Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Butterflies July 7, 2010

It's hot and breathless today with blazing sun but not too humid. Dry heat in Ohio is definitely not typical! Despite all the wildflowers/weeds in the field, I generally don't see that many butterflies. I have wondered if that's due to the breeze that is usually present or to the pesticides that are undoubtedly used on the adjacent crop fields. Today though there were lots of butterflies around.

This is a tiger swallowtail (Pterourus glaucus). It landed here and stayed put which is unusual--it seems like they're always in motion. It's a pretty common butterfly and its caterpillars like to feed on ashes and cherries which are plentiful here.

I usually see red admirals (Vanessa atalanta) in groups acting territorial. This one was with 3 or 4 others flying around together. Growing up, there was always a group of them out front that would land on us no matter how much we hunted them, but this group flew off when I arrived.

I think this is a large wood nymph (Cercyonis pegala). It doesn't quite match the picture in the book, but they are supposed to be highly variable. The caterpillars feed on grass and I found this adult out in the field.

Despite all the milkweed in the field, I haven't seen many Monarch butterflies (Danuas plexippus), although I did see one adult flitting through this evening. This is the first Monarch caterpillar I've seen this year.

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