Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Today's Butterflies

Saw some wondrous beauties in my own yard at lunchtime today!  It's nice not to have to go hunting!

I saw two butterflies from the "Blues" subfamily of butterflies.  You'll notice how similar they are in size and pattern, but there are some features that help to tell them apart.

 Eastern-Tailed Blue

The wingspan of the Eastern-Tailed Blue is 3/4 -1".  It's tiny!!!  A member of the Blues subfamily of butterflies, it is distinguished by the tiny thread-like tails (sometimes absent due to wear) and the small orange patches on the hindwing below.  The blue coloring is all on the inside of the wings and is hard to catch photographically.  I only saw it when it was in flight, and it was staying low in the meadow, so I couldn't get a good photo of it.

  A glimpse of the deep blue of the inner wings.

This one still has its tails and is fresh and beautiful.  It was busy feeding on the Loosestrife growing in the meadow.

Summer Azure

The wingspan of the Summer Azure is 3/4 - 1 1/4".  It's also tiny.  This butterfly is easily identified from the other small blue butterflies in Massachusetts because it lacks any orange marks on the hindwing.

It's amazing that I saw two members of the blue family today after not seeing any most of the summer.

Other visitors to the yard:

 Gray Hairstreak on Sweet Pea

Gray Hairstreak

Last year, this was my favorite butterfly.  I have to admit that this year I favor other Hairstreaks (which I saw for the first time this year), like the Coral Hairstreak and the White M Hairstreak.  It's still my favorite subfamily of butterflies, though.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird nectaring on Jewelweed

Silver-spotted Skipper (also on loosestrife)

Peck's Skipper on Butterfly Bush

Two Peck's Skippers, about to get lucky?

Zabulon Skipper (female)

Zabulon Skipper (male)

 2 for 1
Hummingbird Moth and Peck's Skipper on Butterfly Bush

Monarch on Butterfly Bush

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