Currently viewing the category: "Butterflies and Skippers"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Butterfly or moth
Geographic location of the bug:  Tucson, AZ
Date: 08/09/2019
Time: 03:37 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
I saw this butterfly or moth in an orange tree in my friends backyard in Tucson yesterday 8/8/19 around 5pm.
Sent it out to family, but no one knows what it is so far.
My friend fears it could hurt the tree.
If you are able to identify it I’d appreciate knowing what it is and if it takes up residence, could it cause harm and if so, how to encourage gently, to find another home.
Thank you for your service.
All the best,
How you want your letter signed:  Patrick

Hackberry Emperor

Dear Patrick,
Though your images lack critical sharpness, we are relative certain this butterfly is a Hackberry Emperor,
Asterocampa celtis, based on this BugGuide image.  We are intrigued with your friend’s irrational fear that a butterfly might pose a threat to the orange tree.  Butterflies generally feed on nectar.  Only in the caterpillar stage when most species feed on leaves would a butterfly pose anything resembling a threat to a tree, and then only if the caterpillars are very plentiful.  Is there a hackberry tree nearby?  Because the caterpillars feed on the leaves of hackberry, BugGuide notes of the habitat preference:  “Varied, but always near Hackberry trees.” 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Unknown butterfly
Geographic location of the bug:  Tilaran, Costa Rica
Date: 08/04/2019
Time: 04:20 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
please identify this little butterfly I had found on October 15 near Tilaran at a meadow.
Thank you in advance
How you want your letter signed:  Johannes

White Veined Skipper

Dear Johannes,
We don’t know how many of the 13 identification requests you submitted yesterday we will be able to address, but we will attempt to research as many as we are able with our limited time.  We believe this is a Veined White Skipper,
Heliopetes arsalte, which we located on Butterflies of America.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  insect ID
Geographic location of the bug:  south central Virginia
Date: 07/31/2019
Time: 09:04 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Please help me identify this bug.  Thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  Marc

Atala Hairstreak

Dear Marc,
This is such an unusual sighting, that we are quite excited to post it.  A black butterfly with a red abdomen is quite distinctive, and we quickly identified at the Atala Butterfly on the Blue Butterflies page of the University of Florida Gardening Solutions site where it states:  “
The Atala butterfly (Eumaeus atala Poey) is a rare butterfly with a limited distribution in South Florida. The outside of the butterflies’ wings (when folded together) are deep black, with curved rows of iridescent blue spots. They have a bright red-orange abdomen. The open wings of the male butterflies feature an iridescent, bright blue, while the females have only small streaks of blue on the wings. Newly hatched caterpillars are very tiny and pale yellow. Over a day or two they develop into bright red caterpillars with yellow spots.  Atala butterflies suffered massive population declines in the early 1900s; early settlers nearly wiped out the Atala’s preferred host plant, coontie, for its starch. Today, Atala butterflies are considered rare, but the planting of coontie in butterfly gardens and as an ornamental landscape plant has helped the butterfly populations rebound a bit.”  According to Featured Creatures:  ” the Atala butterfly was thought to be extinct from 1937 until 1959 (Klots 1951; Rawson 1961). Although still considered rare with limited distribution, it is now found in local colonies where its host plant, coontie (Zamia integrifolia Linnaeus. f.), is used in butterfly gardens or as an ornamental plant in landscapes. ”  According to BugGuide where it is called the Atala Hairstreak:  “considered by FL to be a ‘Species of Greatest Conservation Need’ (SGCN).”  We are excited not only because of the rarity of the Atala Hairstreak, but also because though it is found in the Caribbean, North American sightings seem to be limited to southern Florida.  We cannot imagine how this gorgeous Atala Hairstreak found its way to central Virginia.  You might want to contact the Prince William Conservation Alliance and the Butterfly Society of Virginia to report your significant sighting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Brown moth? Butterfly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Atchison
Date: 07/24/2019
Time: 02:26 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  On anise hyssop & butterfly bush.  Have seen since early spring
How you want your letter signed:  Rose

Silver Spotted Skipper

Dear Rose,
This is a Silver Spotted Skipper, and we are posting your image because it illustrates the namesake silver markings.  We posted an open winged view of a Silver Spotted Skipper yesterday.  Though Skippers are often thought of as having characteristics of both moths and butterflies, they are classified as butterflies.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Moth-like Butterfly?
Geographic location of the bug:  Grafton, Wisconsin
Date: 08/01/2019
Time: 11:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi there,
I saw this butterfly on my walk today, haven’t seen one of these before so I’m curious to know what kind of butterfly it is. It almost looked like a moth at first. Thanks for the help!
How you want your letter signed:  Amber

Silver Spotted Skipper

Dear Amber,
This butterfly is a Silver Spotted Skipper, which we verified by comparing your image to this BugGuide image.  The silver spots are actually on the undersides of the hind wings as pictured in this BugGuide image.  Skippers are often discussed as having traits of both butterflies and moths.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Marine Blue Laying an Egg
Geographic location of the bug:  West Los Angeles
Date: 07/23/2019
Time: 04:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
It may be silly, but I can’t tell you how excited I am to get a picture of a Marine Blue laying eggs.  I’ve been watching them for years in my back yard and rarely ever see them sitting still.
How you want your letter signed:  Jeff Bremer

Marine Blue lays Egg

Dear Jeff,
Your image is great, and there is nothing silly about getting excited about getting an image of a Marine Blue laying an egg.  Was the chosen plant plumbago?  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillar hosts: Leadwort (
Plumbago) and many legumes including alfalfa (Medicago sativa), milkvetch (Astragalus), and mesquite (Prosopis).”

Hi Daniel,
Yes, the plant is a Cape Plumbago. By the way, if you acquire a Cape Plumbago, I suggest it be kept in a pot.  I planted one in my back yard and it rapidly showed it’s intent on world domination.
I also tried to get a picture of the eggs, but they are so small, I cannot see them.
Jeff
Thanks for the gardening advice Jeff.  We have no plans to plant Plumbago, but it is flourishing in our neighbor’s yard. 
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination