Flora and fauna of the Athens County area, and occasionally habitats outside Ohio. Subject matter will consist of both interpretive material and taxonomic issues in plant and animal identification.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Being this is my first contribution, I realize I may cover material posted at other sites. I have found that there are over 1,200 other nature blogs, and there is no way I can follow them all. So welcome to my world.
What better way to start a site than with butterflies. People like them, they are showy, and easy to observe during the day. On the other hand, I, being a moth man.....
Great Spangled Fritillary
So how do you separate them? Viceroys have 1-2 rows of dots on the wing edge, Monarchs 2-3. More reliable are the white spots in the forewings. They are orange-yellow in Monarchs. See the black stripe crossing the veins in the hindwing? This is absent on Monarchs.
Also in this family are the Hairstreaks. These are rapid and erratic fliers. Only when they land can you get a good look at them. They always sit with their wings closed. One of the most common species in Ohio is the Red-banded Hairstreak.
A rather uncommon species in Ohio is the White-M Hairstreak. They tend to stay in forest trees and only come out to the edges. As you can see this one is a bit ragged and torn up. It was having trouble flying and wasn't paying any attention to me. The wings on the inside are the most brilliant iridescent blue you can imagine. Reminds me of the Morpho butterflies of the tropics. I was happy to see this guy in the Zaleski forest.
Papilionidae; the Swallowtails. Oh I could put up pretty pictures of them all, but I'll limit it to one for now. The Tiger Swallowtail, usually bright yellow and black, often shows a dark form in some females. Even though it's all black, you can look through the wings and see the hidden stripes.