Would like information regarding how to identify this butterfly
I know you are extremely busy with the fast approaching school year (maybe it’s started already in your area, like here in Texas). I have searched several butterfly web sites and am unable to find a match for this butterfly. I live in Collin County, Texas, about 30 miles north of Dallas, and I first saw this butterfly in late August. It likes my zexmenia bushes — althought it is not feeding on the flowers, but lighting on the leaves themselves. I was wondering if it could be laying eggs. Small to medium sized black caterpillars with an orange stripe down their back are having a feast on about a dozen of my zexmenia bushes right now and have been busy for about a week. They look a little smaller than the Gulf Fritillary caterpillars on my passion vines. This is the first year I’ve had this caterpillar, and the first time I’ve seen these butterflies. They are fast moving and larger than Pearl Crescents but a little smaller than the Painted Ladies. If you do not have time to identify this butterfly, could you offer some other web sites that might do this? I love your web site, and this is the first time I’m "Asking the Bugman". I’ve had my butterfly garden for 10 years now, and it amazes me that there’s always something new happening in it. I’m surprised I can’t find this one in my butterfly guides, and I’m thinking maybe with this goofy weather it may be out of it’s normal range. Thanks for your assistance!
Jackie Patrick, a WTB fan
These are very nice photos of the Bordered Patch, Chlosyne lacinia, a highly variable species. We got our first submitted photo of a Bordered Patch last week, also from Texas. The caterpillars you describe sound like the images posted for this species on BugGuide.