Currently viewing the category: "Gossamer Wings"
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Subject: Which “Blue” is this butterfly?
Location: Swarthmore, PA
October 15, 2016 2:24 pm
Hello Bugman,
Am I crazy, or did I just find a pair of Dusky Blue Groundstreaks in PA? A bee came along and startled them before I could really focus well, but the pattern is pretty distinctive. Butterfliesandmoths.org says they range from Venezuela to South Texas, and can stray to Kansas. Unless I’m mistaken these guys are doing some serious exploring.
Signature: Tam Paulits

Red Banded Hairstreaks

Red Banded Hairstreaks

Dear Tam,
Based on images posted to BugGuide, we are going to go with Red Banded Hairstreaks,
Calycopis cecrops, a similar looking species in the same genus as the Dusky Blue Groundstreak.  According to BugGuide:  “Underside of both wings is dark grey with a red band crossing postmedian (i.e., more towards the back edge of the wing than the body). Above, some bright blue is visible in flight.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Eggs are laid on fallen leaves. They feed on detritus and on leaves of plants in the families Fagaceae, Anacardiaceae and Malvaceae. They feed on Mango (Mangifera indica), Brazilian Pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), Winged Sumac (Rhus copallina), and other trees.”  According to the Butterflies and Moths of North America, the range is:  “Southeastern United States from Long Island south through Florida, west through entire area to southeast Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas. Strays to eastern Nebraska, northern Illinois, and Michigan.”  We only have two images of Red Banded Hairstreaks in our archive, and both were submitted in 2007.  Because we must be away from the office for several days, we will be post-dating your submission to go live at the end of the week.

Thanks so much!  Proof that I’m an amateur.  Thanks for providing the expert input!
Tam

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Subject: Small black butterfly with orange eyespots
Location: Nebraska
September 14, 2016 6:01 am
Greetings!
I am from south-central Nebraska and when I went out to put birdseed in the feeder this morning, I saw this little butterfly resting on my sun coleus. I have never seen one like it before and was unable to locate one in your archives. It has an approximately 1 1/4″ wingspan. I’m sorry that the focus is a bit lacking but I still haven’t mastered this camera. I hope that there is enough detail for you to be able to work your magic! Thanks in advance!
Signature: Huskerkim

Gray Hairstreak

Gray Hairstreak

Dear Huskerkim,
Images of Gray Hairstreaks,
Strymon melinus, are archived on our site under the Gossamer Wings Butterflies category.  According to BugGuide:  “Males perch all afternoon on small trees and shrubs to seek receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on flowers of host plant. Young caterpillars feed on flowers and fruits; older ones may eat leaves. Caterpillars are sometimes attended by ants, which receive a sugary solution from the dorsal nectary organ … . Chrysalids hibernate.”  We believe the dark coloration on your individual indicates it is a male, perhaps perching “all afternoon on small trees and shrubs to seek receptive females.”

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for your reply.  We will keep an eye out for such females!  Also, I have attached a better photo that I took later with my phone.
Thanks again!
Kim

Gray Hairstreak

Gray Hairstreak

Thanks for the much sharper image Kim.  Obviously he is waiting patiently for that female.

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: Lorquins Blue
Location: Algarve, Portugal
April 22, 2016 3:05 pm
Hi there
Last year I sent you a picture of a Large Blue. Having just got back from Portugal I thought you might like this photo of a Lorquins Blue, a tiny butterfly that has most of its range in North Africa but just reaches the far south of Portugal and Spain
Regards
Alan
Signature: Zoovolunteer

Lorquin's Blue

Lorquin’s Blue

Dear Alan,
Thanks so much for sending us your image.  First Nature has some very nice images of the Lorquin’s Blue,
Cupido lorquinii, and the site states:  “Lorquin’s Blue is essentially a butterfly of northern Africa, but its range extends across to the Algarve region of Portugal and into southern Spain. You can expect see these pretty little insects in the Algarve in May.”

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Subject: Small Butterfly
Location: Ekeren
July 21, 2015 1:55 pm
Good day,
I should like to know what kind of butterfly the one in pictures is.
I took the photos on my balcony, just outside the city of Ekeren Belgium, it is the fist time that I see one of those butterflies.
Thanks and best regards
Signature: Marco

Possibly Violet Copper

Violet Copper

Dear Marco,
This is one of the Gossamer Winged Butterflies in the family Lycaenidae, and we have narrowed it down to a Copper in the genus
Lycaena.  We believe it might be a Violet Copper, Lycaena helle, which is pictured on EuroButterflies where it states:  “This gorgeous little butterfly has a very patch distribution within its range of central and northern Europe. Where it does occur it is very local and colonies are hard to find. The adults are so small the butterfly is difficult to locate too. As a result it is a difficult species to encounter. It can be common when found but most of my experiences are of just a few individuals.  Identification & Similar species: The butterfly is distinctive and unlikely to be confused with other coppers, Lycaena. The upperside violet sheen is striking and particularly noticeable in the male.”  Sadly, your lovely images do not show the dorsal side of the wings.  While the spotted pattern on the ventral side of the wings is very close, it is not identical, but we believe that local populations may have some variation, especially since the distribution is indicated as patchy, and these butterflies don’t travel very far.  It appears your individual is nectaring from lavender, which is an particular favorite flower for the Gossamer Winged Butterflies.  According to TrekNature:  “The violet copper is a widely distributed but very local butterfly, whose wetland habitat is increasingly under threat. A fresh male cannot really be mistaken for anything else, though I have known people mistake particularly bright sooty coppers for violet coppers. The female has different markings but both sexes share the row of white chevrons on the underside, making the species easily distinguishable at all times if the underside can be seen.”  Your individual has the white chevron markings, so we are relatively confident our identification is correct.

Violet Copper

Violet Copper

Dear Daniel,
Thank you very much for your very quick response and nice description and links,  I was really intrigued by this little butterfly because I had never seen one of them before.
thanks again and have a nice day
Best regards
Marco

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Large Blue
Location: Collard Hill, UK
June 26, 2015 12:26 pm
Hi bugman
I thought you might like this picture for your site. It is a Large Blue, Phengaris arion, that i photographed on 20th June at Collard Hill here in the UK. Large Blues have a really weird lifecycle, with the caterpillar spending most of its life in an ants nest feeding on ant grubs. Large Blues became extinct in the UK in 1979, but they have been reintroduced and have spread to over 20 sirtes in south west England.
Signature: Zoovolunteer

Large Blue

Large Blue

Dear Zoovolunteer,
Thanks so much for sending your images of a Large Blue, but especially for providing the information on the reintroduction of the Large Blue to the UK after their extinction there.  We would love to know the circumstances surrounding their extinction as well as where the introduced individuals originated.
  According to the IUCN Red List site, the range is:  “From notthern [sic] Spain and eastwards to Italy, Greece and southern Scandinavia. Extinct in the United Kingdom due to the loss of the short turf habitat when rabbits died out during the myxamotosis crisis. Recently successfully reintroduced to a dozen or so sites in southwestern England.”  A different IUCN Red List page provides this information:  “This species occurs in Central Europe from north and central Spain via France to Denmark, south of Sweden and south of Finland and from the south of Italy and Greece to Siberia, Mongolia, China and Japan. Re-introduced successfully into a number of areas in southern England. 0-2,000 m. The global distribution area of the species is situated both within and outside Europe.”

Large Blue

Large Blue

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination