09-07-15 Butterfly Field Note

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09-07-15 Butterfly Field Note

September 7, 2015

Jeffrey Pippen shares a late summer butterfly field note that shows an Edward’s Fritillary, an Orange Sulphur, and an Antlion.

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A Hoary Comma searches for salts near Davis Creek.

Both native and non-native thistles provide nectar for butterflies. This Edward’s Fritillary takes nectar from a non-native Nodding Thistle along Woodchuck Creek.

Butterflies see with compound eyes that consist of up to 17,000 individual light receptors. These work together to create a mosaic image and enable the butterfly to detect very slight movements, such as a predator’s approach.

I watched this hornet catch and eat a Woodland Skipper. It removed the wings and then ate the body. The wings fell to rest on the vegetation below (bottom photo).

A female Atlantis Fritillary crawls through vegetation searching for violets. In late summer fritillaries lay eggs near violets for their caterpillars to eat the following spring.

Caterpillars of the Black-rimmed Prominent feed on aspens and cottonwoods. I found this adult near top house lights one morning.

A Spotted Tussock Moth caterpillar hangs on a willow leaf in the floodplain.

Nearly 5000 species of stinkbugs exist worldwide. This multicolored individual, in the genus Banasa, rests on a leaf along Woodchuck Creek.

Crawling across my data sheet, this Casey’s Lady Beetle is the fifth species of lady beetle I’ve documented at MPG.

I hosted Utah Lepidopterists’ Society Vice President Sara Ryndfleisz for a visit. Here she searches willows in the floodplain for Viceroy caterpillars.

I found this garter snake wandering across the road at MPG North.