Saturday, August 16, 2008

Old Cedar Butterflies

The flycatchers, swallows, and warblers at Old Cedar have quite a smorgasbord of insects to choose from. Besides the mosquitoes, Minnesota might be the land of 10,000 lakes but we are also home to about 10 billion mosquitoes, flies, which have been so bad this year that I have actually seen deer flies down in the cities, dragons, damsels, spiders, and other insects there have are also a few butterflies. This year it seems that there are not as many butterflies as last year but usually I see a couple while I am out in the wilds.
In June at Old cedar I found a couple of butterflies to photograph. The first one, above, I believe is a European skipper. Skippers are tough to ID for new butterfly enthusiasts like myself, but using my autographed Kaufman Field Guide to Butterflies of North America I have concluded that this is the European skipper. If any of the experienced butterfly enthusiasts believe that I need to have my eyes examined let me know.
Incidentally I do need to go in for an eye exam, part of being a diabetic is annual eye exams, besides since my near vision has gone to hell since I got my current glasses. Which makes it difficult to see the camera LCD when you are taking pictures of butterflies like this hackberry emperor.
The hackberry emperor is a brush-footed butterfly that can be found through out most of the eastern half of the US as well as the south west and Mexico. They are fast, erratic fliers that are typically drawn to sap, rotting fruit, carrion, and dung. They often rest perched upside down on the trunks of trees. They get their name from the one of the larval host plants which is hackberry, the other host plant is sugarberry.

3 comments:

Shellmo said...

Thank you for acquainting me with these butterflies - thought the european skipper was pretty and unusual w/ how it's wings were layered.

Leedra said...

Thnak you for commenting on my unknown butterfly and telling me you were going to post one. I agree mine is a Hackberry Emperor. I have trouble with my butterfly reference book (my eyes). You would think they would make the photos in these books larger. Thank you for your help.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff,
Nice pics. I agree with you, that
is a European Skipper and a
Hackberry Emperor. Your photo
skills makes id a lot easier.
Keep up the great work. Hope the
eye exam went well!
Hap in New Hope