Currently viewing the category: "Gossamer Wings"
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Whats this beautiful bug?
Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Great Purple Hairstreak

Great Purple Hairstreak

I have been loving your site for a few years now. So,let me make this short…what is this? Moth?Thanks for your help.
Myra in Ft Polk, La
Fort Polk,LA

Great Purple Hairstreak

Great Purple Hairstreak

Dear Myra,
How lucky are you??? You have witnessed a newly metamorphosed Great Purple Hairstreak, Atlides halesus, expand its wings. This Gossamer Wing is a southern species. According to BugGuide, the “Larvae feed on mistletoe, live oak, western sycamore, and desert ironwood.” Thanks so much for your kind compliment. We hope our humble site has brought a new appreciation for the smaller things in life to many of our readers.

Great Purple Hairstreak

Great Purple Hairstreak

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Red Banded Hairstreak?
Hey bugman,
thanks so much for posting my photo of the wheelbug. I have another one to share with you. I believe this is a red-banded hairstreak (correct me if im wrong). there were two of them nectaring on some goldenrod the other day and i took some pics. I think this was my favorite one. Enjoy and thanks again for a wonderful website.
Mike D.

Hi again Mike,
Your Red Banded Hairstreak photo is awesome. Thanks for adding to our archive.

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Eastern Tailed Blue
Good evening Mr. Bugman,
I just discovered your site today, and as an inveterate 1. namer, 2. shutterbug (didn’t find that one on your site) and especially 3. macro fiend I was more than delighted! I’ve already ID’d several ‘bugs’ that had been bugging me. Thank you so much. I’ve attached 5 photos – 4 I know, and one I’d like to confirm. I live in Orange County, VIRGINIA – the north central piedmont of the state. All photos have been taken within a 4 mile radius of Orange, VA (county seat). If you don’t object, I’ll send others of insects you don’t appear to have – and maybe a few that I need help with. I just don’t want to overdo it in my enthusiasm for your site. What a great service, and I’ll add that no insects are harmed in the photographic process. They are either in the wild or occasionally found deceased, although no deceased ones in this group. Eastern tailed blue (Everes comyntas) – sitting on a blade of grass (June 2005) Thanks again for the wonderful site!
Best regards,
Lynne
Orange, VA

Hi Lynne,
We are overwhelmed by all the images you sent in. In the future, please send only one image or one species per letter. It makes our lives so much easier. Thanks so much for expressing your enthusiasm. The Lycaean Blues, like this Eastern Tailed Blue, were among the butterflies written about by our favorite novelist, Vladimir Nabokov.

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two photos – can you help me
Hi bugman
I enclose two photos that I took on the outskirts of Beijing in China. The two mainly white butterflies are not very large – between 1-2 inches I should think. The second picture I have called a chinese grasshopper for want of a better idea. It’s quite brightly coloured and from memory about 3-4 inches long. I hope you can help me by telling me what they are.
Thanks again
John Rocha

Hi John,
The mating butterflies are Gossamer Winged Butterflies, Lycaen Blues, though we do not know the species. The Grasshopper might be one of the Toothpick Grasshoppers.

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Blue (Subfamily Polyommatinae) Butterfly Indentifcation Help
Hello to the Bugman and friends,
I took this picture about a year ago. I believe it is a member of the Gossamer Wing Butterflies (Family Lycaenidae), specifically of the Blues (Subfamily Polyommatinae). I am unsure of the species though. If it helps to narrow down specific species, this picture was taken in Bellingham, Washington. I saw a posting about similar species on your wonderful website already, but the picture was of a newly hatched specimen. Hopefully my attached picture would be of some help. Thank you for the help.
Jonathan

Hi Jonathan,
What a beautiful photo. We believe this is a female Spring Azure, Celastrina ladon, but the Blues are very difficult for us to distinguish from one another. It might take a genius like Vladimir Nabokov to disect their tiny genitalia to be certain.

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Moth or Butterfly on Butterfly Weed
I went up to the farm Missouri) with my husband and found this insect on a butterfly weed plant. I was wondering what sort of insect this is? I like it black and white face and antenna. Thanks Mary There are actually two insects here ( mating?) but this photo is the clearest of the actual insect.
Jackie and Mary

Dear Jackie and Mary
Your butterfly is a member of the Gossamer Winged Butterflies in the Family Lycaenidae, more specifically one of the Blues in the Subfamily Polyommatinae. We are guessing either the genus Plebejus or Lycaeides. There is much variation in coloration in local populations within the same species. Most larvae feed on legumes including lupines, rattleweed and clover. The Lycaean Blues are the group of butterflies that fascinated the great author Vladimir Nabokov.

Thanks Thank you for your quick reply and the information about the identification of the butterfly and the information about the author. I have just started in photography and have found that now I am becoming very interested in the names of insects and wildflowers. I did find a pretty clear photo that shows the other butterfly. Thanks again
Mary

Your photos are very nice Mary, We surely appreciate the latest romantic image. Is it any wonder the author of Lolita was so besmitten with these lovely creatures?

Ed. Note: We just received the following correction.
misIDed pictures Hi, I love the pictures on your site, I noticed a couple of mistakes in the identification of two pictures. It is a Lycaenid, however the species is definitely Harkenclenus titus, the Coral Hairstreak, which is a beautiful tailless hairstreak, and is quite uncommon in my experience.
Mike

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination