Friday, July 24, 2015

July 18, 2015...Butterfly Transit at Brukner Nature Center

Below are photos by four walkers on the transit this week.  We didn't see as many butterflies as last week but we saw some special ones.

First of all, Ruth found several Spicebush caterpillars in a different instar (stage) from last week.  These looked more like the caterpillars shown in most field guides.

Larva of Spicebush Butterfly

Some of the forty Red Admirals were still around.  Most of them were looking a little bedraggled.

Red Admiral

Red Admiral  
This one is in better shape than the first example.

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail below is looking as though it has had some close calls, too.

Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

In this photo taken by Tom, you can see the yellow and black pattern on its body, as well as its six legs and its proboscis with which it siphons up nectar.

Someone spotted a dark swallowtail on low vegetation but, before anyone could identify it, it flew up into a tree.  Jim saw where it went and took picture after picture.  These two enabled Ruth to identify it as the dark phase female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Although all the males are black and yellow, only some of the females are.

Dark phase Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail with wings spread:

Dark phase Female Eastern Swallowtail with wings closed

Jim got a good photo of the Red-Spotted Purple with its wings closed, also.  Red-spotted Purples move fast and don't often take a rest break.  They have no red spots on them if you look at them from above which sometimes make people wonder how they got their name.  They are the size of the dark colored swallowtails but have no "tails".

Red-Spotted Purple

We were nearly finished with the transit when Ruth pointed out this Silver-Spotted Skipper getting a bit of nourishment from a bird dropping.  Numerous butterflies feed on dung of various animals.

Silver-Spotted Skipper

We are still seeing little blue butterflies.  Most that we saw close enough to identify were Summer Azures.

Summer Azure

We are always looking for other creatures besides butterflies.  We found Northern Spring Peepers for the third week.

And we found these green tree frogs as well.

Jackie spotted this Walking Stick and held the leaf so I could get the picture.  The Walking Stick is in a nymph stage.  Like some other species of insects, it hatches from an egg, then molts as it grows.This nymph is well camouflaged by its color.  After its final molt it will look like a brownish twig.

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