Posts Tagged 'butterflies'


Euptoieta claudiaA Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) yesterday in the Buddleia pollinator-magnet at Green-Wood. First time I’ve seen this species here in NYC, although I’d seen one before in Arizona. They’re a southern species, uncommon here, but have been known to get up to Canada.

Monarch, Comma

Danaus plexippusSpotted two Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in Green-Wood today.Danaus plexippusLike perfect little kites of joy.Polygonia commaAlso saw some Cabbage Whites, Orange Sulphurs, and several skippers. Pretty good for a day with temps in the high 40s at sunrise. There was also this Comma (Polygonia comma).Polygonia commaSoaking up the sun.


Danaus plexippusThis is that lone Monarch caterpillar I saw a few weeks ago. I saw it again the next day, along with this little green pellet. Some quick research revealed that it was exactly what you’d think it was.
Danaus plexippusSomething of what goes in must, after all, come out.

Ocola Skipper

Panoquina ocolaNote the long forewings here, which certainly makes it stick out of the common storm of skippers. This is an Ocola Skipper (Panoquina ocola), a butterfly of the southeast (and down to Paraguay) that occasionally gets as far north as Canada. It’s a “regular stray” up here according to the Kaufman guide. Panoquina ocolaThis is a new one for me. Spotted in Green-Wood.

Lepidoptera Lowdown

A veritable blizzard of Lepidoptera over a patch of ground-loving Buddleja last week. img_9900Lots of skippers skipping. This is a male Sachem (Atalopedes campestris), I think. img_9898Several sulphurs ever so briefly alighting. This is purported to be a Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)… probably: Orange and Clouded can mix it up genetically, so these are hard to differentiate; perhaps the species definition should incorporate them both? One of them had an intense orange to its inner wings. Junonia coeniaA common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) showing a lot of late season wear and tear. A bird attack? Helicoverpa zeaAnd a lone moth, Helicoverpa zea, the Corn Earworm, obviously named for its caterpillar form. Most moths are active at night, which is why this blog is so notably absent in them; also, they’re hard to identify, not least because they are so many of them: there 11,000 species currently recognized in North America. helped me with this ID. Curiously, this individual was chased by groups of several skippers, as if they really did not want the competition.

Monarch II

Danaus plexippus

Danaus plexippus

Danaus plexippus

One Singular Sensation

Danaus plexippusI have not seen a Monarch caterpillar in New York City since 2010. Now, I haven’t been actively surveying for them, but whenever I see milkweed, I do look closer. Danaus plexippusSix years is way, way too long a period to go without. As you probably know, Monarch have taken a severe beating from habitat destruction and climate change. This year is forecast to be another bad year for them. For the adult, butterfly, stage, I rarely see more than one or two a day in season.Danaus plexippusSo even seeing one is heartening. And yesterday I saw precisely one, munching steadily away.Danaus plexippus(These were my phone pictures; I have a few more on my camera which I’ll post in a couple of days.)monInternet comrade Erin out on the other end of this long island has been raising a herd of Monarchs this summer, documenting their stages from egg to chrysalis and beyond. Check out her IG for pictures still and moving.


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