Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blue butterflies at Crex Meadows

With the butterfly and dragonfly populations finally exploding in June we on the look out for insects as well as birds on our trip to Crex Meadows at the beginning of the month. We were particularly hoping to find and photograph a Karner Melissa blue butterfly.
The Karner blue is listed on the endangered species list because it depends on lupine as the host plant for its larval form, caterpillar. The best place to find karners is in middle of Wisconsin but there is a small population that is know to inhabit Crex.
So as we travelled through the park photographing birds, butterflies and dragonflies we would stop and look for blue butterflies any time that we spotted a good size patch of lupine. We never did find a Karner, it was still pretty early in the summer, but we did find an eastern tailed-blue, which is pictured in the top two photos. The eastern tailed-blue is pretty easy to ID. There are only two blue butterflies with tails in the area, the western-tailed blue, which has only one orange spot on the bottom wing near the tail, and the eastern-tailed blue which typically has more then one orange spot on the lower wing.
We also found a silvery blue, notice no tail and no orange on the under side of the wing. We were pretty excited because this was our first pic of a silvery blue, I have not been photographing butterflies and dragonflies for very long, but I wished that I could have taken a pic with its wings open. The upper side of the wings is a silvery almost metallic blue color. Oh well, maybe the next time that we go out looking for Karnes again I will get a shot of a silvery blue with its wings open.


Leedra said...

The butterfly pics are great. I agree it so hard to get them with their wings open sometimes.

Ecobirder said...

Thanks Leedra, since summer birding can be a bit slow you can expect to see a few more butterlies and dragonflies gracing the blog for the next couple of months.