Posts Tagged ‘hindwing’

Line Forms to the Right

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Tis’ the season for sapflow butterflies to  visit rotten fruit for their meals.

The butterfly in the foreground is a tawny emperor. One of the three in the line is a tawny emperor. All the others are hackberry butterflies. They each have their proboscis down where the banana split open when I “smushed” it with my sandal. There’s two apple halves in the background.

The hackbery trees in our yard are one of the reasons we have so many hackberry and tawny emperor butterflies here at this time. Both lay their eggs in hackberry trees. A huge hackberry tree grows eight feet or so from the cistern where the butterfly are gathering, and several grow in the yard.

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The orange and black butterfly above is often called a “monarch” when, actually, it’s a viceroy. The black band on  its hindwing differentiates it from the monarch.

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Chain of Events

I was walking along the back side of my moon garden when

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this male dun skipper landed nearby and allowed me to creep closer for pictures.

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A cabbage white butterfly landed in the middle of a mint, and posed for me to take its picture too.

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And then a question mark butterfly landed close enough that I didn’t have to move to take its picture.

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The narrow tails and the small silver question mark on its hindwing identify it. The comma butterfly has wider tails, a comma on its hindwings, and its wings have a more jagged edge.

I was stooped down taking more pictures of butterfly above… when…

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this dragonfly landed right in front of me. It surprised me, especially with such vivid colors. A little research turned up what I saw. The vivid colors occur on the dragonflies (imago) when they emerge.

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The colors then turn darker as they dry.

This was the first imago I’ve  seen through all my years and years of nature study. Needless to say, I was so  excited.

 

Thorny Caterpillars

Question mark butterflies lay their eggs in hackberry and elm trees.

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I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to spot these caterpillars on the underside of an elm leaf.

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The spines would definitely be a deterrent to predators.

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Question mark butterflies have a silver question mark on the underside of their hindwings. Comma butterflies are similar in appearance and have a comma on the underside of theirs.

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Question mark and comma butterflies both have a summer and a fall form. This is the fall form of the question mark. The picture above of the darker one on the rock shows the summer form

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This shows the question mark on its hindwing.

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This picture shows the fall form of the comma butterfly. I couldn’t one that showed the comma on the underneath side.

Silver-spotted Skipper

A high percentage of skippers are similar and difficult to identify.

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Not the silver-spotted skipper (Epargyreus clarus clarus), with the distinctive white spot on the underside of its hindwing.

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They seldom land and show their upperside.

Their caterpillars feed on false indigo, wisteria, wild senna, and honey locust. The adults fly from April to mid-October.

Least Skipper

They’re not called a least skipper for nothing.

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The least skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor) wingspan measures 7/8 to 1 1/8 inches. It only posed for one picture. This picture shows the yellowish underside of the hindwing, and the lighter outer band on the underside of the forewing. Their caterpillars feed on grasses.

A Skipper and a Bee

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A dun skipper (Euphyes vestris) stopped to nectar on a purple coneflower.

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Folded wing skippers hold their hindwings out flat and angle their forewings. The dun’s wingspan measures 1  1/8 – 1  3/8 inch inches

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A small bee stopped for pollen.