Location: Buchanan, TN (36 deg. 24’56.85”N latitude; 88 deg. 12’27.63”W longitude)
July 17, 2011 9:12 pm
This butterfly was in my garden on a pea vine – pea bud is visible in the picture (there are very few blooms at this time) – at 11:47 a.m. on July 15, 2011. It was very windy and I had to take several pictures before I got a clear one. But in all that time, the butterfly never opened its wings, so I have no picture from the top. I had thought by the ”angled wing” shape that it might be a comma or question mark, but the silver crescent is DEFINITELY not there, it is much smaller, and the wings are not deeply scalloped enough. So I thought maybe some kind of tortoiseshell, though I am NOT sure about that at all either. Would appreciate any help you can give.
Signature: Mary Ann Claxton
Hi Mary Ann,
The dead leaf mimicry of the Anglewing Butterflies including the Tortoiseshell, is similar to your butterfly, but the “nose” of your butterfly is quite distinctly different. You have photographed an American Snout, Libytheana carinenta, which you can compare to this image on BugGuide. According to BugGuide: “Snouts are frequently placed in their own family, Libytheidae, as the larvae lack the spines and horns of most Nymphalidae and the pupae lack the dorsal bumps of most Nymphalinae.” BugGuide also has this remark: “Raymond Neck (1983) was the first to note that snout population size is positively correlated with the intensity and duration of dry periods immediately preceding drought-terminating rains. Larry Gilbert (1985) conducted the most intensive study yet of snout population explosions in south Texas.”