridae. We believe this to be one of the Arctics in the genus Oeneis. Our edition of Jeffrey Glassberg’s Butterflies Through Binoculars The West indicates: “chasing arctics over rocks at 12,000 ft. in order to get a good look at them is not for the faint of heart.” The species we are most set on is Uhler’s Arctic, Oeneis uhleri. Glassberg writes that they are “usually with four or five small, dark eyespots spread along the HW submarginal line. HW usually with ‘strata’ pattern, like sedimentary rock. Habitat: Dry prairies, ridgetops, and other dry, open, grassy situations. Abundance: Mid May-mid July. Food: Grasses. Comments: Flight is generally high off the ground, but slow, making them easy to follow.” We then turned to the www and found the following websites and information. The USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center website for North Dakota Butterflies has photos that look quite close, and lists a flight time that agrees with your sighting. The Butterflies and Moths of North America website lists you in the range and the flight times also agree. Repetitive information and photos that don’t seem to match your specimen can be found on the Butterflies and Skippers of North America website. We eagerly welcome all challenges to this identification.
OMG! thank you so much. i can’t tell you how happy i am to finally know who this guy is. i have been so lucky this season, to have photographed and identified 63 species of butterflies (and a few that i hadn’t id) mostly with in a mile of my mountain home. i still have a couple more i’ll send along to you sometime. i’m glad you liked the green comma too. thanks again soooo much, i just love your art project.