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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Lifer butterfly today

It's always so much fun to see a new butterfly species, even knowing it will just reduce the odds of seeing another new one. There are only so many species in the country, after all.

Today we banded hummingbirds in the Davis Mountains where I spotted this Canyonland Satyr.

I wish I could have gotten a better photo of it, but this was the best one I got. Based on the photo, I didn't know what it was. Consulted my iphone butterfly app, but the only satyr I could find in it was a Carolina Satyr. (Since I got home I found the other satyrs on the app. Don't know why I couldn't find them earlier. Frustrating. Maybe because we were driving on a bumpy road.)

Anyway, after a while I called Brian Banker, my butterfly guru, and tried to describe it to him. I'm a novice and don't know the right terminology, so told him it looked like a cloudywing would look if it was red or orange. He was greatly amused by my amateur description, and said I should henceforth call it a Red Cloudywing. Here's the cloudywing I was alluding to. (I didn't see the spots in the "cloud" on the satyr until I downloaded the photo later.)

It's really hard to describe a butterfly to someone without knowing the names of the body parts. I guess the "cloud" on the satyr would be considered to be on the upper underside of the hindwing, or something like that. Enough of that.

I saw several interesting flowers today too. I don't know what this one from the Davis Mountains is.

Nor this one being enjoyed by a worn Common Buckeye near our ponds in Alpine.

1 comment:

  1. I would call it a HW marginal patch, and as I recall "red cloudywing" was what you said KB called it. I did not make up that term. The first flower looks like it may be something in the mustard family. There is a similar plant that grows in AZ canyons in the spring. The buckeye flower is definitely milkweed, possibly poison milkweed (Asclepias subverticillata).