Monday, 14 May 2012

May Butterflies

I figured with bird migration in a bit of a lull recently I would venture out and try and photograph some of our earlier flying butterflies. I've shamefully neglected this group of butterflies for many years mainly because they fly during peak spring bird migration and by the time I shift my attention to butterflies I've already missed their flight seasons. It doesn't help that the warblers are in the tops of trees, and many of these butterflies are low to the ground in localised areas. This year I was bound and determined not to miss them.

The following 3 photos are of Eastern Pine Elfin. They fly from May to early June and are usually found near pines. Pine trees were not overly abundant at this location, but the moist sand is what attracted these guys.


Below is a Juvenals's Duskywing - flight period from May to late June. Duskywings can be challenging to I.D., so if anyone suspects I made a mistake, let me know!

Below are photos of a Harvester - one or two generations per year, so can be found in summer as well. This butterfly is the only Canadian butterfly with carnivorous larvae! The caterpillars feed on aphids.

Below are photos of Silvery Blue - May to early July in our area. A more northerly species, this is the first time I've noticed them in Norfolk although I know people had them in a few locations last year. 

Common Sootywing - two generations per year. Fairly distinct little guy.

This guy below is not a butterfly at all, although it does resemble an Azure. It's actually a day flying moth - Bluish Spring Moth (Lomographa semiclarata) #6667. If you don't have the new Peterson Field Guide to Moths you are missing out! Get it now!

Can anyone identify this Baskettail from the photo? Ì suspect it`s just a Common Baskettail.

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata) for good measure. Most often seen as a flash of green flying along a woodland trail ahead of you.

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