Currently viewing the category: "Gossamer Wings"
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butterfly?
Location: Merced, CA 95340
April 7, 2012 10:18 am
Last year, this butterfly was in my swimming pool. I got it out and let it sit in the sun for a few minutes and it was able to fly away. I don’t think I’ve seen one before, curious what it might be.
Signature: T. Tanioka

Western Pygmy Blue

Dear T. Tanioka,
Your butterfly is the smallest butterfly in North America, the Western Pygmy Blue,
Brephidium exilis, as you can see from this matching photo on BugGuide.  Because of your rescue efforts, we are tagging you as a Bug Humanitarian.

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Butterfly?
Location: Mexico, Puerto Vallarta (west coast)
February 1, 2012 5:55 pm
I saw this amazing little colourful thing the other day, watering flowers..(it is dry season here now) and got some good pictures of it. but i would really like to know what this is.. never seen anything like it!
Signature: Nathali

Regal Hairstreak

Dear Nathali,
What a positively gorgeous butterfly this is, and we have identified it as a Regal Hairstreak,
Evenus regalis, thanks to an online photo by Nelson Dobbs that alas does not do the colors justice.  The Butterflies of America website has some lovely photos of Regal Hairstreaks that were photographed in Guatemala and Mexico.  

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metalmark or something else? And infected haploas
Location: Kane County, Illinois
January 29, 2012 3:21 pm
Hi bugman,
Wondering what this small (maybe half inch) butterfly is? I thought it was a Nais Metalmark but the patterns are slightly off and the Nais metalmark doesn’t live anywhere near me… I found this butterfly in a prairie next to a small pond. It allowed me to get really close to snap the pic. It was mid may but really hot. … Thanks guys!
Signature: Sam

Bronze Copper

Hi Sam,
Since your two requests are unrelated, we are splitting your email into two distinct postings and dealing with them separately.  Your butterfly is not a Nais Metalmark.  It is one of the Coppers in the genus
Lycaena.  At first we thought it might be the American Copper, but the markings on the undersides of the lower wings more closely resembles the markings on the Bronze Copper, Lycaena hyllus, based on photographs posted to BugGuide, so we believe that is the correct identification.  The Bronze Copper also ranges in Illinois according to the data map on BugGuide.

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World’s Smallest Butterfly
Location: Hawthorne, CA
November 7, 2011 11:27 pm
I was able to identify this tiny guy (about the size of a bottle fly) out at Bugguide today and thought I’d share it with you. It sat for about fifteen minutes feeding on the Bishops Flowers in the back yard. Such a little beauty. I’ve read it is the world’s smallest butterfly.
Signature: Thanks, Anna Carreon

Western Pygmy Blue

Hi Anna,
Your photos of a Western Pygmy Blue,
Brephidium exilis, are quite lovely.  Thanks so much for supplying our site with this new species and a statistic as well.  According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “This is one of the world’s smallest butterflies;  the wing expanse of even the largest individuals barely exceeds 1/2 inch (13 mm). … The Pygmy Blue is seen mainly in wild areas, especially where the salt-loving food plants grow – in alkaline valleys and flats, in coastal salt marshes, and along beach bluffs.”  Jeffrey Glassberg, in his book Butterflies Through Binoculars The West, writes:  “The smallest butterfly in North America.”  According to BugGuide, the Western Pygmy Blue is ” The smallest butterfly in our area.”  We are not certain where your smallest butterfly in the world statistic came from.

Western Pygmy Blue

Hi Daniel,
Thanks for the compliment.  I read about it being the smallest in the world in a few places, none of them specialists in butterflies.  I used that subject title because I was sure it would catch your eye!
Anna

Ed. Note:  We wonder how it was determined that the Western Pygmy Blue is the smallest butterfly in North America.  Was it an average?  or perhaps, was it the smallest individual documented?

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Is this a Butterfly?
Location: Quartz Hills, Calif.
November 1, 2011 10:47 pm
I live in the Antelope Valley, Calif., and I have never seen this Butterfly before. At least I think it is a Butterfly. I’m wondering if it is part of the Lycaenidae.
Thank you.
Signature: Jean Haley

Marine Blue

Hi Jean,
This is a Marine Blue,
Leptotes marina, and it is indeed one of the Lycaenidae or Gossamer Wings.  According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “This is another butterfly that is common in local parks and gardens because its larva feeds on the buds and blossoms of the ornamental shrubs and vines (Plumbago species, Wisteria Vine, sweet pea, and other members of the Pea Family.”

Thank you so much. Made my day!!
Jeanne

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Caterpillar in Central Texas
Location: Austin, Texas
April 3, 2011 9:31 pm
We found this caterpillar crawling across the road. Can you help ID it? It kind of looks like a Frosted Elfin or a Green Oakblue but neither of those is supposed to be in Cetral Texas. My sone is taking this to show and tell tomorrow (we will free it in the butterfly garden afterwards), so any help woudl be appreciated (not just for tomorrow). I’ll keep looking on the web..
Thanks
Signature: Karyn and Erik

Great Purple Hairstreak Caterpillar

Dear Karyn and Erik,
Sorry, we are stumped as well.  Sadly, it doesn’t seem to have any distinguishing features.

Hi Daniel,
Thanks so much anyway. The only feature I could see is what looked like two tiny eyes/ eye shapes close together that both formed the shape of a diamond on the top of the head. I have more pictures of the underside and snout, I could send you if you would like. I will keep looking on the web too.
Have a good day,
Karyn

Great Purple Hairstreak Caterpillar

Hi Daniel,
I think I found it. I believe it is a Great Purple Hairstreak. See this link:
http://www.butterfliesofamerica.com/imagehtmls/Lycaenidae/Atlides_halesus_corcorani_4th_instar_ex_F_05-IV-2008_USA_CA_San_Bernadino_Co_vic_Mt_Manchester_Dead_Mountains_3400_3_i.htm
The diamond shaped mark on the head is almost identical to the caterpillar we found. I have attached a higher res photo that I took, in
case the first one did not make it through.
Your site is great! The second graders loved looking at all the pictures.
Karyn and Erik
Austin,Texas

Thanks for writing back Karyn and Erik.
You did a great job of tracking down the Great Purple Hairstreak Caterpillar’s identity.  We agree that you have found the correct species.  We had to create a new category for Lycaenid Caterpillars.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination