Currently viewing the category: "Butterflies and Skippers"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Monarchs 2016
Location: Columbus, Ohio
June 26, 2016 10:00 am
Hey all at What’s That Bug!! I just had my first Monarch Butterfly sighting of the year. Inspite of my hubby’s comment of “I can’t believe we’re growing weeds in the garden”, my milkweeds are blooming this year, and I just saw my first monarch taking a drink. They seem to be a bit more “flighty” (forgive the pun) than the other butterflies we get, so I’m afraid these aren’t my best pics, but I wanted to let you all know that the Monarchs are in Ohio!
Signature: Amber

Monarch nectaring on Milkweed

Monarch nectaring on Milkweed

Dear Amber,
Thanks so much for providing us documentation of your successful propagation of milkweed and the subsequent attraction of your first Monarch butterfly.  Milkweed is the food plant for the caterpillars of the Monarch butterfly, and the flowers are a rich source of nectar for many butterflies, making milkweed an excellent addition to any butterfly garden.  We just returned from a trip to Youngstown, Ohio, on the Pennsylvania border, and we were struck at the dearth of milkweed on roadsides.  Many years ago, milkweed was quite common, but as farming techniques became more efficient, and as more open space was cleared to rear crops, milkweed populations have diminished, leading to decreased populations of Monarch butterflies as well.  Your individual is a male, as evidenced by the black spots on the hind wings.  See the Arizona State University Ask a Biologist page for a visual difference between male and female Monarch.  Hopefully, female Monarchs will also visit your milkweed and lay eggs.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red admiral proboscis
Location: Troy, VA
June 24, 2016 10:25 am
I know that the red admiral is not a rare butterfly, but I thought I would submit this picture because you can see his proboscis fairly clearly and really, his antennae are lovely.
Signature: Grace Pedalino

Red Admiral Puddling

Red Admiral Puddling

Dear Grace,
Rarity is not a criterion for posting to our site.  Actually, if the truth be made known, the Red Admiral is one of our favorite butterflies.  Perhaps it is because they and Mourning Cloaks are so long lived that they seem to have so much more personality than other butterflies.  Famed author and amateur lepidopterist Vladimir Nabokov playfully referred to the Red Admiral as the Red Admirable.  Your individual appears to be puddling, taking moisture and also important minerals, from the mud.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tiny Yellow Butterfly
Location: Coryell County, Texas
May 18, 2016 1:40 pm
Hello, hope you are both well!
This tiny butterfly visited the verbena last Friday, May 17th. I think it may be a grass skipper, perhaps a Fiery Skipper. I couldn’t get very close to it, so not a lot of detail is shown, sorry.
It was warm and sunny, around 80 degrees. We’ve had a lot of rain in Texas this month! Thank you.
Signature: Ellen

Hi, the date was actually May 13, sorry! 😀
Here is another photo of the verbena, a new addition to our garden this year. It seems to be popular with the butterflies.
Signature: Ellen

Skipper

Skipper

Hi Ellen,
We always enjoy receiving and posting your butterfly images.  Your garden must be glorious.  We have difficulty identifying Skippers to the species, but we agree this is most likely a Grass Skipper.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this butterfly species?
Location: Stanford University
May 3, 2016 7:12 pm
Snapped this photo of a newly hatched butterfly today, May 3. This was taken in Palo alto, ca. Any ideas? I didn’t want to disturb it to get its wings to open.
Signature: Audrey

Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Dear Audrey,
We opened your email about two hours ago, and we have been mentally writing our response to you while taking advantage of the waning daylight outside to pick peaches to make a cobbler.  This is a Mourning Cloak Butterfly, a species that hibernates in the winter and lays its eggs early in the spring so that caterpillars can take advantage of tender leaves from elms and willows which we verified on BugGuide where it states:  “Larvae eat primarily willow (
Salix spp.) but also other trees and shrubs including Cottonwood (Populus deltoides), Trembling Aspen (P. tremuloides), American Elm (Ulmus americana), Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera), and Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis).”  In our experience in California the caterpillars also feed on Chinese Elm which has tiny leaves.  Mourning Cloak butterflies will even fly about on winter days when it is warm and sunny, and since it has such an extensive range, in cold climates, it is occasionally seen when there is still snow on the ground.  According to BugGuide:  “First-generation adults emerge in early summer, and estivate until fall, when they re-emerge.”  Because it has two adult dormant periods, hibernation in the winter and extivation in the summer when it is dry, the Mourning Cloak is a very long lived butterfly, relatively.  We don’t believe many butterfly live in the imago or adult stage more than a year, meaning the adult Mourning Cloak that emerges from hibernation dies shortly after laying eggs.  Those old Mourning Cloaks generally have rather ragged looking wings.  Adult Mourning Cloaks rarely feed on nectar.  Mourning Cloaks do feed on plant sap which generally runs in the spring, and ripe, rotting and fermenting fruit which is frequently abundant in the summer.  We hope you got a good look at the opened wings of your freshly eclosed individual, which is the proper term for hatching from the chrysalis, leaving behind the exuvia or cast off exoskeleton which is visible in your image.  Mourning Cloaks often rest with spread wings, the dark, velvety surfaces soaking up the warmth.  Your Mourning Cloak is in the family Nymphalidae, the Brush Footed Butterflies.  Butterflies in the family Nymphalidae have vestigial front legs that are useless for walking, so they appear to have only four legs as the brush legs are held close to the body.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this butterfly
Location: Madinah-Saudi Arabia
April 29, 2016 9:25 am
Hi bug man. Found this today.
April/29/2016
Signature: M.A

Hairstreak

Common Brown Playboy 

Dear M.A.,
This is a Hairstreak in the subfamily Theclinae, and we were having trouble locating images from Saudi Arabia, so we turned to Wikipedia which we rarely do.  On the List of Butterflies from Saudi Arabia on Wikipedia, we located a few species and followed the link to the Wikipedia page on
Deudorix antalus which contains a head on view very similar to your own image.  Butterflies of Africa has a lateral view very similar to your own image and provides the common name Common Brown Playboy.  We are confident that is a correct identification.

Hairstreak:  Deudorix antalus

Common Brown Playboy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: a butterfly in Turkey
Location: Bolu, Turkey
May 1, 2016 7:51 am
Hi there! I hope you can help me identifying this butterfly I saw in the garden of a school. I was in Bolu, Turkey and it was just a couple of days ago , a warm april day. At first I thought it’s ‘Sultan’ (Danaus chrysippus) but i’m not an expert so i’m not sure.
Signature: Şevval Seçkin

Painted Ladies

Painted Ladies

Dear Şevval,
Though your image does not have very high resolution, and the two butterflies are quite far away, we are certain they are Painted Ladies,
Vanessa cardui, a cosmopolitan species that is known for mass migrations.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination