Currently viewing the category: "Gossamer Wings"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: West Los Angeles sighting – Marine Blue 1
Location: West Los Angeles
July 11, 2017 10:13 am
HI Bugman,
We planted Cape Plumbago to attract these little butterflies. Marine Blues have been the most difficult butterflies to photograph and I have not been able to get pics of anything but adults. They almost never rest and flit around my yard about 2 feet off the ground. If two meet, they spiral together about 15 feet up in the air.
These first photos were taken in 2011.
Signature: Jeff Bremer

Marine Blue

Hi Jeff,
Thanks for resending these images.  We agree that they represent the Marine Blue.  According to BugGuide:  “Caterpillar hosts: Leadwort (
Plumbago) and many legumes including alfalfa (Medicago sativa), milkvetch (Astragalus), and mesquite (Prosopis).”  Having the plumbago in your yard is providing food for both adults and caterpillars. 

Marine Blue

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Subject: Butterfly
Location: Lesbos
June 28, 2017 1:15 pm
Daniel,
You were kind enough to identify some insects on Lesbos for me some time ago. I have now been back to Lesbos and have s few more for you. I hope to use these in a talk I have been asked to do for an RSPB group and would appreciate your help as I have been unable to identify them on line,
Regards
Signature: William Smiton

Small Copper

Dear William,
We began to research this Copper Butterfly with the Checklist of the Butterflies of Lesvos that is included on the Lesvos Birding site.  Two coppers are listed and the Small Copper link led us to this image on FlickR of
Lycaena phlaeas.  We learned on Learn About Butterflies that:  “The Small Copper is a very widespread species, occurring in Canada, the eastern United States, the Canary Isles, almost all of Europe including sub-arctic areas of Scandinavia, and across temperate Asia as far east as Japan. It also occurs across much of Africa, from the Atlas mountains and north African grasslands, south to Kenya and Malawi.”  According to BugGuide, the common name is American Copper, but that just won’t do for Lesbos.  BugGuide does note:  “The name American Copper is misleading, as there is nothing particularly American about this species. It is found across Eurasia and in mountains of northern and eastern Africa, and it bears many vernacular names depending upon the region found. It is the most widespread species of the genus Lycaena, and among the most widespread of all butterfly species.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Hopefully you can help me!
Location: Copperas Cove, TX
April 8, 2017 10:11 pm
Hello!!
While on a walk today I came across something interesting. I’ve never seen one before and am really wondering what it is. I thought a moth of some kind but was not sure. Any help is appreciated!!
Signature: D.H.

Newly Eclosed Great Purple Hairstreak

Dear D.H.,
This is not a Moth.  It is a newly eclosed Butterfly, the Great Purple Hairstreak,
Atlides halesus.  When Butterflies and Moths emerge from the Pupa, their wings are not yet fully expanded, and your individual has recently emerged from the pupal stage, known as the Chrysalis, and its wings have not yet fully expanded.  Until the wings expand, it will not be able to fly.  According to BugGuide, it is:  “Iridescent bluish green to purple on the thorax and basal half of the wings. Ventrally all of the wings have a crimson spot near the base; ventral forewing otherwise plain brown (female) or brown with patch of blue (male); ventral hind wing with three rows of greenish spots near the apex. Males have a large scent patch on the upper side of the front wing.”  The Great Purple Hairstreak is a beautiful butterfly.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Which “Blue” is this butterfly?
Location: Swarthmore, PA
October 15, 2016 2:24 pm
Hello Bugman,
Am I crazy, or did I just find a pair of Dusky Blue Groundstreaks in PA? A bee came along and startled them before I could really focus well, but the pattern is pretty distinctive. Butterfliesandmoths.org says they range from Venezuela to South Texas, and can stray to Kansas. Unless I’m mistaken these guys are doing some serious exploring.
Signature: Tam Paulits

Red Banded Hairstreaks

Red Banded Hairstreaks

Dear Tam,
Based on images posted to BugGuide, we are going to go with Red Banded Hairstreaks,
Calycopis cecrops, a similar looking species in the same genus as the Dusky Blue Groundstreak.  According to BugGuide:  “Underside of both wings is dark grey with a red band crossing postmedian (i.e., more towards the back edge of the wing than the body). Above, some bright blue is visible in flight.”  BugGuide also notes:  “Eggs are laid on fallen leaves. They feed on detritus and on leaves of plants in the families Fagaceae, Anacardiaceae and Malvaceae. They feed on Mango (Mangifera indica), Brazilian Pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), Winged Sumac (Rhus copallina), and other trees.”  According to the Butterflies and Moths of North America, the range is:  “Southeastern United States from Long Island south through Florida, west through entire area to southeast Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, and eastern Texas. Strays to eastern Nebraska, northern Illinois, and Michigan.”  We only have two images of Red Banded Hairstreaks in our archive, and both were submitted in 2007.  Because we must be away from the office for several days, we will be post-dating your submission to go live at the end of the week.

Thanks so much!  Proof that I’m an amateur.  Thanks for providing the expert input!
Tam

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Subject: Small black butterfly with orange eyespots
Location: Nebraska
September 14, 2016 6:01 am
Greetings!
I am from south-central Nebraska and when I went out to put birdseed in the feeder this morning, I saw this little butterfly resting on my sun coleus. I have never seen one like it before and was unable to locate one in your archives. It has an approximately 1 1/4″ wingspan. I’m sorry that the focus is a bit lacking but I still haven’t mastered this camera. I hope that there is enough detail for you to be able to work your magic! Thanks in advance!
Signature: Huskerkim

Gray Hairstreak

Gray Hairstreak

Dear Huskerkim,
Images of Gray Hairstreaks,
Strymon melinus, are archived on our site under the Gossamer Wings Butterflies category.  According to BugGuide:  “Males perch all afternoon on small trees and shrubs to seek receptive females. Eggs are laid singly on flowers of host plant. Young caterpillars feed on flowers and fruits; older ones may eat leaves. Caterpillars are sometimes attended by ants, which receive a sugary solution from the dorsal nectary organ … . Chrysalids hibernate.”  We believe the dark coloration on your individual indicates it is a male, perhaps perching “all afternoon on small trees and shrubs to seek receptive females.”

Dear Daniel,
Thank you so much for your reply.  We will keep an eye out for such females!  Also, I have attached a better photo that I took later with my phone.
Thanks again!
Kim

Gray Hairstreak

Gray Hairstreak

Thanks for the much sharper image Kim.  Obviously he is waiting patiently for that female.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: what is this butterfly
Location: Madinah-Saudi Arabia
April 29, 2016 9:25 am
Hi bug man. Found this today.
April/29/2016
Signature: M.A

Hairstreak

Common Brown Playboy 

Dear M.A.,
This is a Hairstreak in the subfamily Theclinae, and we were having trouble locating images from Saudi Arabia, so we turned to Wikipedia which we rarely do.  On the List of Butterflies from Saudi Arabia on Wikipedia, we located a few species and followed the link to the Wikipedia page on
Deudorix antalus which contains a head on view very similar to your own image.  Butterflies of Africa has a lateral view very similar to your own image and provides the common name Common Brown Playboy.  We are confident that is a correct identification.

Hairstreak:  Deudorix antalus

Common Brown Playboy

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination