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

Subject:  spider on black swallowtail
Geographic location of the bug:  Auburn, California
Date: 04/17/2019
Time: 01:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I thought this was a cool image of a spider incapacitating a black swallowtail. This was along a trail, near the flowers the butterfly was feeding on. Maybe a crab spider? Enjoy!
How you want your letter signed:  k. cassidy

Crab Spider eats Pipevine Swallowtail

Dear k. cassidy,
This is an awesome image.  We agree that this is a Crab Spider.  Crab Spiders do not build webs to snare prey.  Many species, especially pastel colored, pink, yellow or white Crab Spiders, are camouflaged in blossoms where they wait to ambush pollinating prey like bees and butterflies.  Your Swallowtail is actually a Pipevine Swallowtail.  Did you witness the Crab Spider capture the Pipevine Swallowtail?  If not, was the Swallowtail still alive when you encountered this awesome Food Chain illustration, though interestingly, this is not the first time we have received documentation of a Crab Spider eating a Pipevine Swallowtail.

yes, love the pipevine swallowtails this time of year (here they like the lilac and brodiaea best). I did not see it in the capturing phase, but this butterfly was still alive though incapacitated. Seemingly big prey, but the spider had him for sure! This is in the Auburn State Recreation Area along the American River in Northern California.
Thanks for the ink to the other crab spider catching a pipevine! I didn’t see that when I first searched.
Enjoy and share the image!
thanks,
kerrie
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Butterfly in South Brazil
Geographic location of the bug:  Florianópolis SC Brazil
Date: 04/17/2019
Time: 10:13 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Mr. Bugman, it is fall and there are beautiful asteraceae flowering. I found this beautiful butterfly feeding on one Eupatorium inulifolium (I think) and would like your help with its identification please.
How you want your letter signed:  Carolina

Metalmark we believe

Dear Carolina,
We actually believe this is a diurnal Moth and not a butterfly, but we have not been able to locate any similar looking Brazilian specimens.  We need to do more research, and perhaps Cesar Crash or one of our other readers will recognize this beauty and write in with an identification.

Oh! Thanks for posting! Will standby for this moth ID.

Update:  Metalmark Butterfly
Two different readers wrote in identifying this as a Metalmark Butterfly in the family Riodinidae.  The closest match was found by Cesar Crash on Butterflies of America.

Oh thank you so much Daniel.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  First Monarch of the Year
Geographic location of the bug:  West LosAngeles
Date: 04/16/2019
Time: 02:34 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Bugman,
Found this guy probably a short while after he emerged.  What a beauty.
How you want your letter signed:  Jeff Bremer

Male Monarch

Dear Jeff,
This is a beautiful male Monarch, and we agree that he is most likely newly emerged from the chrysalis.  We have seen a few female Monarch butterflies this year nectaring from the Lantana.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Cretan Festoon butterflies
Geographic location of the bug:  Plakias, Crete
Date: 04/10/2019
Time: 05:08 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  hi there!. You have published some of my pictures before, so I thought you might like these shots I got the past week of male and female Cretan Festoons, Zerynthia cretica at the cliffs near Plakias in Crete. I also have a picture of the weird-looking food plant, Aristolochia cretica, with very strange flowers.
How you want your letter signed:  Butterfly twitcher

Cretan Festoon male

Dear Butterfly twitcher,
We were not familiar with the common name Festoon.  To our eyes, these are what we have always known as Apollo Butterflies or Parnassians.  Upon doing some research on RawBirds.com, we learned that the Cretan Festoon,
Zerynthia cretica, is “an Old World swallowtail butterfly in the family Papilionidae which is in the genus Allancastria. This endemic species is found only on the Greek island of Crete but some authorities consider it to be a subspecies of the Eastern Festoon (Zerynthia cerisyi) and give it the scientific name (Zerynthia cerisyi cretica). The flight period is from mid-March to June. After the egg laying stage, the caterpillars hatch out to feed on the endemic Cretan Dutchman’s Pipe (Aristolochia cretensis). They then overwinter as a pupae and in mid to late spring emerge as butterflies.”  Additional images can be found on Red List and on Euro Butterflies it states:  “Formerly considered as a subspecies of the eastern festoon Z. cerisy it is now more often considered as a species. The two species are clearly very similar. Being geographically isolated on Crete it’s not surprising that differences appear, even to the extent of diverging into two species. It’s not the only endemic on the island.”  Additional information includes:  “Habitat & Behaviour: Grassy scrubland and open woodland. More active in the morning, being much harder to find in the afternoon. It flies unhurriedly up and down slopes, frequently stopping for nectar and to rest on bushes, grasses and the ground. Easily spotted at the roadside while driving through suitable habitat. I also found one flying over the beach and out to see some 20 or 30m before it turned back to land.”  Thanks so much for sending in your awesome images as well as an image of the endemic food plant, the Cretan Dutchman’s Pipes

Cretan Festoon female

Cretan Dutchman Pipes

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Giant Swallowtail Puddling
Geographic location of the bug:  Hialeah Florida
Date: 03/15/2019
Time: 12:05 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was cleaning out algae-muck from my pool on March 3 and this Giant Swallowtail spent a long time drinking the dampness from it, so I was able to get a few really nice photos of it that I thought you might like.
I don’t see them very often, but twice I found them puddling when I’d done yard work and left water on cement/tile. I’m guessing that being so large, they need more moisture than the average butterfly, and so sometimes nectar just isn’t enough.
How you want your letter signed:  Marian

Puddling Giant Swallowtail

Dear Marian,
Your images of a puddling Giant Swallowtail are beautiful.  It is our understanding that butterflies newly emerged from the Chrysalis drink from puddles to get important minerals as well as moisture.  The Swallowtails, the Blues and the Sulphur Butterflies are among the most frequent puddlers.  It is also our understanding that males are more frequently found at puddles than are female butterflies.

Giant Swallowtail

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Migrating Painted Ladies
Geographic location of the bug:  Los Angeles, California
Date: 03/14/2019
Time: 07:40 AM EDT
For over a week now, Daniel has been seeing 1000s of Painted Ladies flying throughout Los Angeles, including on the campus of Los Angeles City College.  One neighbor sent Daniel an email inquiring:  “Hundreds if not many more butterflies emerging from the trees in Red Hawk Canyon. Been going on all day.  I tried to get some video of them but hard to discern against the trees and greenery all around.  I think they’re Viceroys. They all seem to be heading West.  Rene.”  Another neighbor left a telephone message inquiry.  Though he did not get any images of the flight, Daniel did manage to get this image of a Painted Lady nectaring on Baccharis in Glassell Park.

Painted Lady

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination