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

Subject: Butt-High Butterfly
Location: Memphis, TN
August 10, 2017 9:55 am
Sorry to bother you again so soon, but I can’t ID this butterfly. It doesn’t quite match up with any of the orange and black butterfly images I’ve found. Most of those show white markings and/or less “raggedy” wing edges. I think the wingspan was 1.5-2″?
It was standing in the shadier part of our driveway not long after sunrise with its head and foreparts crouched down and its hindparts raised. The abdomen was curled so that its tip was vertical. Any idea why?
Thanks so much for this site.
Signature: Laurel

Tawny Emperor

Dear Laurel,
This is a Tawny Emperor,
Asterocampa clyton, which we identified on BugGuide, and it appears to be dead.  The position of its antennae is not something we would expect on a living butterfly.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults take fluid from dung, rotting fruit, carrion. Like the Hackberry Emperor, this butterfly is ‘friendly’, and likes to perch on sweaty humans.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  checkerspot or frittilary
Location:  Helena National Forest, Montana
August 8, 2017 5:10 PM
There was also another butterfly from the same place and date I haven’t had the time to ID either, though it looks like checkerspot or frittilary. Attached, just for fun.
Signature: Tina Toth


Hi again Tina,
We have created a new posting with the image of the Checkerspot you attached to your response to our identification of the Weidemeyer’s Admiral.  We believe it is in the genus
Chlosyne, but there are so many similar species, we do not feel confident with a definite species identification.  We gladly welcome any assistance our readership can provide.

Thank you! It’s fun reading your posts and seeing bugs from all over the world!


What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: White, Black and Orange Butterfly, Helena National Forest, Montana
Location: Helena National Forest, MT
August 8, 2017 4:22 pm
Hello bugman!
I saw this butterfly in Montana back in July and haven’t been able to “pin” down what type it is. The color brings up too wide of a search result, and most of them more black and orange than white. I’ve seen swallowtails with similar coloring, but this doesn’t seem to be a swallowtail by shape. Birds are usually my target, but I do try to ID the butterflies as well, and this one is flummoxing me!
Thank you!
Signature: Tina Toth

Gorgeous image of a Weidemeyer’s Admiral

OK Tina,
Please forgive us for bypassing your question to tell you this is just about the most beautiful image we have seen in a long time of a butterfly.  With such shallow depth of field, you were quite lucky this perfect specimen decided to pose with its wings parallel to the film plane.  As you can see by this BugGuide posting, this is a Weidemeyer’s Admiral,
Limenitis weidemeyerii.  What was the environment like?  According to BugGuide:  “Found around wet places where its host plants grow” and “Larvae feed on Poplar (Populus spp.), Willow (Salix spp.) and perhaps other woody plants.”  Woody plants have sparked quite a dialog on our site and its Facebook page of late. 

Thank you for the glowing compliment! I blush! I think my experience trying to capture birds has helped with be more patient with setting up a butterfly shot, but I always consider myself lucky either way. I have a lot of pictures of empty branches!
This is where I found it, and your comments about environment are spot on. There is a creek that runs through the area, and the woods are fairly old and dense. A lot of pine, but also a lot of shrubs because of the creek, such as willow.
I’ve stopped here twice going to and from vacation spots in Montana. It’s a good spot, but small, to find a thrushes, flycatchers and a yellow warbler or two while you stretch your legs a bit.
Thank you for the ID, I would’ve never ever figured out the type from the underside of the wings, compared to the pictures of the topside I see with the name look up! Even worse, I have what I think is a White Admiral from 2012, and didn’t make the connection. There was also another butterfly from the same place and date I haven’t had the time to ID either, though it looks like checkerspot or frittilary. Attached, just for fun.
I started bird watching in 2013, when I got sick, and 10 months later had brain surgery (long story) but it’s taken us some amazing places, and we love to see all the wildlife along the way. Below is a link to my better shots from as far back as 2010, and if you click on the “i” it tells you when, what and where, though please don’t think you have to ID them. I am pretty OCD about IDing birds and trying to not let it get too deep into other things I see, haha! Anyway, just enjoy if you have the time. And yes, you helped me ID the Police Car moth a couple of years ago! 🙂

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Butterfly sighting – Inyo National Forest
Location: Inyo National Forest – Golden Trout Wilderness
August 7, 2017 4:06 pm
Hi Bugman,
While hiking at about 9,000 feet altitude in the Inyo National Forest (Southern Sierra Nevada) we spotted several of this butterfly, mostly on the ground. Thought it might be one of the “Ladies” but the bottom side of the wings were very dark. It’s wingspan was around 2 inches.
Though we didn’t get pictures, we also saw a lot of Yellow Swallowtails, Cabbage Whites and one that looked like a Common Checkered Skipper (light brown wings with white oval spots) but has a wingspan of over 2 inches.
Signature: Jeff Bremer

California Tortoiseshell

Dear Jeff,
This pretty little butterfly with good camouflage when its wings are closed is a California Tortoiseshell,
Nymphalis californica, which you can verify by comparing your individual to this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults emerge in June and fly until fall, then overwinter. They fly the following spring until April or May, mating and laying eggs for the next brood” and “Males perch in the late afternoon to look for females.”

California Tortoiseshell

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Irish Moth?
Location: Tralee, Ireland (Kerry)
July 29, 2017 7:08 am
Photographing the roses in Tralee today, we came upon this beautiful colored and quite docile moth. Wondering if someone might help ID it for us? Thanks for all you do!!
Signature: Cheers!


This is not a Moth.  This is a species of butterfly called a Peacock, Aglais io.  According to UK Butterflies:  “The Peacock is a familiar sight in gardens across the British Isles and is unmistakable, with quite spectacular eyes on the upperside of the hindwings that give this butterfly its name.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Checkerspot? Crescent? Neither?
Location: Tonasket WA
July 28, 2017 7:04 am
Wish I could have gotten the upper sides of the wings, but the darn thing flew so fast, didn’t want me near it and only fed with it’s wings up. The upper sides were a whole bunch of bright dark orange with black pattern lines. Sneaking up on some butterflies is right up there with Ninja skills! It’s on a Gloriosa Daisy, and quite hot here, 90’s during the day, but 50’s at night. We have a year round creek, well treed, about 1/4 mile from us. Our bushes and trees are chokecherry, service berry, pine, fir, wild roses and red and black currant. Willows and elms on the creek. Average rainfall is less than 20″ a year, and winters can get to 20 below. Last winter was a real cold one. I’m surprised anything made it.
My favorite part of this butterfly is it’s antenna! In the sun they looked like fiber optic wands. The white part really glowed. The closest I could see it looked like was a Silver Checkerspot, but the eyespots on the hindwing are really the wrong colors, and the range for the silvers is the east, not the west. And then I got led to the Crescents…
So I’m plenty stumped. Please feel free to edit my pic for posting. Thanks everyone (submitters and staff) for this wonderful site. Tremendously informative, often amusing and the pictures are a real treat.
Signature: Cathy

Painted Lady

Dear Cathy,
Your image is quite lovely.  This is neither a Checkerspot nor a Crescent.  This is one of the Ladies in the genus
Vanessa, and had you been able to get an image of the open wings, it would have made our identification more definite.  We believe this is a Painted Lady, as you can see by comparing your image to this BugGuide image, and not a West Coast Lady and the difference is described on BugGuide as:  “The most obvious character that separates this from the very similar Painted Lady, is the large subapical bar near the front of the forewing, which is orange on this species [ed. note speaking of the West Coast Lady] and white in The Painted Lady.”  Though the wings on your individual are closed, the subapical bar in question does appear to be white.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination