Sunday, July 20, 2008

Butterflies at Dodge Nature Center

Even though I appears to me like we have less butterflies around this year then we did last year I did find a couple on my visit to Dodge Nature Center in mid June.
The first is a common ringlet. These butterflies are common in the northern and western part of the US as well as southern Canada and Alaska. They are a member of the satyr (Satyrinae) subfamily and are commonly found flying close to the ground.
This second butterfly is an eastern tailed blue. I was really excited when I first saw it fluttering around the blooming lupine. I had hoped that it might be a Karner blue. The Karner blue is a sub-population of the Melissa blue which lives in the great lakes area and is currently listed on the endangered species list. The caterpillar of the Karner blue only eats lupine so any blue that is sighted around lupine in this area could potentially be a Karner blue. Since this one had a small tail poking off the bottom of the wing, it is a bit tough to see at this angle, then it could not be a Karner but was either and eastern or western tailed blue. The western-tailed blue only has one orange dot on the lower wing so since this one had more then one it must be an eastern-tailed blue.

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