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

Subject: Butterfly – Ashland, OR
Location: Siskiyou Mtns. – Ashland
July 28, 2014 9:49 pm
My friend has claimed this as a Lorquin’s admiral. Is it?
Signature: TerryDarc

Which Admiral is it???

Which Admiral is it???

Dear TerryDarc,
We wish you had access to a dorsal view as the orange-brown wingtips on the Lorquin’s Admiral are absent in other Admirals.  This is most definitely an Admiral in the genus
Limenitis, and there is a good chance that it is a Lorquin’s Admiral, but we have some other possibilities.  There is a strong resemblance to the Lorquin’s Admiral posted to BugGuide, but there is also a resemblance to this Weidemeyer’s Admiral posted to BugGuide.  It might also be an interspecies hybrid or other aberration as the genus has many examples represented on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “Lorquin’s Admiral has brown wing tips, above and is much more brown on the underside. Its range encompasses the west coast.”  If we limit our response to our top choice, based on your location and the brownish coloration, we have to go with Lorquin’s Admiral.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Queen
Location:  Riverside County, California
July 25, 2014 5:48 PM
dear what’s that bug?
i believe this to be a queen butterfly on a desert willow flower.
is this correct?
this was taken in riverside county, california.
thanks, clare.

Queen

Queen

Dear Clare,
Your butterfly is certainly a Queen, but we are not so sure about the desert willow.  In our memory, willow has flowers that are catkins, like pussy willows.  Unless desert willow is not a true willow, we do not believe the Queen is nectaring from a desert willow.  That stated, we decided to research and we learned at Las Pilitas Nursery website that Desert Willow,
Chilopsis linearis, is a native plant, but it does not provide the family name.  According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center:  “Named for its resemblance to willows, this popular ornamental tree is actually related to catalpa trees, Yellowbells (Tecoma stans), and Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans).”  The flower does remind us of catalpa flowers, which we grew up calling “Cigar Trees.”  According to the US Forest Service site:  “It is a member of the Bignoniaceae family, and is most closely related to the genus Catalpha Scop.”

thanks, daniel.
this is one of the problems with common names.
this tree was observed in its natural environment, some miles up the mountains at whitewater.
it is a chilopsis linearis and, yes, it is a member of the bignoniaceae family. it could be ssp arcuata.
the “chitalpa” is a cross between desert willow (chilopsis linearis) and the southern catalpa, which is the ornamental people call “desert willow”, which we see on the streets of los angeles.
c.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mating Swallowtails
Location: New Cambria, Missouri
July 25, 2014 3:45 am
I took this photo yesterday of these two different (species?) of Swallowtails mating. Is this common? Can it result in viable offspring or a hybrid butterfly?
P.S. LOVE this website. It has been very informative.
Signature: Denise

Mating Tiger Swallowtails

Mating Tiger Swallowtails

Dear Denise,
The Tiger Swallowtails in your image are actually the same species.  The dark individual in the image is the female.  Though most female Tiger Swallowtails are yellow with black stripes, a small percentage of female Tiger Swallowtails are known as dark morphs, and even though the bold tiger striping is not evident, close inspection reveals a black on black striping pattern.  There are also examples of transitional coloration that fall between the light and dark morphs, and even more unusual are hermaphroditic gyandromorphs that contain traits of both sexes and which sometimes exhibit a combination of light male attributes and dark female attributes.  One final note, even without considering black morphs, Tiger Swallowtails are a sexually dimorphic species.  Female Tiger Swallowtails have blue dusting on the hindwings while male Tiger Swallowtails lack the blue coloration.  We are highlighting your posting on our scrolling feature bar. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Black Butterfly, blue spots, white stripe Costa Rica
Location: Atenas, Costa Rica
July 24, 2014 8:28 pm
What kind of butterfly is in the attached image taken in Atenas, Costa Rica
Signature: Many thanks!

Starry Cracker:  Hamadryas laodamia

Female Starry Cracker: Hamadryas laodamia

We quickly identified your Brush Footed Butterfly in the family Nymphalidae as a Starry Cracker, Hamadryas laodamia saurites, thanks to the Butterflies of America website, and though there is not much information, we did glean that individuals with white stripes of this sexually dimorphic species are females.  According to the Butterflies of Amazonia site, the common name is the Starry Night Cracker.  The site goes on the explain the common name thus:  “The butterflies are commonly known as Crackers due to the ability of the males of several species to produce a sound similar to the crackling of bacon in a frying pan. The sound is produced as the butterflies take off, and is made by twanging a pair of spiny rods at the tip of the abdomen against bristles on the anal claspers. Only males can produce the sound, but both sexes can detect it – their wings have tiny hollow cells covered in membranes that vibrate in response to sound, and stimulate nerve endings. The purpose of the sound is not known. It may possibly deter competing males from occupying the same territory, or could act as a trigger to initiate the first response from a female during courtship.”  The chatty Butterflies of Amazonia site also states:  “Photographing Hamadryas can be a frustrating experience, as both sexes spend most of their time basking high up on tree trunks, often 10 metres or more above the ground. They sit there for hours  with wings outspread, always facing downwards to keep a watchful eye for potential mates. At times they descend and bask much lower down, at a height of just a couple of metres, but at the slightest disturbance they immediately fly back to the tree top. They remain there until the intruder has left the vicinity, and then descend the tree trunk in a series of short hopping flights, dropping a short distance each time until after half an hour or so they have resumed their original position.”  Other than being dead, the specimen you photographed appears to be in perfect condition, showing no wear on the wings, which causes us to speculate that it fell victim to a blood-sucking predator, like possibly a robber fly.

Thank you so much!!!  Really appreciate how quickly, and how thoroughly you answered my question.
Lucy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Grey hairstreaks puddling
Location: Baltimore Maryland
July 19, 2014 1:33 pm
While out walking in my local park I came across a puddle where some Grey hairstreak male butterflies had gathered and wanted to share the picture with you guys :)
Signature: R.W

Puddling Eastern Tailed Blues

Puddling Eastern Tailed Blues

Dear R.W.,
Your image of puddling Gossamer Winged Butterflies is quite beautiful, however we would like to correct your identification.  We believe these are Eastern Tailed Blues,
Cupido comyntas, not Gray Hairstreaks.  Compare the markings on the images of Eastern Tailed Blues on BugGuide to the images of Gray Hairstreaks on BugGuide, and we believe you will agree with our correction.

I do agree and thank you for the correction, I was going vaguely based on memory of past books I’ve borrowed from the library- I wish you guys the best and have a safe summer.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly or Moth? Then what kind?
Location: New York
July 18, 2014 7:30 am
I live in Upstate New York and found this guy fluttering around. I’m sure it’s common but cannot find one with the same ratio of orange on top wings to basically all brown lower wings.
Signature: Thank You, Sarah Burr

Questionmark

Questionmark

Dear Sarah,
This is one of the Anglewing Butterflies in the genus
Polygonia.  We believe it is the Questionmark, Polygonia interrogationis.  These are butterflies that hibernate, and judging from the tattered wings, this is an old individual, perhaps one that originally emerged in Fall 2013 and hibernated through the winter.  It is likely near the end of its life.  Here is a BugGuide image of a lovely younger individual.  The common name Questionmark is due to the presence of a silver marking on the ventral surface of the hindwing which resembles the punctuation mark.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination