Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Today's butterflies, little brown ones, mostly

This one is a Texan crescent, Phyciodes texana. The USGS butterfly page says of this species, "Males perch in gulches to watch for females." It's a Texas thing.

Here's another buckeye, Junonia coenia. This has been the most common butterfly I have seen in Austin since late last summer, when I first took an interest in butterfly photography, and I've posted several photos of them.

This one I have never seen before, and I named it, provisionally, "ugly brown butterfly," til I could find it among the USGS thumbnails. It is some kind of duskywing, most likely (as best I can judge from the pictures I can find) a Juvenal's duskywing, Erynnis juvenalis. Duskywings are often named after Latin writers--besides the Erynnis juvenalis, there is an Erynnis named after Horace, Persius, Martial, Propertius, Lucilius, Pacuvius, and a very obscure comic poet named Afranius. There is probably a story there, but I have not found out what it is yet. Sorry.

And a monarch on a milkweed. Adult monarchs feed on milkweed nectar, but this milkweed is not flowering right now, so possibly the butterfly is laying eggs. The caterpillars eat milkweed leaves, thus making themselves bad tasting for birds.

(click to enlarge)

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