|Image Number||Image (Click to Enlarge)||Caption||Image Viewed|
|1||I saw this female Monarch butterfly laying an egg on a milkweed leaf in my yard; it took only a couple of seconds, then she was fluttering off to another plant. The eggs are usually laid singly on the underside of the leaf to help protect them from predators. Butterflies taste through their feet. It is common to see them quickly touching leaves in search of host plants on which to lay their eggs.||2473|
|2||Well, in nature there are always exceptions to the rule! I photographed this Monarch Butterfly laying her eggs on a milkweed pod instead of under the leaves. It will be interesting to see if the eggs survive. She can't use the excuse of being an inexperienced first-time mother, because ALL of the Monarchs only lay one brood of eggs!||2122|
|3||The life of a butterfly begins as an egg, such as this one from a Monarch. It is hard to believe a caterpillar could emerge from such a small egg, it is only about 1 millimeter tall. Note the tiny lines radiating from the top of the egg. The mother monarch lays her eggs on only milkweed leaves (which she identifies by tasting them with her feet!), usually on the underneath side. A butterfly can lay over 500 eggs.||2576|
|4||This tiny Monarch caterpillar hatchling is probably about 1 day old and only about 2mm long. When it hatched, the first meal it ate was its egg shell. Next it ate the tiny hairs on the back of the leaf. This little caterpillar has already eaten a small hole in the leaf. Within the next 2 weeks, it will eat many leaves. The tiny black bumps on the top near the head and back end will grow into the "whiplashes" (antennae). In 2 weeks this little caterpillar will molt its' skin 4 times (the period between moltings are called "instars") and eat and poop a lot! Monarch caterpillars gain 3000 times their hatching weight by the time they are ready to become a chrysalis. I tell my students if they grew at the same rate as these caterpillars, by the time they became teenagers they would be as big as a school bus and weigh as much as 2 female elephants!||2761|
This beautiful Monarch larva is munching on Common Milkweed, its only food. Milkweeds contain a cardiac glycoside in the leaves which the caterpillar stores in its body. The bright coloration is a warning to birds not to eat it. This picture was taken in late August, the butterfly that this caterpillar will become will migrate to Mexico and overwinter there. Most butterflies live only about a month. Monarchs that migrate delay their sexual maturity for several months. After mating in February and laying eggs in Texas, they will die. Reproduction is the "kiss of death" for these insects! A lot of children want to know if a caterpillar is a male or female, I tell them it isn't possible to tell the gender until it becomes a butterfly.
Note the tiny spiked feet near the head, these are the true legs of the caterpillar, the black and white ones are called "prolegs". The two antennae are called "whiplashes". The ones near the head are longer than the ones at the end of the abdomen.
|7||Monarch Caterpillar and frass ("poop") on leaf below. This was one of my first photos to take with my new "emergency purse and pocket camera", a tiny 6 megapixel Nikon L11 point and shoot. I was very excited to find this caterpillar in the garden outside my room at school, I shared it with the children in the first grade class across the hall. The frass was what caught my attention to the caterpillar from my room! The teachers were laughing during lunch that only I could get excited about seeing caterpillar poop! :)||1729|
|8||This is one of the first signs that may indicate the presence of a Monarch caterpillar; as they eat more and get larger, they produce large amounts of frass (a.k.a. "poop"). The caterpillar was on the leaf just above this one, the frass collected below it. There is a small amount of a chewed leaf that fell too.||1891|
Monarch caterpillar hanging in a "J"
I found this caterpillar in the garden at my school with my students in late September. About 12 hours before the caterpillar becomes a pupa or chrysalis, it spins a web of silk on a branch, leaf, fence post, or other hard surface. It attaches its back prolegs to the silk mat and hangs head down (note the tiny black hooks on the prolegs, they are called crochets; the 6 true legs are on the thorax near the head). Then for several hours the caterpillar pulls air into its' body through the tiny breathing holes in the abdomen, called spiracles. The skin begins to loosen and the white stripes begin to take on a light green cast. Just before the big transformation takes place, the whiplashes ("antennae") begin to shrivel and the caterpillar straightens out. Suddenly, the skin begins to split just behind the head and the caterpillar wriggles violently to loosen the skin. The skin then slides up to where the caterpillar is attached by the black stalk called a cremaster. After a minute or two of hard wriggling the skin pops off and a light green chrysalis hangs where a caterpillar had been! (See next picture)
Two Monarch chrysalises
The caterpillar's body becomes a "soupy" mix of cells while it is in the chrysalis. During the 10 - 14 days that it is pupating, the caterpillar goes through a marvelous transformation. As the cells rearrange, wings slowly begin to show through the transparent shell of the chrysalis, a different kind of mouth is forming and the butterfly will soon develop scales and begin to turn black. The last 24 hours are the most amazing to watch as the chrysalis quickly turns from green to black and orange. Note the black line and the small gold dots on the green chrysalis. Some scientists believe they may help function in camouflage. The butterfly in the black chrysalis emerged a couple of hours after this photo was taken. The green one emerged a few days later.
|11||A Parasitized Chrysalis I was sorry to see this sight, a kindergarten class had enjoyed watching the caterpillar turn into this chrysalis just 2 days earlier. The dark hole on the side was made by a tachnid fly larva. While the caterpillar was still small, a female fly had laid an egg on it. The emerging maggot buried into the caterpillar and ate it alive. It is not possible to tell if a caterpillar has been parasitized until it becomes a chrysalis because it eats and grows as though it is unaffected. However, a couple of days after the caterpillar pupates, the maggot crawls through the chrysalis, falls to the ground and becomes a pupa itself. If this happens in a captive chrysalis, you will see a small brown oval-shaped pupa on the bottom of the cage. In August and September 2006 nearly every classroom at my school had a caterpillar because we have a very convenient supply of milkweed in the Secret Garden just outside my door. I explained to the teachers that upsetting as it may be to the students if this happens, this is a part of nature. All creatures must eat, it just happens that the tachnid fly larvae eat caterpillars (and other insects).||2304|
|12||It is easy to see the wings of the butterfly through this transparent Monarch chrysalis. It is hard to believe there is an entire butterfly packed tightly into this inch-long chrysalis.||1808|
|13||The butterfly loosens from the chrysalis and then, with no warning, the chrysalis splits open and the butterfly begins to emerge head first. I waited 45 minutes to catch this stage of metamorphosis in action.||1399|
|14||The Monarch emerges quickly from the chrysalis, it takes only a few minutes to be free.||1322|
|15||Notice how the butterfly hangs onto the empty chrysalis. The huge abdomen flips down and the butterfly crawls around so its head points up. The wings are still damp and wrinkled. The probosis (tube-like mouth) is in two parts when the butterfly first emerges. The butterfly will drip a few drops of red liquid upon emerging; it is not blood, it is called meconium and is the leftover fluid and tissues from the metamorphosis. I tell my students if they hadn't gone to the bathroom for 2 weeks, they'd have to go pretty badly too!||1448|
|16||Ken and I had to take this Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) with us to Florida on a "hurricane Ivan clean-up trip" (Oct. 2004) as a chrysalis because I knew it would emerge before I got back home. It came out of the chrysalis in the container when we got to northern Alabama. We stopped at a rest stop near Gadsen and I released it on some goldenrod flowers. She was lucky, she got a 200-mile head start on her siblings in Oak Ridge! This beautiful little lady will fly to Mexico over the next few months to overwinter in the pine trees in the mountains outside Mexico City. If she makes the journey and survives the winter, in late February she will mate and begin the flight back north. She will lay her eggs in northern Mexico or southern Texas in March. After laying her eggs she will die. Her offspring will then fly on to places farther north about a month later, such as Oak Ridge, and in late April my students will enjoy watching their caterpillars go through their lifecycle! :)||2118|
|17||A group of kindergarteners from my school anxiously await the release of this Monarch butterfly in the Secret Garden. They had raised the butterfly from an egg and followed the lifecycle in their classroom.||1422|
|18||I had just tagged this Monarch butterfly before releasing it with a first grade class at my school. If the butterfly was later found by researchers in Mexico, the tag would identify where it came from.||1171|
|19||The tag on this Monarch's wing weighs very little, it doesn't interfere with the butterfly's flight. Anyone finding a butterfly with a tag should contact the researchers at the address to aid in migration information.||1295|
|20||This female Monarch butterfly had just been released in the "Secret Garden" by a group of students at my school. The females do not have the dots (pheremone cells) on the lower wings that the males have.||1676|
Male Monarch Butterfly
Danaus plexippus / Milkweed Butterfly Family
September 2006 It is easy to determine the gender of a Monarch butterfly, just wait for it to open its wings and then look for the black dot on the vein of the lower wings. This spot is where the male's pheremone is released.
|22||Monarch butterfly wing at 30x||1376|
|23||Monarch butterfly wing at 10x This photo was taken of the wings of a dead butterfly. The wings were closed, the lower half of this photo shows the scales on the outside of the wing and the upper half the brighter scales of the inside wing.||1439|
|24||Monarch butterfly forelegs magnified at 10x Monarch butterflies appear to have only 4 legs, but they really do have 6. This photo, taken with my new digital stereomicroscope, shows the tiny, vestigial forelegs.||1493|
|25||Butterfly wing scales magnified at 60X.||1137|
|26||This butterfly wing was magnified 10 times with an Intel Play digital microscope. The microscope takes low megapixel photos, so the picture quality is not quite up to par. The scales on the wings serve different purposes, they work as "solar collectors" to help warm the butterfly for flight; they give coloration to the butterfly; they help attract a mate. It is a misconception that butterflies can not fly if their wings are touched and the scales come off. The biggest danger is if the wings are damaged from being caught by awkward little hands, then the butterfly can no longer fly. It is best to use an insect net and a wide-mouthed jar for catching butterflies; don't keep them in the jar for long, they may flap around too much and break their wings.||1450|
|27||Butterfly scales magnified at 200X. I wish the little microscope would take higher quality photos, this would be so cool if the lines could be seen on the scales. There is a lot of "noise" (little dots of light) in this photo. Maybe someday I'll have access to a really good digital microscope! Anybody got a spare $1500+? ;)||1198|
Oak Ridge, TN
Oct. 4, 2007
***An Anderson county record butterfly!*** I really wanted to have a photo of this butterfly because it mimics the color and vein pattern of the Monarch. The Viceroy is a bit smaller and has a horizontal stripe across the back wings that the Monarch doesn't have. It is tricky to tell the difference between the two at first glance. This type of mimicry is called "Mullerian mimicry", both of the butterflies are toxic, birds know to avoid them due to their coloration. Host plants for caterpillars include: Aspens, poplars, Willows, Plums, Cherries, and Apples. Formerly known as: Basilarchia archippus
|29||Viceroy Butterfly - closed wings Limenitis archippus - wings closed Oak Ridge, TN Oct. 4, 2007||1390|
|31||This is a close-up of the mouth of a Question Mark Butterfly. Note how the proboscis is in 2 parts. Butterflies and moths have hollow, coiled mouth parts used like a straw to sip liquids. This butterfly was on a picnic table at science camp.||2146|
Mourning Cloak Butterfly
Nymphalis antiopa antiopa
Great Smoky Mountains NP
March 18, 2009
***A Cocke County, TN record butterfly!*** I have long wanted to photograph this elusive butterfly. I spotted it while hiking on the Porter's Creek trail in the Smokies. They are very "flitty" butterflies and they don't stay in one spot long when they land. I was amazed at how well-camouflaged this one was when it landed in the leaves. I glanced down to check on my camera settings for just a second and I couldn't find it again! I had to wait until it flew and landed again, then I snapped pictures as quickly as possible because I knew it wouldn't stay there long. These are one of the first large butterflies to emerge in the spring, so you have to get out early to see them.
Vanessa atalanta I photographed this butterfly at Frozen Head State Park. It looks much different with open wings than it does with them closed (see following photo). The species name sound like an Italian's pronunciation of Georgia's largest city! :) Host plants for caterpillar include: Nettles, false nettles, hops.
|34||Red Admiral butterfly with wings closed||1492|
|35||American Lady Butterfly with closed wings Vanessa virginiensis Oak Ridge, TN May 26, 2007 Note the "eyespots" on the lower wing, these are supposed to frighten away predators. I wish that stray piece of grass had not been in the way! Also, note how the butterfly uses the long proboscis to drink nectar from the clover flower. Host plants for caterpillars include: Thistle, other composites and mallows.||1732|
American Lady Butterfly
This shot is of the butterfly with open wings. I'm not crazy about this photo, maybe I'll see another of these butterflies and I can get a better one! Butterflies are not the easiest insects to photograph!
A Painted Lady caterpillar
I found this caterpillar in early March 2005 while searching for wildflowers at Haw Ridge. It eats nettle leaves.
Tawny Emperor Butterfly
June 13, 2007
***An Anderson County, TN record butterfly!*** This pretty butterfly was fluttering around the Freels Bend Cabin during our science camp. It may have recently emerged from its chrysalis on the nearby Hackberry tree which is its host plant. Side view with closed wings follows.
Tawny Emperor Butterfly wings closed
June 13, 2007 The butterfly found a drop of juice that a camper had spilled, it enjoyed the sweet liquid.
Oak Ridge, TNSept. 26, 2007 This pretty butterfly was visiting the flowers in the garden outside my room at school. In the fall the Passionflower vines are covered in the caterpillars of these butterflies.
Sept. 1, 2007 This Gulf Fritillary Butterfly is laying her egg on a tendril of a Passionflower vine. The caterpillar will probably have a better chance for survival than those laid on leaves (such as the blurry one on the leaf in the background). The Passionflower vine has extrafloral nectaries that attract ants, the ants will also eat any insect eggs they encounter. The butterflies have learned to thwart this strategy by laying most of their eggs on the tendrils, far away from the nectaries! By the time the caterpillars are big enough to start eating the leaves, they are too big to be bothered by the ants. How cool is that?!
|42||An Ant drinking from a Passion Flower bud nectar. Believe me, this was not an easy shot!||1143|
|43||I got this photo of a Gulf Fritillary egg right after the butterfly laid it on the tendril of a Passionflower vine. Note the detail of the pattern in the shell.||927|
|44||Gulf Fritilary Caterpillar I spotted this Gulf Fritilary Caterpillar just moments after it had shed its skin. Notice how the spikes are yellow, they have not yet turned black. The caterpillar will eat its discarded skin later. I know it sounds gross, but the skin contains needed protein.||1077|
|45||This Caterpillar is eating its shed skin!||1151|
|46||This Gulf Fritillary caterpillar (Agraulis vanillae) is munching a passionflower leaf, its' only food source. The scary-looking black spines are soft and not dangerous. Some caterpillars have sharp spines and can sting. It is fascinating how plants and insects battle one another with "one-up-manship". The Passionflower has small extrafloral nectaries (nectar producing bumps) on the leaf axils (bases) which attract ants. The plant "wants" to attract the ants because they eat the eggs and small caterpillars. The butterflies try to outsmart the plants by laying their eggs at the tips of the tendrils, far from the ants. Pretty cool, huh?! I just love nature! :)||3437|
|47||Gulf Fritillary caterpillar' shedding its skin This Gulf Fritillary caterpillar's skin has begun to split; in a few hours it will become a chrysalis. It is hanging on the outside of the back door of my classroom. The caterpillar had eaten the Passionflower leaves in the school's "Secret Garden."||2096|
|48||This Gulf Fritillary chrysalis was one of four that I found on the building just outside my room at school. The butterfly will emerge in about 2 weeks. The chrysalis is well camouflaged. ***They must not have been as well camouflaged as I thought, the day after I took this picture the 4 chrysalises were gone! My guess is that a bird must have found them and chowed down!||1612|
Great Spangled Fritillary (male)
Speyeria cybele This beautiful butterfly was found in the cedar barrens area in Oak Ridge. Host plant for caterpillars: Violets
|50||Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly with wings closed||1316|
|51||No, this is not a cross-eyed Conehead alien creature! It is a close-up look at a Fritillary Butterfly seen looking down on it as it hung on a plant. The "cone" on the head is the closed wings.||1341|
Epargyreus clarus / True Skipper Family Notice the long proboscis ("tongue") of this skipper as it drinks nectar from the individual flowers of the Ironweed. Skippers have bent ends on their antennae, butterflies have knobbed antennae. Once during one of my insect programs my students found skippers and small flies called "midges," as I named them to the kids one of the mothers laughed and asked, "Do you have Barbies too?" :) Host plants for caterpillars: Sennas
Little Glassywing Skipper
Great Smoky Mountains NP
Sept. 16, 2007 Host plants for caterpillars: Desert bunchgrass
Wild Indigo Duskywing
Great Smoky Mountains NP
Sept. 16, 2007
***Record Butterfly for Sevier County, TN*** Host plants for caterpillars: Wild indigo and Crown Vetch
Atalopedes campestris I photographed this skipper on a butterfly bush at Willow Brook School.
