08-13-15 Butterfly Field Note

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08-13-15 Butterfly Field Note

August 13, 2015

Jeffrey Pippen's butterfly field note shows a Variegated Fritillary, metallic wood-boring beetles, and a Police Car Moth.

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A wing-worn Coral Hairstreak clings to a leaf edge.

The season’s first Variegated Fritillary showed up in lower Tongue Creek in July. Irregular immigrants from the south, this species is absent in some years.

Sometimes we must net butterflies to confirm identification. This Silver-bordered Fritillary strolled around the butterfly net after we released it at MPG North.

A flower chafer beetle reaches for a cluster of Cow Parsnip flowers. These hairy beetles feed on pollen and may mimic bees for protection.

About 26 species of metallic wood-boring beetles (Buprestis spp.) occur in North America. These two species (B. confluenta (top) and B. langii) are uncommon and prized by collectors.

I photographed this Elegant Sphinx Moth near the Top House lights. There were no previous records in Montana on the BugGuide, Butterflies and Moths of North America, or Moth Photographer Group websites.

A common visitor to the Top House lights in summertime is this Forage Looper Moth. Larvae feed on clovers, alfalfa, and various grasses.

My daughter, Erica, helped me with transect surveys during her visit. In her net is the Silverbordered Fritillary she caught, featured earlier in this field note.

Ecology Project International (EPI) intern Isabelle shows off her prize. All of the first session EPI interns assisted me with my coverage area of the annual MPG Butterfly Count.

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