Identifications
Thanks for all your work on this fantastic site. I have spent hours here identifying bugs since moving to rural southeastern Tennessee from a much more urban area. I searched through many pictures here and elsewhere to try to identify this butterfly. From descriptions, but not photos, I think that this is a male Diana Fritillary. I followed several around the yard hoping to photograph one, and spotted this one in the grass. Unfortunately, he was in some distress (not from me), and at least if he is not going to survive, he did get his picture taken. Can you confirm my I.D.? I haven’t found a beetle similar to this guy who apparently thought that since it hadn’t been raining lately, the rain gauge would be a great place to hang out. After liberating him, I got him to pose. If you could help identify him, I would appreciate it. Finally, it has apparently been a very good year for these "Southern Bell" Black Widows, as I have found several around my house with the red marks on the back as well as the abdomen. This one was out on a door frame and not obscured by her web. Thanks for your help, and your wonderful site!
Bob K

Hi Bob,
Both time constraints and the complications of our archiving process don’t make multiple identifications in one letter an option right now. We are absolutely thrilled to post your photo of a correctly identified male Diana Fritillary, Speyeria diana. The populations of this gorgeous butterfly have been declining, perhaps due to habitat destruction. Thanks for sending the photo. We will work on that beetle identication if time permits.

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