Good naturalists keep notes, extensive notes, on everything they see. I must admit that with things happening at such a fast pace this spring I’ve been derelict in my duties. I’ve been neglecting my note keeping and am not up to date on the Lepidoptera (among other things) which have been fluttering through the Museum’s outdoor areas.

However, with camera always at the ready, I’m happy to announce that I’ve been able to get a few shots of some of early April’s highlights.

First, a few moths.

tent cat
Eastern Tent Caterpillars (Malacosoma americanum) have been active since late March. They are now dropping down out of their preferred Black Cherry Tree hosts in search of safe places to pupate.
8 spot
A frenetic Eight-spotted Forester (Alypia octomaculata) pauses briefly to sip some nectar. This day-flying moth doesn’t sit still for long. It lays eggs on grape and Virginia Creeper. Note the two spots on each wing (2×4=8).

And now, several small handsome butterflies, all photographed on 10 April.

This tiny Eastern-tailed Blue (Cupido comyntas) was enjoying the sun on the Dinosaur Trail.
Another miniature butterfly, this Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) was also photographed on April 10, just a few feet from the Eastern-tailed Blue above.
A Juniper Hairsteak (Callophrys gryneus) nectars on viburnum out in front of the Ornithopter. It lays eggs on juniper trees, or Eastern Red Cedar.


4 responses to Lepidoptera

  1. Judy Overby says:

    Great photos Greg! The Juniper Hairstreak is amazing as are all the others!

    • Greg Dodge, Ranger says:

      Thanks Judy,
      The little guys always amaze me. You have to get up close to see them (close focusing binoculars come in handy) but once you do the patterns and colors that are revealed are truly incredible!
      Have a good one.

  2. Pete Bellanger Sr says:

    I visited today and had a very nice talk with you. Thank you for your time. I also go pictures of the Eastern Tent Caterpillars. There was a loner moving along the upper rail of the Wildlife Walk that I shot.

    • Greg Dodge, Ranger says:

      Pleasure’s all mine.
      Next time you stop by send an email first so we’ll be sure to run into each other.
      Thanks again.

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