Currently viewing the category: "Butterflies and Skippers"

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.

California desert wildflowers have been getting quite a bit of publicity, and not just locally. Our very high rainfall has caused the desert to burst into bloom. Spring break provided the excellent opportunity to slip out of the offices of What’s That Bug? which is currently down due to heavy traffic. Paco the gardener and I headed out to Joshua Tree National Park for an overnight camping trip and photo safari. I shot with a Hasselblad, but luckily Paco also had a digital camera with a macro lens when I spotted this little beauty along with five friends calmly resting on a single plant early in the morning in Queen Valley. The night had been quite cold and the butterflies still had not become active. They posed for several hours. A trip to the gift shop at the national park entrance produced a wonderful book which we quickly added to our library. Butterflies through Binoculars The West by Jeffrey Glassberg is an excellent Field Guide to the Butterflies of Western North America. I knew this beauty was a Pieridid, but wasn’t sure of the species. Jeffrey Glassberg knows. There are excellent photos of the Desert Pearly Marble, Euchloe hyantis lotta as well as subspecies California Pearly Marble, Euchloe hyantis hyantis. The habitat is “open arid regions including desert, juniper-pinyon pine and sagebrush.” It feeds on crucibles.

I tried sending a couple of pics of a butterfly I can’t identify, but the message got bounced back as exceeding your mailbox size. Is there some other way of posting the pics so you could see them?
Grace L. Suarez
Lawyer and Life Coach

Hi Grace
We asked Eric Eaton for help with your Nymphalid, and he quickly provided the following information:
“It is a California tortoiseshell, Nymphalis californica, assuming this was taken in the U.S. Nice image. I think they overwinter as adults, like the mourning cloak does.

We found this lovely moth in the barn. It poised just long enough for us to take a photo of it and then it flew away. I have looked in both butterflies and moths on your site and can not seem to find one that looks like it. Can you id it for us?
Yvonne Griffiths
North Central FL

Hi Yvonne,
You were not able to locate this Long-Tailed Skipper, Urbanus proteus, on our site because it is a new species for us. We are very happy you sent it in. Skippers are classified as butterflies, but they have enough differences to be considered a group of insect with characteristics of both butterflies and moths. The Long-Tailed Skipper is a southern insect and the larval food are plants in the legume group.

Do you have an id for this one?
Hello Bugman!
I promise not to "bug" you too often, but I just came home from a photography trip at Tule Lake in northeastern California with some butterflies I can’t identify. The one butterfly image I have cleaned up and made ready for viewing is this little beauty. Got any ideas? Thanks for your help.
Alice Steele

Hi Alice,
Your butterfly goes by the unassuming name Common White, Pieris protodice. It is easily confused with the European Cabbage Butterfly while flying, but its checkered wing pattern becomes obvious when at rest. Caterpillars feed on a variety of plants including Wild Mustard. It is an introduced Old World species first reported in Quebec about 1859, and according to Hogue, quickly spread over most of North America.

Hi. My name is Jacky, I go and visit my grandma every week and at her house she has this butterflie that she think got in when she brought her plants inside for the winter. we found and a put it under a strong light that gave him some heat and i gave him some friet jiuce and water. ( that is what i read on the internet to give him) he drank some of it and after sitting under the lamp for about one min. he was flying around. I would like to know what kind of butterflie he is though, i dont have a pictuer but i can tell you what he looks like. He is black with some orange specks on his back with yellow specks on the edge and some blue specks before the orange. it is hard to exsplain what he looks like but i hope you understand. I tryed to find some pictures but i cant find any. I would be really happy if you could help me out. THANK YOU.
-Jacky, Tolland CT

Hi Jackie,
While I can’t be sure based on your description, it sounds like your grandma has a Mourningcloak in her house. These butterflies hibernate, which could explain why it was in the house. Their scientific name is Nymphalis antiopa. Here is a photo I found online.