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

Subject: Really would love positive identification, it means a lot to know of this visitor.
Location: Athabasca, Alberta, Canada
March 16, 2017 9:57 pm
Dear Mr Bugman,
Should you find the time for this identification request, it would be quite a delight indeed. Thank-you for your consideration and guidance.
Athabasca, Alberta, Canada
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Is it a butterfly? Is it a moth? It was very much an intended visitor.
Please help me to determine what such beauty found me.
Signature: TannaT

Compton Tortoiseshell

Dear TannaT,
Too bad you were unable to get an image of this pretty little Compton Tortoiseshell,
Nymphalis l-album, with its wings open.  The upper surface of the wings is much more brightly colored, which causes the butterfly to be somewhat flashy while flying, but when it alights, especially among dried fallen leaves on the ground, it blends in perfectly because of its camouflage coloration.  Here is a BugGuide image for comparison.  Was this sighting recent?  According to BugGuide:  “adults fly from July to November before hibernating, and appear again in May and June to lay eggs.”  If this sighting was just made, and you are having unseasonably warm weather, it is possible this hibernating individual emerged early.

Dear Daniel,
Thank-you mega much for your guidance and timely response.
This sighting was indeed just yesterday, March 16, 2017 at approximately 12:34 pm.
The air is still quite cool with snow on the ground and yet to come in the forecast.
How grateful I am to have been a witness to such a rare delight.
I know it was a sign from above to see her. Perhaps my story is quite alike hers.
I was previously told by a numerologist that March 16 would be the “unexpected beginning
of a change of fate that will certainly be the most beautiful of your life”.
She was a big part of my melting heart.
Thank-you again and again for your help.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Courting Butterflies
Location: Coryell County, Texas
March 9, 2017 3:39 pm
Hello again! These two butterflies stayed near the autumn sage (Salvia greggi) for about thirty minutes. I think they are more of the Giant Swallowtails, quite worn. She (I think) was trying to nectar, and he (I think) was in dogged pursuit. She would fly up to the sky, fly low, fly all around, couldn’t shake him, or was it a courtship dance? I don’t know. Eventually she flew off without him while he was patrolling nearby, and he flew all around the house for a time, perhaps looking for her? I only saw him nectar once.
Cloudy, humid, and warm 65 degrees, with a light breeze
Thank you and best wishes!
Signature: Ellen

Courting Giant Swallowtails

Dear Ellen,
We agree that these are courting Giant Swallowtails, and your submission has perfect timing.  We saw a our first Giant Swallowtail of the season nectaring on the lantana growing on the curb of our neighbor’s yard today, but we were running late for work and we did not have an opportunity to snap an image.  Your action images are gorgeous.

Courting Giant Swallowtails

Thank you so much! Best wishes to you both. 😊

Courting Giant Swallowtails

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Ecuadorian beauty
Location: 3 hrs NW of Quito, Ecuador
February 2, 2017 12:21 pm
Hi Guys,
I read your site daily though I haven’t contributed for some time. This very small butterfly was photographed in Ecuador last month. I would love to know what it is.
Thank you,
Signature: Dwaine


Dear Dwaine,
We tried to determine the identity of this delicately pretty butterfly for some time, to no avail, however we strongly suspect it may be a Satyr in the subfamily Satyrinae because of the prominent eyespots visible on its wings.  Though BugGuide only has images of North American species, you can see the similarities.  Satyrs are often brown or muted in color, though the subfamily also includes the brilliantly colored Morphos that also have eyespots, but on the undersides of the wings.  Most images of Satyrs online depict the butterflies at rest with wings folded and the undersides visible, which might be contributing to the difficulty we are having identifying your Ecuadorian beauty.

Correction Courtesy of Karl
Hello Daniel and Dwaine:
There are also quite a few neotropical metalmark butterflies (Riodinidae) that have prominent eyespots, usually on the forewings. This one looks a lot like a Lasus Metalmark (Perophthalma lasus). However, that species has a documented range that only goes as far south as Panama. The only species within this genus that is reported from Ecuador is the Tullius Metalmark (Perophthalma tullius), also quite similar. Regards, Karl  

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly/Moth
Location: Indiana
January 17, 2017 7:36 pm
Found this butterfly/moth unable to fly. I tried to offer it some sugar water and fruit, but it didn’t live long after I found it.
Signature: Eliza

Deformed Tiger Swallowtail

Dear Eliza,
This is a Tiger Swallowtail, and for some reason its wings failed to expand after emerging from the Chrysalis.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Moth?
Location: Poland
January 5, 2017 8:01 pm
Saw this in my kitchen this evening. It’s January in Maine. Found it to be a bit odd to be out this time of year. Any idea what it is? It thought Cabbage moth, but it has grey swirls, not a spot on the wing.
Signature: Jim

Cabbage White

Dear Jim,
This is not a moth, it is a butterfly.  Though the white spot on the forewing is not visible in your image, we are pretty confident this is a male Cabbage White, a species introduced to North America from Europe over 100 years ago.  See this BugGuide image for comparison. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly in Baja California, Mexico.
Location: Baja California, Mexico, southeast coast.
January 2, 2017 10:10 pm
I just submitted a butterfly about 20 minutes before this one. It was the wrong picture. This is the butterfly that my brother took a picture of in Baja California, Mexico, southeast coast, on January 1st. We researched it for a while but could not identify it. Wondering if it is immature.
Sorry for the wrong picture last time.
Signature: Dan in Nevada

Brushfooted Butterfly

Blackened Bluewing Butterfly

Dear Dan,
The best we can provide at this time is a family identification.  This is a Brushfooted Butterfly in the family Nymphalidae, and we could not find it listed on the Butterflies and Moths of North America site, which leads us to believe it is probably a mainland species that has strayed to the coast of Baja.  We suspect one of our readers will provide us with a species name and a link very soon.

Update:  January 4, 2017
We received a comment that this is a Blackened Bluewing,
Myscelia cyananthe, a species that appears to have much variation.  This individual on iNaturalist looks similar, but images on Butterflies of America and BugGuide look different.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination