Currently viewing the category: "Brush Footed Butterflies"
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Subject: White Admiral
Location: Perinton, NY
August 15, 2016 6:38 pm
Here are some pics of a beautiful White Admiral that was on the right-of-way behind our home. This has been an amazing summer for finding a variety of different butterflies, all on the right-of-way, which is allowed to grow wild each year (in late Fall, the power company that owns it cuts everything down, but allows it to grow untouched in the Spring and Summer!). My son took the pic of the butterfly on my phone, it decided to land there as I was attempting a close-up shot of it! Enjoy!
Signature: Jennifer

White Admiral

White Admiral

Wow Jennifer,
This really is a gorgeous White Admiral.  Where we grew up in Ohio, we only saw the southern subspecies, the Red Spotted Purple.

White Admiral and Bumble Bee

White Admiral and Bumble Bee

Hi again Jennifer,
Once we posted your images, we realized that there was much more red on your White Admiral than on the individual from Ontario that we linked to, and that your individual actually looked more like the Western White Admiral, the subspecies
Limenitis arthemis rubrofasciata that is described on BugGuide.  There is a fourth, but somewhat unclear division for the species.  Here is the explanation on BugGuide for this color variation:  “There has been resistance to calling these subspecies rubrofasciata, yet they look very much the same. They replace typical subspecies arthemis at high elevation in the northeast U.S. and northward in eastern Canada, and form an eastern end to a continuum of similar looking insects that occurs right across Canada, barely lapping into the U.S. An interpretation that is becoming more and more widely accepted is that these northern insects (east or west) represent the main population of “White Admirals”. What we call typical subpsecies arthemis actually represents the intermediates or a cline (= transition) between White Admirals and Red-spotted Purples. They have the white band, but they also have increased bluish/purplish reflective area above, and less orange/red on the hind wing both above and below.
Because of all the confusion and discussion that has occurred to date, the northern types from the east are separated (probably temporarily) here to make the comparisons easier to make. They will perhaps eventually be officially called subspecies rubrofasciata, but alternately may receive their own subspecies name. It is impossible to draw a line between east and west (here, rather arbitrarily it is Ontario and Minnesota east, and Manitoba and North Dakota West). The line to the south is somewhat arbitrary too, since the northern and more southern “types” blend into one another, but generally northern insects with prominent submarginal reddish coloring on the upper hind wing and more extensive orange below are included here. This also emphasizes the point that the transition from White Admiral and Red-spotted Purple involves more features than just the presence or absence of a white band. It starts well into the populations that have white bands, and extends southward well into populations that mostly lack white bands entirely.”

White Admiral

White Admiral

 

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Subject: Maybe an Appalacian Brown butterfly?
Location: Troy, VA
August 15, 2016 9:36 am
This somewhat the worse for wear butterfly was on the house bricks last night. He only stayed for a short while and then flew off. I realize lacking a chunk of wing makes it more difficult to identify, but his other wing was in even worse shape. Fortunately for the butterfly, the missing wing pieces didn’t impair its ability to fly. I think perhaps it’s an Appalacian brown?
Signature: Grace Pedalino

Appalacian Brown

Appalacian Brown

Dear Grace,
We had our doubts, but we now concur that this is an Appalacian Brown,
Lethe appalachia, after reading this BugGuide description:  “Adult: wings medium brown. Lower side of forewing with the two end eyespots larger than the middle two; spots may not touch. Dark line inside the hindwing row spot is sinuous or gently curving (not zigzagged, as it is in the Eyed Brown).”  Once we compared BugGuide images of the two species, we agree that the line on the hindwing is sinuous, not zigzagged.

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Ed. Note:  The following arrived to a private email account of the editorial staff of WTB?

Subject:  Comma Butterfly?
Location:  Hampshire, England
August 2, 2016
Saw this lovely creature in Hampshire, England a few days ago.
Is it a Comma?
Thanks!
Clare.

Entomologist Julian Donahue responds
That’s the right genus (Polygonia), but I’m not up to speed on British butterflies. Check out the U.K. group I suggested on Facebook.
jpd

Comma

Comma

Dearest Clare,
As Julian indicated, your butterfly is in the same genus as the North American Eastern Comma,
Polygonia comma, which you can read about on BugGuide.  According to UK Butterflies, your Comma, Polygonia c-album, “is now a familiar sight throughout most of England and Wales and is one of the few species that is bucking the trend by considerably expanding its range. The butterfly gets its name from the only white marking on its underside, which resembles a comma. When resting with wings closed this butterfly has excellent camouflage, the jagged outline of the wings giving the appearance of a withered leaf, making the butterfly inconspicuous when resting on a tree trunk or when hibernating.  This butterfly was once widespread over most of England and Wales, and parts of southern Scotland, but by the middle of the 1800s had suffered a severe decline that left it confined to the Welsh border counties, especially West Gloucestershire, East Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Monmouthshire. It is thought that the decline may have been due to a reduction in Hop farming, a key larval foodplant at the time. Since the 1960s this butterfly has made a spectacular comeback, with a preference for Common Nettle as the larval foodplant, and it is now found throughout England, Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands and has recently reached Scotland. There have also been a few records from Ireland.” 

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Subject: A moth with a face, what is it?
Location: Las Salinas, Rivas Department of Nicaragua
July 24, 2016 12:09 pm
I am an expat in Las Salinas, Nicaragua by the Pacific Coast. I enjoy butterflies and moths. However about three weeks ago I photographed this moth that has a strange face. I cannot find any online resources to help me identity it. Any help would be grateful and appreciated.
Signature: Christy C. R. Kennedy

Scarlet Leafwing

Scarlet Leafwing

Dear Christy,
When attempting an insect identification, narrowing down the search to a family is always helpful.  This is a Brush-Footed Butterfly in the family Nymphalidae, not a moth.  Furthermore, it looked to us like one of the Leafwing Butterflies.  Our first clue was a matching thumbnail we found on Neotropical Butterflies, but alas, the name associated with the thumbnail, Pylene Prepona, was obviously incorrect, so we dragged the thumbnail into photoshop hoping it was named, and we got lucky as it was labeled
Siderone galanthis and that name led us to the Butterflies of Amazonia site and the Scarlet Leafwing.  The site states:  “The tribe Anaeini comprises of 87 neotropical species in the genera Coenophlebia, Anaea, Consul, Memphis, Polygrapha, Siderone, Fountainea and Zaretis. The butterflies are characterised by having a very rapid and strong flight. They have stout bodies, falcate wings, and on the upper surface are generally black, marked with bands of orange, bright red, or lustrous blue according to genus and species. The undersides of all Anaeini are cryptically patterned in mottled brown tones, and bear a very strong resemblance to dead leaves.
Siderone galanthis is distributed from Mexico to southern Brazil, and also occurs in the Caribbean on Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Trinidad.”  Butterflies of America also has some nice images.

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Subject: What is this Moth or Butterfly
Location: United Kingdom
July 23, 2016 11:49 am
I took this today in Oxfordshire, UK and wanted to know what it was, thanks for any help in advance.
Signature: Sandra

Large Tortoiseshell

Large Tortoiseshell

Dear Julie,
This is a very exciting posting for us.  We have identified your butterfly as a Large Tortoiseshell,
Nymphalis polychloros.  According to UK Butterflies:  “In Victorian times the Large Tortoiseshell was considered widespread and common in woodland in southern England. However, this beautiful insect has since suffered a severe decline and there have been less than 150 records since 1951. This butterfly, whose numbers were always known to fluctuate, is generally considered to be extinct in the British Isles, with any sightings considered to be migrants from the continent or accidental or deliberate releases of captive-bred stock. Several causes of its decline have been suggested – including climate change, parasitism, and the effect of Dutch Elm disease on one of its primary foodplants. The hope, of course, is that this butterfly is able to once again colonise our islands. Although previously found in many parts of England, Wales and Scotland, the greatest concentrations were in the midlands, south and east of England. This species has not been recorded from Ireland. Recent sightings have come from the south coast, in particular from South Devon, South Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and West Sussex.”

 

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Subject: Caterpillar identification
Location: Kalamazoo Michigan
July 13, 2016 6:37 pm
This little guy and a couple friends are eating my plants in flowering pot
Signature: Jack

American Lady Caterpillar

American Lady Caterpillar

Dear Jack,
This beautiful caterpillar is an American Lady Caterpillar, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae feed on Cudweeds, Everlastings and Pussytoes –
Gnaphalium, Anaphalis, Antennaria.”  BugGuide also notes that other names for the American Lady are “Hunter’s Butterfly” and “Dama dos ojos” in Spanish.

Thanks Daniel. I will make an extra effort to protect them. Butterflies are a spectacular creation.
Have a great day.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination