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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Monarch Migration
Location: Coryell County, Texas
October 28, 2014 9:48 pm
Hello, this isn’t a usual inquiry in that I’m quite sure that these are Monarch Butterflies.
I’ve never been able to photograph one before, but today they were all over the yard. I’ve often seen them fly past our yard, usually quite high above the ground during migration times, but today many stopped to drink from our newly-watered lawn. It was incredible.
I haven’t seen so many Monarchs since I was six years old, in Illinois, and clouds of Monarchs dashed south ahead of a severe cold front.
So beautiful!
Here is a link to recent “clouds” of Monarchs in the news: http://goodnature.nathab.com/are-they-clouds-of-monarchs-mysterious-unidentifiable-blobs-spotted-by-radar-over-the-midwest/
Thank you and best wishes.
Signature: Ellen

Monarch

Monarch

Hi Ellen,

There has been much talk lately of diminishing populations of Monarch butterflies, and this year we observed many more Monarchs in our garden than we have ever seen in Los Angeles.  It seems populations might be increasing across the country.  Thanks for this newsworthy posting.  It must have been a spectacular sight.  We took a bit of creative license with our most recent Bug of the Month posting of a pair of mating Wheel Bugs by designating their month as Halloween, which frees us up for a November Bug of the Month, and your submission is an excellent choice.

Monarch

Monarch

Subject: Monarch Migration, Part 2
Location: Coryell County, Texas
October 30, 2014 2:04 pm
Hello, and thank you so much for your reply.
I’m sending another few photos of the Monarchs in our yard, and an additional link to the Fall of 2014 migration news. This link adds up-to-date migration news and photos as they are reported. The great news is that observers are currently seeing a large migration.
Sending highest regards.
http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarch/News.html
Signature: Ellen

Male Monarch

Male Monarch

Hi again Ellen,
The image of the male Monarch in flight (notice those scent patches on his lower wings) is a nice addition to the images you sent earlier.  Thanks for the additional link.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Daniel, Mating Marine Blue Butterflies
Location: Hawthorne, California
October 28, 2014 6:02 pm
Hi Daniel,
Hope all is going well with you and yours this fall. I haven’t been able to be out in the back much until now and imagine my surprise when this pair of mating Marine Blues stayed still long enough for me to drag the camera out . Marty wanted to tear out the pincushion plants a few weeks ago, but I asked him to hold on as they are close to some milkweed and we may yet have some Monarch chryalids (sp?). Anyways, I thought you might like to see that our Marine Blues are alive and well! I know they’re common, but I enjoy them nontheless.
Signature: Anna Carreon

Mating Marine Blues

Mating Marine Blues

Hi Anna,
Your image of Marine Blues mating is quite lovely.  Thanks for taking the time to drag out the camera.  Though they are common, they are quite cheerful flitting around the garden.

Your correction is duly noted.  Drag out the camera rather than drag the camera out.  My mother will be mortified to find I made such a horrid mistake. . .

Our own grammar is not the best.  Grammar check is constantly warning us of passive voice.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary

Subject: Is this a Gulf Fritillary?
Location: Coryell County, TX
October 20, 2014 11:05 am
Hello!
Unexpected beauty next to a drainage ditch. I leaned way over a fence to try to get images of this beautiful butterfly. Is it another Gulf Fritillary?
Ironic that this butterfly enjoyed the wild pink wood sorrel, and ignored the carefully planted and tended garden flowers nearby. There’s a lesson there.
Best wishes!
Signature: Ellen

Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary

Hi Ellen,
You are absolutely correct that this is a Gulf Fritillary, but we kind of believe you knew in your heart of hearts that you were correct.  The Gulf Fritillary is truly a unique butterfly, though we seem to recall similar looking members of the genus that do not range north of the Mexico/US border.
  We also have a vague recollection that the Gulf Fritillary is not native to the US, but that with the introduction of Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar’s southern food plant, the passionflower, it has expanded its range north.

Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary

Subject: Gulf Fritillary?, Part 2
Location: Coryell County, Texas
October 20, 2014 11:19 am
This may be a clearer photo…
Signature: Ellen

Thanks Ellen,
We already posted all three of your beautiful images, and though this is more in focus than your first image, we love that previously you captured the butterfly in flight.

MaryBeth Kelly, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Jennifer Ball, Suzy Whitewater, Fred E. Burrows, Rick Smith liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Female California Mantis eats Monarch

Female California Mantis eats Monarch

Subject: Preying Mantis: eat, prey, love
Location: South Pasadena, CA
October 11, 2014 6:49 pm
Hello Daniel. Although I have a good population of mantises and monarchs, these were unusual sights for me. Only time I’ve ever seen a mantis eat a monarch, and only the second time I’ve seen the headless mating. This was last month, within the same week, and I think the same female mantis.
Signature: Barbara

Mating California Mantids with headless male

Mating California Mantids with headless male

Hi Barbara,
We get numerous wonderful submissions each day, but your submission with its excellent images is one of the best we have received in quite some time.  We believe these are native California Mantids,
Stagmomantis californica, and you can compare your female to this image on BugGuide.  The headless mating is is quite some documentation.

MaryBeth Kelly, Debra Emery, Jennifer Smith liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Possibly Field Crescent

Possibly Field Crescent

Subject: A mystery white, and a checkerspot?
Location: Larimer county, CO, 8100′
October 10, 2014 8:46 am
A couple butterflies I hope you can help with. Both taken same location. Larimer county, Colorado foothills, 8100 feet elevation. October 8, 2014. Warm day, but well past 1st frost. … The second, I believe, is Gorgone checkerspot. Chlosyne gorgone, but not 100% certain. Sorry no pic of underside of this guy.
Signature: Matt in CO

Hi again Matt,
We are not fully convinced that this is a Gorgone Checkerspot, as your individual appears to have different markings than the individuals pictured on BugGuide.  We believe this might be a Field Crescent,
Phyciodes pulchella, which is also pictured on BugGuide, or perhaps a Painted Crescent, Phyciodes picta, which is also pictured on BugGuide.  Perhaps someone with better identification skills can assist us with this identification.  We believe the fly in the image might be a Tachinid Fly.

Thanks again. You may well be right. Both look good, but I especially like field crescent. My ID was largely based on http://www.birrellfineart.com/Big%20Picture%20Pages/c57%20gorgone%20checkerspot%200017%20big.htm, which, of course, could also be wrongly ID’d

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Male Checkered White

Male Checkered White

Subject: A mystery white, and a checkerspot?
Location: Larimer county, CO, 8100′
October 10, 2014 8:46 am
A couple butterflies I hope you can help with. Both taken same location. Larimer county, Colorado foothills, 8100 feet elevation. October 8, 2014. Warm day, but well past 1st frost. The first is a white, of sorts. Markings don’t strike me as cabbage white, and doesn’t seem dark enough for pine white (especially underside). Whites (or white morph sulphurs) are troublesome for me. …
Signature: Matt in CO

Checkered White

Checkered White

Hi Matt,
We are going to split your request into two distinct postings as they need to be categorized into different butterfly families.  We believe the White is a male Checkered White,
Pontia protodice, and according to BugGuide:  “Sexually dimorphic. Males are nearly all white, with some dark spots and dashes on the dorsal side of FW. Females are have considerably more dark markings on the dorsal side of FW.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Rather irregular in distribution in eastern North America, not seen every year in many localities, such as Piedmont region of North Carolina.  Can be extremely abundant, sometimes in the Southwest and Great Plains with thousands of individuals swarming flowers and puddles, and even coming to lights at night.  Can seem to disappear for a year or three during extreme drought, only to explode in numbers when rains come.”  In Butterflies Through Binoculars The West, Jeffrey Glassberg writes:  “Most frequently encountered in the lowlands, but can be found on high peaks.”

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination