Currently viewing the category: "Gossamer Wings"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

Moira LeBlanc, Carol J Johnson, Alisha Bragg, Sue Dougherty, Andrea Leonard Drummond, Jessica M. Schemm liked this post
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

Ann Levitsky, Jaye Ridet, Annette Hollenbush, Heather Duggan-Christensen liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Little blue butterfly
Location: powell, Ohio
June 5, 2015 3:58 pm
This little guy, maybe the size of a quarter, was a pretty periwinkle blue on the backs of its wings. I could only get a picture when it landed and had its wings closed, sorry! Columbus area Ohio, wooded backyard, early June.
Signature: Amber

Blue

Blue

Dear Amber,
The color on your image does not look normal.  This is one of the Blues, a small small butterfly in the subfamily Polyommatinae, which you can find on BugGuide.
  We are postdating your letter to go live later in June while we are out of the office.

Compost Teana's Organic Landscapes, Heather Buckholtz, Jacquie Williams, Beth Lasater, Jenny Bryant, Lori Ledeboer, Sue Dougherty, Amy Gosch, Alisha Bragg liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

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

Sue Dougherty, Jessica M. Schemm, Claire Kooyman liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: iridescent blue bug
Location: Asheboro, NC
March 25, 2015 1:26 pm
I took this picture outside my house. Was wondering if you could tell me what kind of bug this is. I’ve never seen one like it before. It has an iridescent blue body and wings similar to a butterfly. The wings can fold up on its back like a butterfly.
Signature: Amanda

Freshly Eclosed Great Purple Hairstreak

Freshly Eclosed Great Purple Hairstreak

Dear Amanda,
These are marvelous images of a newly eclosed Great Purple Hairstreak, and you can compare your image to this image on BugGuide.
  Unless there was some injury involoved, or a genetic aberration, the wings on your individual should have continued to expand and harden enabling this lovely butterfly to fly.

Jennifer MacAulay, Norman Gems, Carol Love, Kathy Haines, Frank Fleming, Mary Lemmink Lawrence, Kristi E. Lambert, Rachel Carpenter liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly from Costa Rica
Location: Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
February 1, 2015 10:56 am
This little butterfly landed on me during a tour of an organic farm in Costa Rica in January. I’d love to know what kind of butterfly it is! We were on the Osa Peninsula, near the Gulfo Dulce coast.
Signature: Dawn Howell

Gossamer Wing

Jewelmark Butterfly

Dear Dawn,
We believe this is a Gossamer Wing in the family Lycaenidae, a family of generally small and often quite colorful butterflies.  We found a matching image on Visual Unlimited where it is identified as a Jewelmark Butterfly,
Sarota gyas.  According to Butterflies of Amazonia:  “The Sarota Jewelmarks are possibly the cutest butterflies in the world. They have a very rapid and erratic flight. When seen buzzing about in the early morning they can easily be mistaken for small flies. Eventually they settle however and reveal themselves as creatures of exquisite beauty, with bright orange undersides streaked with metallic silver; and cute little furry legs !”  According to the Butterflies of America, the range is:  “[Mexico to Panama?], Colombia to Peru, Brazil, Guianas.”  According to the Costa Rica Biodiversity Portal:  “Species recorded in: Costa Rica.”

Susan Hopkins, Jacob Helton, Sue Dougherty, Rachel Carpenter, Mary Lemmink Lawrence, Amy Gosch, Rick Smith, Anna Fletcher liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination