The Butterflies are Out!
To me, we haven’t seen the usual amount of butterflies this year – until now. Perhaps it’s had something to do with all the cool, rainy days we’ve had. In any event, they are out now, and it is a pleasure to see them! Here are a few pictures that show just some of the butterflies one can see here.
Buttonbush is such a fantasic nectar plant for butterflies. I was in a precarious spot trying to get this shot, and it’s not quite the one I wanted! When I first came upon this cluster of flowers there were 4 swallowtails, 3 or 4 silver spotted skippers, and several other insects all together! In the shot above, I was able to capture 3 of the swallowtails, 1 skipper, and a bee!
Here is a closer view of the silver spotted skipper. That white mark on the side of the wing is unmistakable. This is also our largest skipper (that I know of) making it pretty easy to identify. This particular individual is nectaring on some obedient plant.
Also enjoying some obedient plant nectar is this spicebush swallowtail butterfly.
There have been lots of these little guys around – in the parking lot, along the road, driveway and trails. It’s a summer azure.
So for the next few pictures, I can’t give you a positive ID because I cannot locate my butterfly field guide at the moment. But stay tuned – when I do find it, I will update this post with the correct IDs. So above is one of the satyrs. This is one of the butterflies you can find in a woodland habitat.
Okay gang, I have found my book! Above should be the Carolina Satyr. Looking at the map in my field guide, we seem to be on the edge of its range.
I am fairly certain that both of the butterflies pictured above are the same species, but again, once I get a hold of that field guide, I’ll have a better idea! Anyway, I can tell you that these are skippers, and very very small ones at that (they may end up being least skippers.)
Indeed, I am going to go with Least Skipper. Although these two specimens do not look totally alike, their behavior and habitat that they were found in matches up with the description in my guide. By the way, feel free to chime in with agreements or disagreements on my IDs!
Here is another kind of skipper. This one seemed quite large for a skipper, although certainly not as big as the silver spotted!
After much deliberation, I am going to go with Zabulon Skipper for this guy. And guy he seems to be. The females of this species are colored quite differently. Again, in the description provided by my field guide, I found this creature to be doing just what it said. Males perch on tall vegetation and wait for a female to fly by. This particular guy as you can see was perched on some nice Monkey Flower.
And finally, here is that same skipper only he had his picture taken with a better camera! The difference is amazing I think. Thanks to Susan M. who sent me this photo!