Currently viewing the category: "Brush Footed Butterflies"
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Red Spotted Purple – A Happy End
Dear Bugman,
The photo model hatched today, which provided us with a nice photo series: The Red Spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax). To end this story, I am sending a picture of the pharate pupa and the hatched butterfly (sitting next to its exuvie). I will give you a little break from my letters now, but I will return, because I am preparing a photo series of two very interesting and closely related species: Asterocampa celtis (Hackberry Emperor) and A. clyton (Tawny Emperor). I have already some gorgeous pictures of very small and bigger caterpillars of both species, but I will wait until I have photos of the pupae as well.
Best regards,

Hi Thomas,
Thank you for keeping us abreast of this fascinating saga. We eagerly await your next series. Have a wonderful day.
Daniel and Lisa Anne

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Butterfly identification
Having seen your web site mentioned on the BBC’s technology show Click (, I though I’d drop you an email to see if you can help me with this picture that my wife took of a butterfly in Japan. I’ve tried comparing it against images of other Japanese butterflies but I’ve failed to match it. I hope you can help.

Hi Philip,
As our readership becomes more global, we are under constant pressure to correctly identify many specimen from exotic locations. In your case, the best we can do is a family. Your butterfly is in the Brushfooted Butterfly family Nymphalidae. It seems to resemble one of the Fritillaries, but that is a guess. Even though we located a site devoted to Japanese butterflies, we could not find your specimen.

Update:  Identified as Indian Fritillary in a comment
March 26, 2011
We just received a comment identifying this as a female
Argynnis hyperbius, commonly called the Indian Fritillary.  We found a photo illustrating the sexual dimorphism in a mounted pair on World FieldGuide Website.

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Various bugs from a trip last year
Last year I went on a circle tour of Lake Superior with my father, and stumbled across a handful of insects I didn’t see on your site. The first is a moth that seemed rather camera-shy. It took forever for it to sit still, but I finally got a decent shot of it. Its wingspan was probably a little over two inches, but what really caught my eye were the circular marks on the wings. I believe this one was seen on the Canadian side of Lake Superior, if that helps. The second is a type of dragonfly that was rather common around the bottom of one of the waterfalls we visited in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Perhaps three inches long. The third was also found near a waterfall in the UP of Michigan, but a different one, and not solely at the bottom of the falls either. Again, these were all over the place, and maybe 2 and a half to 3 inches
long. Great site, and I hope you have some luck finding out what these bugs are.
Justin Henry

Satyr Butterfly Ebony Jewelwing

Hi Justin,
We are very happy to get your letter which contains some new species for us. The moth is actually a butterfly in the Family Satyridae which contains the Wood Nymphs and Satyrs. These butterflies are brown or tawny with eyespots. They are found in wooded and open brushy areas. Adults don’t visit flowers for nectar, preferring sap and juices from rotting fruit. Your Dragonflies are actually closely related Damselflies. One we cannot identify, but the other appears to be an Ebony Jewelwing, Calopteryx maculata.

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Any idea the name of this specimen?
Can you help identify this caterpillar recently found munching on goldenrod leaves. Thanks. You might also be interested in the attached shot of a Monarch caterpillar recently done in by the stink bug lurking in the shadows.
Colin Freebury
Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Hi Colin,
We are thrilled to post your Spined Soldier Bug,Podisus maculiventris, one of the Predatory Stink Bugs, with its Monarch Meal. Here is a site with more information on this Predatory Stink Bug.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Gulf Fritillary larva and butterfly
I live in Ventura California and saw this caterpillar in a local park a few months ago (early spring). I thought it was a Gulf Fritillary larva until I saw a confirmed Gulf Fritillary larva on your website. Mine looks redder and does not have a orange head. What does it eat? I can’t find this butterfly in any of my family’s bug books, can you help identify it? thanks for your help,
Andrew Strauss

Hi Andrew,
Both your caterpillar and butterfly are Gulf Fritillaries, Agraulis vanillae. The caterpillar feeds exclusively on Passion Vine. The adults take nectar. Hogue describes the caterpillars as slate gray or purple on the back with burnt orange stripes on the sides.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

We have been trying to get a good photo of an elusive Mourning Cloak Butterfly, Nymphalis antiopa, for several weeks. On sunny days, we see one flying around our Mt. Washington offices, and they are also frequently seen in Elyria Canyon. Needless to say, the camera is never handy, or charged. Today, we were removing a fuschia from a hanging basket and noticed a dried leaf. Lo and behold, it was actually a Mourning Cloak Butterfly still asleep. We charged the camera and were rewarded with this image.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination