Currently viewing the category: "Butterflies and Skippers"
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Subject: Is this Gray Hairstreak laying eggs?
Location: Coryell County, Texas
May 14, 2015 6:17 pm
Hello,
I was filming this little butterfly this afternoon, trying to catch the fascinating forward-and-backwards wing action, when I noticed that it seemed to be laying eggs. Is it another Gray Hairstreak? You kindly identified one for me several years ago. This rather worn and battered butterfly stayed on this native plant, Malvaviscus drummondii, for a long time.
We had a brief dry spell between rain showers, and it’s raining again now, temperature in the low eighties.
Thank you so much!
Signature: Ellen

Gray Hairstreak laying Eggs

Gray Hairstreak laying Egg

Hi Ellen,
We agree with your evaluation that your images are documenting the process of a female Gray Hairstreak laying eggs.  Thanks so much for providing the name of the plant from the family Malvaceae, and according to BugGuide, the caterpillars feed upon:  “Flowers and fruits from an almost endless variety of (usually) herbaceous plants; most often from pea (Fabaceae) and mallow (Malvaceae) families including beans (Phaseolus), clovers (Trifolium), cotton (Gossypium), and mallow (Malva).”  The MrsRoadrunner Photography site has similar oviposition images.  Raising Butterflies has some great information on Gray Hairstreaks, and many images of the caterpillars, but alas, no images of oviposition or of the eggs. 

Gray Hairstreak Laying Egg

Gray Hairstreak Laying Egg

Female Gray Hairstreak

Female Gray Hairstreak

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: More Butterflies at the Beach
Location: Aransas Pass, Texas
May 4, 2015 9:13 am
Thank you so much for your help with the American Lady Butterfly! I hadn’t photographed one before.
We saw many, many butterflies on our trip to Corpus Christi, including a large number of Red Admirals. Here are some photos of a Red Admiral nectaring on Lantana at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute at Aransas Pass, Texas.
Thank you and best wishes!
Signature: Ellen

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Hi Ellen,
We are thrilled to be able to post images of butterflies you encountered on your road trip.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Subject: Butterflies on the way to the Beach
Location: Pleasanton, Texas
May 4, 2015 9:18 am
Side note…
We stopped for gasoline at a mini mart south of Pleasanton, Texas, on our way to the Corpus Christi, and saw many Red Admirals puddling in the parking lot and visiting the trees edging the lot. Beauty at the quick stop! They definitely dressed up the place.
I saw at least ten Red Admirals within thirty minutes yesterday as I sat on the back porch at our home. Amazing this spring, so many butterflies!
Thank you and take care.
Signature: Ellen

Red Admiral Puddling

Red Admiral Puddling

Hi again Ellen,
Puddling, Butterflies taking moisture from damp soil and mud puddles is such a wonderful phenomenon to observe, especially in situations where there are multiple species and large numbers of individuals.

Red Admiral Puddling

Red Admiral Puddling

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly at the Beach
Location: Aransas Pass, Texas
May 3, 2015 9:32 pm
Hello, we’re seeing a tremendous number of butterflies this spring. This one was enjoying the lantana at The University of Texas Marine Science Institute on April 28th, just yards from the Gulf of Mexico. I think it’s an Emperor, but still find them confusing despite your help identifying them in the fall of 2013.
Thank you and best wishes!
Signature: Ellen

May 3, 2015 10:09 pm
Hello again,
Could the butterfly be one of the Ladies, perhaps an American Lady? I didn’t see the lovely rose color under the wing, though, and the eye spots are confusing me. Thank you!
Signature: Ellen

American Lady

American Lady

Dear Ellen,
You are correct that this is an American Lady,
Vanessa virginiensis, and this composite image on BugGuide explains the differences between the American Lady and the Painted Lady.  Though your garden photos of butterflies like this Red Admiral are lovely, it is refreshing to know you also take images of butterflies in your travels.

American Lady

American Lady

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: CA Sister?
Location: Foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, Pasadena, CA
May 2, 2015 4:13 pm
Hi Daniel,
Here are two photos I took of what I think is a California sister last weekend. It was on a willow in the bed of the Arroyo Seco a little upstream of Hahamongna Watershed Park.
Signature: Scott

California Sister

California Sister

Dear Scott,
Thanks so much for sending in your images of a California Sister,
Adelpha californica, and it is wonderful that you were able to capture both a dorsal view and closed wing view revealing the ventral surface.  According to BugGuide, they are found in “Mostly mountain and canyon terrain. Associated with Oaks (Quercus species, which are the larval food plants.”

California Sister

California Sister

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red Admiral Butterfly?
Location: Coryell County, Central Texas
April 9, 2015 3:51 pm
Hello! You identified a Red Admiral for me several years ago, and I believe that’s what these are. I’m not sure if these photos all show the same individual. We are seeing a lot of these butterflies right now. Spring rains have yielded many flowers, including these Pinkie Indian Hawthorns and our neighbors’ Red Tip Photinias, another favorite of these butterflies. I saw online that Red Admiral larvae eat nettles; we have soooo many nettles, and the caterpillars are more than welcome to them!
The temperature is 80 degrees F, and we’re enjoying partly cloudy skies ahead of a supposedly severe thunderstorm to occur in a few hours.
Thank you and best wishes!
Signature: Ellen

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Hi Ellen,
It is very nice to hear from you and your Red Admiral images are a wonderful addition to our spring postings.  This spring we have been watching several Red Admirals in our own garden where they appear on sunny afternoons.  We don’t witness nectaring activity, but rather territorial battling with individuals attempting to chase one another away.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Insect I.D.
Location: Southern Utah
March 31, 2015 12:38 pm
Cocoon found under lid of unused garbage can…..I carefully protected and waited to see what came out. Cocoon was gray/black and I expected a moth with little color. What a surprise! Appears to be big Swallowtail Moth, 4-5 inches tip to tip. I can’t find anything exactly like it searching the Web.
I don’t know if this critter is kind of rare down here – Ivins, Utah.
Signature: Kent P.

Two Tailed Swallowtail

Two Tailed Swallowtail

Hi Kent,
This Two Tailed Swallowtail,
Papilio multicaudatus, is a butterfly, not a moth.  According to the Utah Bug Club:  “Two Tailed Swallowtail butterflies are large and gorgeous and can occasioanlly be found patrolling neighborhoods that have ash trees (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) growing along the street. These same ash trees serve as the larval host plant for this butterfly. Adults appear on the wing from mid-May through July with a few fresh adults appearing for a small second flight in September. Although finding adults of the Two-Tailed Swallowtail is somewhat inconsistent in our cities, males can usually be found with much more regularity cruising our canyons and ravines in May and June. Caterpillars can be found on choke cherry (Prunus virginiana) from June through August in the mountains.”  BugGuide provides this information:  “Trivia: This is probably the largest species of Butterfly in North America, with spread specimens sometimes pushing 6 inches in wingspan. However, the Giant Swallowtail – Papilio cresphontes (which definitely averages smaller) is consistently listed as the largest species, and indeed some females of that species can reach very large proportions as well. Occasionally nearly as large is also the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – Papilio glaucus. So, on an average, everyday basis, P. multicaudatus is largest, but as for the largest specimen recorded, it is probably an open contest.”  By all accounts, this is a early sighting.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination