Currently viewing the category: "Butterflies and Skippers"
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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.

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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

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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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Subject: Unidentified pinkish insect eggs. Help!
Location: Bangalore, India.
October 7, 2014 9:20 pm
I was at a friend’s house, photographing parakeets, when I found these eggs stuck on the leaf of a banana plant. They looked really pretty, with the red dot in the middle and the lines radiating from it. None of the people we asked seemed to be able to identify what insect these eggs belonged to. Could you help us out here?
The picture was taken on October 1st, at 11 am. The weather around here is rainy right now.
Thank you! :)
Signature: Mollika M.

Banana Skipper Eggs

Banana Skipper Eggs

Our Automated Response:  Thank you for submitting your identification request.
Please understand that we have a very small staff that does this as a labor of love. We cannot answer all submissions (not by a long shot). But we’ll do the best we can!

Hello,
Thank you for the response. I did a bit of searching myself, and I have figured out where the eggs came from. They belong to a Banana Skipper Butterfly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erionota_thrax). The species is very common around here, so it checks out.

Thanks for letting us know.  Eggs can be very difficult to identify, and knowing the plant upon which the eggs are found is a great help.  We did find an image of Banana Skipper eggs on Hawaii Plant Disease.

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Subject: orange and black butterfly
Location: Pantanal, Mato Grosso Brazil
September 28, 2014 8:48 pm
taken in August 2014
Thanks, Bob
Signature: Robert Siegel, MD, PhD

"Naranjanita" or Bordered Patch

“Naranjita” or Bordered Patch

Dear Bob,
We initially thought that because of the pronounced labial palps, that this might be a Snout Butterfly in the subfamily Libytheinae, but we could find no similar looking members of the subfamily from Brazil in our initial search.  While we cannot confirm the subfamily at this time, we are confident that the Brushfooted Butterfly family Nymphalidae is correct.  We could not locate a match on Insetologia, our sister site from Brazil, nor did we have any luck on the Butterflies of Amazon & Andes.  Finally, we believe we found a match in the Bordered Patch,
Chlosyne lacinia, which according to the Butterflies in Brazil and Argentina at Iguazu Falls during Focus On Nature Tours site, is called the Naranjita and “has a very variable pattern. It prefers sunny places and feeds on nectar”.  The site also states:  “the Bordered Patch, the subspecies Chlosyne lacinia saundersi  This subspecies, in southeast Brazil and the Iguazu area, has more orange in the upperwings than other subspecies, hence the common name there of ‘Naranjita’. “  Now that we had a name, we did locate the Bordered Patch on the Butterflies of Amazon & Andes where it states:  “Males are usually seen either when nectaring at Asteraceae, or when imbibing mineralised moisture from patches of damp ground. Females when freshly emerged are so heavily laden with eggs that they are barely capable of flying.”  We have examples of the Bordered Patch from North America in our archives.

Bordered Patch

Bordered Patch

Dear Daniel –
Thanks!!!
You have come through for me again.
I’m hooked.
I told my class about the ID as well.
I will post another straight away.
Or is it better to email you directly?
All the best, Bob
Robert David Siegel, M.D., Ph.D.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Program in Human Biology, Center for African Studies, and Woods Institute for the Environment
Stanford University

Hi Bob,
Please send any new submissions using our standard form at Ask What’s That Bug?

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Subject: Moth Eating Bug ID
Location: Florida
September 24, 2014 6:28 am
I discovered this small insect that apparently was eating a moth tucked under a wildflower. Would love to know what it is!
Thank you!
Signature: Laura Hayes

Ambush Bug eats Skipper

Ambush Bug eats Skipper

Hi Laura,
The predator is a Jagged Ambush Bug in the genus
Phymata, and the prey is a butterfly known as a Skipper, not a moth.  Ambush Bugs frequently await prey while camouflaged on blossoms.  Your images are wonderful, both the action image and the excellent use of scale.

Ambush Bug

Ambush Bu

Thank you for the prompt reply and solving my mystery. I knew that was a Skipper! I still want to think of them as moths and forget.
Laura Hayes

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination