Wednesday, September 26, 2012

American Lady--Vanessa virginiensis

Meanwhile, back in Berkeley, the American Ladies are growing. I noticed that the pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritace) in the propagation area at the UC Botanical Garden was not doing very well. Then I noticed that it had caterpillars eating it. American Ladies! So I brought them home and put them on the weedy variety. They seemed perfectly happy to transfer, and are now getting ready to pupate. I've got six. Very exciting! I think I have never reared these before. This species occurs across most of the United States.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Western Shorthorned Walkingstick, ​Parabacillus hesperus

This is one of my favorite photos from the trip to Arizona. This walkingstick  is so well camouflaged! I'm really proud of myself for finding it. provided a name for me, so now I know that it is native. So lovely!

Checkered White--Pontia protodice

I saw many white flitting by. It was difficult to see the markings, but I was told that the default white is a Checkered White. This one landed long enough for a picture. This butterfly is found in most of the US, but is only a permanent resident in the southern US and Mexico. Caterpillars eat mustards.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Variegated Fritillary-- Euphtoieta claudia

We all love to think of the butterflies with the flowers. Such a lovely scene, colorful wings and colorful flowers together. Butterflies do like nectar, but they like other things as well. You might see them at rotting fruit, drinking the juice that collects. Or near a puddle, getting a drink of water. In this picture, they are enjoying scat. Excrement. Crazy, but there it is. I like to think that the poop in Arizona is so sweet that the butterflies like it. But in reality, many butterflies in many areas like poop with all its grossness.

I think this is the only picture of the Variegated Fritillary. It was rather common. There were not swarms of them like the Bordered Patches or the Sisters, but there were plenty.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pipevine swallowtail--Battus philenor

I see so many Pipevine swallowtails at the UC Botanical Garden that seeing this species in Arizona was not that special. Still, it is a beautiful butterfly. It occurs in most states and into Mexico. The caterpillars eat only Aristolochia.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Bordered Patch (Chlosyne lacinia)

These butterflies are Bordered Patches. The coloring can be quite varied. One of these butterflies is white and black, the other has an orange band. Sometimes the colored bands are wider. These butterflies were very abundant in Arizona. I felt like I was going to step on them, but they always flew. The caterpillars eat sunflowers and related plants. This species lives in the southwestern US and Mexico.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Adelpha bredowi eulialia--Arizona Sister

I saw clouds of Sisters in Arizona. Seems like five flew with every step. Mostly they were sitting on the ground puddling. They were very friendly. It didn't take much to convince this one to climb up on a finger; just a little saliva. Another alighted on a hat. Maybe the hat was sweaty? I don't know.

Supposedly, these are Arizona Sisters. They look just like California Sisters to me. But there is a slight difference on the underside. Something about have two orange bars instead of one. I'll take their word for it.

These butterflies are called sisters due to their resemblance to a nun. They are black and white like nuns, and have an orange face like nuns. Well, maybe nuns don't really have orange faces, but the orange on the butterfly is supposed to represent a face. Seems a little far fetched to me. But it helps me remember the name.

Anyway, the sisters were plentiful, friendly and beautiful. It would have been worth the trip just to see the sisters.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Baby Butterflies (and moths)

                                                         Wooly Bear Molting

                                                  Black and Brown Wooly Bear
                                                  Gold and Orange Wooly Bear
                                                Hyalaphora columbia (silk moth)
                                                      Black Swallowtail
While in Arizon, I saw bunches of caterpillars. Wooly bears everywhere! So they were mostly moths. Like the tussock moth. In Ramsey Canyon, you could barely take a step without bumping into a tussock moth hanging from a tree. I guess the Black Swallowtail was the only butterfly.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Not Butterflies

                                            Pupfish in Tohono Chul Park
                                                          Flower Beetles on Dalea
                                                       Stick Insect.

We saw other insects and other animals on our trip. Above are a few of them.I wonder if that stick insect is native. I know most of the stick insects I see in Berkeley are escaped classroom pets.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Danaus gilippus--Queen

I have never seen a Queen in the Bay Area, but they are common in Arizona. These were in Tohono Chul Park. They are milkweed butterflies, the caterpillars eat milkweed, like Monarchs.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Giant Swallowtail

I took a trip to Arizona for the North American Butterfly Association meeting. I flew into Tuscon and did a bit of sightseeing first. The Air and Space Museum was boring (no butterflies), but Tohono Chul Park was lovely. It was actually more of a botanical garden, with names for the plants, gift shops, restaurant, and even a little museum with exhibits. The butterflies were great! The Giant Swallowtail was nectaring on Lantana. The caterpillars eat citrus and can sometimes they can be a pest.