Currently viewing the category: "Butterflies and Skippers"
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Subject: Butterefly ID
Location: Tnorthern Illinois
July 25, 2015 8:07 am
Hi
I saw this beauty in my yard. They were around in late July for a week. Any idea what it is and where it lives and feeds?
Signature: Geo

Red Spotted Purple

Red Spotted Purple

Hi Geo,
In the opinion of the editorial staff of What’s That Bug?, the Red Spotted Purple, like the one in your image, is one of the most beautiful North American butterflies.

Thanks so much Daniel,
I am sitting on my patio and it just just flew by again. Now I know what to call it.
Have a nice day.
P.s. Blue jay baby just walked by. What a day.

Ann Levitsky, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Mary Lemmink Lawrence liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Small Butterfly
Location: Ekeren
July 21, 2015 1:55 pm
Good day,
I should like to know what kind of butterfly the one in pictures is.
I took the photos on my balcony, just outside the city of Ekeren Belgium, it is the fist time that I see one of those butterflies.
Thanks and best regards
Signature: Marco

Possibly Violet Copper

Violet Copper

Dear Marco,
This is one of the Gossamer Winged Butterflies in the family Lycaenidae, and we have narrowed it down to a Copper in the genus
Lycaena.  We believe it might be a Violet Copper, Lycaena helle, which is pictured on EuroButterflies where it states:  “This gorgeous little butterfly has a very patch distribution within its range of central and northern Europe. Where it does occur it is very local and colonies are hard to find. The adults are so small the butterfly is difficult to locate too. As a result it is a difficult species to encounter. It can be common when found but most of my experiences are of just a few individuals.  Identification & Similar species: The butterfly is distinctive and unlikely to be confused with other coppers, Lycaena. The upperside violet sheen is striking and particularly noticeable in the male.”  Sadly, your lovely images do not show the dorsal side of the wings.  While the spotted pattern on the ventral side of the wings is very close, it is not identical, but we believe that local populations may have some variation, especially since the distribution is indicated as patchy, and these butterflies don’t travel very far.  It appears your individual is nectaring from lavender, which is an particular favorite flower for the Gossamer Winged Butterflies.  According to TrekNature:  “The violet copper is a widely distributed but very local butterfly, whose wetland habitat is increasingly under threat. A fresh male cannot really be mistaken for anything else, though I have known people mistake particularly bright sooty coppers for violet coppers. The female has different markings but both sexes share the row of white chevrons on the underside, making the species easily distinguishable at all times if the underside can be seen.”  Your individual has the white chevron markings, so we are relatively confident our identification is correct.

Violet Copper

Violet Copper

Dear Daniel,
Thank you very much for your very quick response and nice description and links,  I was really intrigued by this little butterfly because I had never seen one of them before.
thanks again and have a nice day
Best regards
Marco

Moira LeBlanc, Carol J Johnson, Alisha Bragg, Sue Dougherty, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Jessica M. Schemm liked this post
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Subject: Likely swallowtail butterfly
Location: Texas? Unknown
July 20, 2015 5:01 pm
Hello!
My niece recently asked me about a specimen she was given by another family who likely collected it in Texas or Arkansas. It looks like a swallowtail, but the double row along the wing margins (especially clear on hind wings) has me stumped. Thought maybe a dark form, but I am totally in the dark!
Signature: Puzzled Auntie

Red Spotted Purple

Red Spotted Purple

Dear Puzzled Auntie,
Your confusion is understandable.  The lovely Red Spotted Purple is thought to mimic the presumably distasteful Pipevine Swallowtail for protection.

Jessica M. Schemm, J Amber Z Vartorella, Mary Lemmink Lawrence, Kim Estes, Mary Sheridan Page Fatzinger liked this post
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Subject:  Red Admiral
Location:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
July 5, 2015
We love Red Admiral butterflies.  In our opinion, they have more personality than just about any other butterfly.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

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Subject: What butterfly is this?
Location: Old Fort, NC 28762
June 11, 2015 4:23 pm
This butterfly landed on the wood of my back porch and just stayed in one place until it left but it slowly opened and closed it’s wings the whole time (15-20 minutes). I’ve tried other butterfly/bug identifying websites but I couldn’t find a picture of it anywhere. I love butterflies and I really want to know if this one is native to this area because I’d love to see one again!
Signature: Thank you for your time, Victoria

Male Diana Fritillary

Male Diana Fritillary

Dear Victoria,
This spectacular and not very common butterfly is a male Diana Fritillary, a species with pronounced sexual dimorphism because the female Diana Fritillary looks like an entirely different species.  We wish you had sent higher resolution files.

Male Diana Fritillary

Male Diana Fritillary

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Subject: Large Blue
Location: Collard Hill, UK
June 26, 2015 12:26 pm
Hi bugman
I thought you might like this picture for your site. It is a Large Blue, Phengaris arion, that i photographed on 20th June at Collard Hill here in the UK. Large Blues have a really weird lifecycle, with the caterpillar spending most of its life in an ants nest feeding on ant grubs. Large Blues became extinct in the UK in 1979, but they have been reintroduced and have spread to over 20 sirtes in south west England.
Signature: Zoovolunteer

Large Blue

Large Blue

Dear Zoovolunteer,
Thanks so much for sending your images of a Large Blue, but especially for providing the information on the reintroduction of the Large Blue to the UK after their extinction there.  We would love to know the circumstances surrounding their extinction as well as where the introduced individuals originated.
  According to the IUCN Red List site, the range is:  “From notthern [sic] Spain and eastwards to Italy, Greece and southern Scandinavia. Extinct in the United Kingdom due to the loss of the short turf habitat when rabbits died out during the myxamotosis crisis. Recently successfully reintroduced to a dozen or so sites in southwestern England.”  A different IUCN Red List page provides this information:  “This species occurs in Central Europe from north and central Spain via France to Denmark, south of Sweden and south of Finland and from the south of Italy and Greece to Siberia, Mongolia, China and Japan. Re-introduced successfully into a number of areas in southern England. 0-2,000 m. The global distribution area of the species is situated both within and outside Europe.”

Large Blue

Large Blue

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination