October Butterflies & a Moth

Posted: October 17th, 2013 under photography, Wildlife.
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A cool sunny day after some rain: grass is green,  fall flowers are in bloom–including some non-fall flowers, like a pear tree.  Monarchs are migrating through, and this afternoon were busy among the Maximilian sunflowers.  Most of those are short this year (dry previous winter and spring) but loaded with flowers.   In this patch alone  (a few yards across) I saw five or six monarchs at a time.

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Some butterflies were so active I couldn’t get a picture of them, but one of my favorites showed up halfway around the long walk, in the “gully system.”

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This Gulf Fritillary was also nectaring on Maximilian Sunflower.   This is a worn individual, with a hole in the right wing and a lot of scales rubbed off, but still a beautiful insect.

The next butterfly I was able to photograph was a little dark Skipper of some kind.

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And finally, the last butterfly that held still for me was a very faded and worn Hackberry Emperor

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As I was coming across the front of the dry woods, I saw a tiny white-and-dark something flit up and then down to land on a blade of grass.  I looked closer–it was either, I thought at first, a leafhopper or a tiny moth.   It didn’t hang around long for its photograph (which made me think leafhopper.)   Once I saw the image in the computer, though, it was clearly a moth.

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It’s one of the Acantia species, I’m fairly sure, but I’m not sure which.   I’ve looked in BugGuide.net, and it looks more like A. behrii, but the range given for that species is much farther west.  And there are lots more species, but BugGuide doesn’t have them all illustrated.

 

 

2 Comments »

  • Comment by Steve Fisher — October 17, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

    1

    Glad you’re seeing monarchs! Word up here in Virginia is that they’re having a bad year, and I’ve only seen one or two.


  • Comment by elizabeth — October 17, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

    2

    I’ve been seeing fresh, obviously migrating monarchs for several weeks now (some people claim there aren’t any in September, but in the last 4-5 years I’ve seen some on our place) but I haven’t seen huge numbers the way we used to–drifts of them crossing the big field–in years. They seem to straggle along now. Today was a pretty good one, though bad for counting because of wind shifts (is that monarch the one I counted a moment ago, being blown back the other way?) But if near the best afternoon nectaring plants, several in view at one time, then wandering off SW-ward, and another one to three showing up from the NNE.


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