Friday, June 4, 2010

More Butterflies

The past couple of days I've learned how difficult it can be to get a "good" photo of a butterfly in the wild.  If they're in the "right" location, I can sneak up on them in my stealth Prius and shoot them from the window.  But when I move to get out of the car... they're usually flitting away before I can push the door open.

So I've become a butterfly watcher, and when I'm quick and lucky - I snap a photo to help me figure out who they are.  And yes, lately, I've been keeping a list of the "who, where and when" of what I've spotted on the Wisconsin Butterflies website (an "eBird" for butterfliers in the Badger state).

Milbert's Tortoiseshell (1.5 - 2")  
caterpillar food:  nettles  
adults feed on sap, dung, rotting fruit and nectar
overwinters as a adult

Viceroy (2.5 - 3.36")
 caterpillar food:  cottonwood and willow
adults feed on dead animals, rotting fruit and nectar
overwinters as a caterpillar in a leaf they cut and roll into a tight tube, a hibernaculum

Red-spotted Purple  (2.25 - 4")  
caterpillar food:  cherries, poplars, oaks, willows, basswood
adults feed on sap, dung, carrion, rotting fruit and flowers
overwinters as a caterpillar in a hibernaculum

Great Spangled Fritillary (2.25 - 4")  
caterpillar food:   violets
adults feed on nectar
 overwinters as a newly-hatched caterpillar

Northern Crescent  (1.25 -  1.87") 
caterpillar food:   asters
adults feed on the nectar of dogbane, fleabane, and white clover
 overwinters as a 3rd stage caterpillar

1 comment:

  1. I need more milbert's tortoiseshell's because we're overun with nettles. Glad to find out they eat nettles. Thanks for the valuable info.