Saturday, September 10, 2016

Silver-spotted Skippers Everywhere...Brukner Nature Center Butterfly Transit, August 28, 2016

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) Wingspan 1.75-2.40 inches (4.4-6.1 cm)

This is one of the over 83 individual Silver-spotted Skippers that Ruth, Joanie, Molly, and I saw on the walk on August 28. None of us have ever seen so many on one walk.  (The following weekend, September 3,  the group counted at least 110.)  To me, this seems to prove the saying, "No matter what kind of weather a year brings, it is perfect for some creature or plant."

Thanks to Molly, I can now identify a Pipevine Swallowtail.  Identifying the mostly black butterflies has always been a problem for me.  I am still in the process of memorizing the various distinguishing markings.  The blue on the body I will remember.

 Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)  Wingspan 2.75-4.00 inches (7.0-10.2 cm)

The day was hot, 90 degrees Fahrenheit, (32.2222 C)  The day was humid as well. Sweat ran down my face and into my eyes.  But the butterflies made the day perfect. Our count for the day follows:

Clouded sulphur...5
Cabbage white...9
Silver-spotted skipper...83+
Pearl Crescent...19
Pipevine swallowtail...1
Eastern Tailed Blue...11
Summer Azure...6

Eastern Tailed-Blue (Everes comyntas) Wingspan 0.75-1.00 inches (1.9-2.5 cm)

Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) Wingspan 1.25-1.60 inches (3.2-4.1 cm)

I just now looked again at the Pearl Crescent information in Butterflies of Indiana, A Field Guide by Jeffrey E. Belth.  He points out that there is a crescent on the underside of the hind wing of Pearl Crescents.  And I see one in this photo.  Something else new I've learned.

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