Category Archives: Identification tips

Butterfly Field Forecast for the Week of 2017 April 8

The past week and weekend showed a steady increase in species diversity and numbers, including Silvery Blue, American Lady, Zebra Swallowtail, Eastern Tailed-blue, Meadow Fritillary, Pearl Crescent, Henry’s Elfin and Black Swallowtail. Unless I missed the report, the azures on … Continue reading

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Questionable Commas

There’s a great post currently up on the South Jersey Butterfly B/log that makes for intriguing reading when sorting out this spring’s Eastern Commas and Question Marks.  At issue is regular sightings of Eastern Comma with “broken” punctuation on the … Continue reading

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New Addition to the Library: Caterpillars of Eastern Forests

I’m happy to add the PDF version of the USDA’s 1997 Caterpillars of Eastern Forests, a 118-page guide to caterpillar identification, rearing, collection and identification.  At this size, it’s not going to be comprehensive, but I was very impressed both … Continue reading

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The Time of The Witches

There comes a time in late summer into fall when the confusing mess of grass skippers is on the wing.  These are the equivalent of the birders’ confusing fall warblers, and like many good birders we have to just be … Continue reading

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Appalachian vs Summer Azure Caterpillars on Black Cohosh

From David Wright via the PALepsOdes listserv comes this timely and interesting tip on how to distinguish the caterpillars of Appalachian Azure (which uses Black Cohosh exclusively as a food plant) and Summer Azure (which also uses Black Cohosh in … Continue reading

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Henry’s Elfins in a New Spring Green

Since until the weather warms up a little bit we’re going to be studying elfins more than looking for newly emerging summer butterflies, I thought I’d devote a little space to a seldom noticed (at least by me!) green color … Continue reading

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Multiple Mourning Cloaks

Usually in the spring I note something about Mourning Cloaks — most recently, the differences between two principal forms we see in North America, hyperborea (a tawny red color) vs the darker lintnerii.  Today Norbert shared with us two new … Continue reading

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