A Few Flying Insects

Here’s a quick look at some flying insects I’ve encountered during the past few weeks.

American lady butterflies are fairly large and easy to spot in the flower garden at the Butterfly House. These butterflies look similar to a southwestern species which makes it to the state every couple of years. On this species, American lady, note the white dot on an orange rectangular area of the forewing which is visible from both above and below. On the underside of the wings, also note the two large eye-spots near the outer margin of the hindwing.

American lady upperwings.
The underwings.

The blue dasher is a small dragonfly found at nearly every pond or lake in the region. They have a tendency to obelisk when they perch (tip their abdomen skyward in the manner of an obelisk) and sweep their wings forward and down.

The small and very common, blue dasher.

Cabbage whites are non-native butterflies and an established part of our lepidopteran fauna. Though they’re most abundant around agricultural fields, they can be found at most flower gardens nectaring on a variety of flowers.

A non-native and well established butterfly.

Another dragonfly found near any pond or lake in the area is the common whitetail. They’re also quite common away from water.

They seem to be everywhere you look, common whitetail.

A folded wing grass skipper, male dun skippers are dark overall.

An all dark and small butterfly, dun skipper.

Another common dragonfly, eastern amberwings are aptly named.

Very common near ponds, eastern amberwing.

Fiery skippers are frequent garden visitors. If you have lantana in your yard you’re sure to have fiery skippers.

Can be abundant at certain flowers, fiery skipper (here on heliotrope).

The largest eastern skimmer, great blue skimmers can be common just about anywhere there is water.

A large and common dragonfly, great blue skimmer.

The butterfly shown in the next three pictures is named for the white marks on the underside of its hindwings. The marks are the shape of a question mark.

Named for the white marks on its hindwings
Turn it on its end and you can see the “?”
This is a fresh individual, question mark butterfly.

Hairstreaks are flying. Here’s one spotted by Richard Stickney of the Butterfly House, a white-M hairstreak.

This butterfly too, was named for the markings on it wings, this time in the shape of an “M.”

White-M hairstreak.
Turn the butterfly on its head and you can see the white “M.”

Another small butterfly, zabulon skipper.

Male zabulon skipper.
Female zabulon skipper.

There’s a bunch more out there to see. But you have to be there to see it. So, get out and have a look around!

While you’re at it, visit “Wander Away” the new exhibit in Catch the Wind. Sit down, relax, and just watch. How many butterflies and dragonflies can you see?

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