Spring Azure Butterfly
Spring City, TN
May 30, 2008 These little blue butterflies look similar to the Tailed Blues and Hairstreaks, but they don't have the orange false eyespots on the hind wings. These butterflies are commonly seen puddling in large numbers. The host plants for the caterpillars of these butterflies include: Black Snakeroot, Dogwood (which this one is on), Blueberries, Meadowsweet, and Viburnum.
Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly
Everes comyntas comyntas
Great Smoky Mountains NP
Sept. 16, 2007 This is a very common little blue butterfly in Tennessee. (Sorry about the badly placed shadow!) Host plants for caterpillars: Clovers, Bush Clover, Wild Pea, beans, and Tick Trefoil
Eastern Tailed Blue Butterfly
Great Smoky Mountains NP
Sept. 16, 2007 These are very common butterflies in east TN. The tiny "tails" are used for confusing predators.
Red-banded Hairstreak Butterfly
Oak Ridge, TN
Sept. 28, 2007 This is an easy butterfly to identify because of the bright red markings on the outsides of the wings.
Red-spotted Purple Butterfly; Red-spotted Admiral
Limenitis arthemis astyanax There are no red spots on the upper side of the wings and the butterfly has no purple on it. This is a common butterfly in Tennessee.
|61||Red-spotted Purple Butterfly; Red-spotted Admiral side view Limenitis arthemis astyanax||2062|
August 6, 2008 I spotted this Swallowtail butterfly laying her eggs on a lemon tree in my parents' neighborhood in Florida. I was surprised she deposited them on top of the leaf instead of underneath where they are better protected. See egg in next photo.
|63||Giant Swallowtail egg||1016|
Tiger Swallowtail butterfly
Pterourus glaucus glaucus I photographed this male Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on a Coneflower in one of the butterfly gardens at Frozen Head State Park. He is drinking nectar from one of the disk flowers. This is the "logo" photo for my Buds and Bugs Photos.
|65||A Light phase Female Tiger Swallowtail on Coneflower. Dark phase females are mostly black.||1564|
|66||These Tiger Swallowtail (Pterourus glaucus) and the Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies were seen "puddling" at a parking area in the Smokies. Large groups of male butterflies congregate at spots where animals (horses, in this case) have defecated or urinated. The male butterflies obtain salts and other minerals from droppings and urine, they pass them on to the females during mating.||1720|
May 27, 2007 These butterflies are going to be starting a new generation soon! :) The mated female will lay her eggs on the leaves of a Spicebush or sassafras tree. These butterflies look a lot like the Pipevine Swallowtail.
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly
Pterourus troilus This butterfly is a bit on the ragged side, but at least it shows the difference between it and the Pipevine Swallowtail. I photographed it at Haw Ridge in 2006.
|69||Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar These caterpillars often hide in rolled up Spicebush leaves during the day. The large black and yellow spots on the thorax are used to frighten predators, such as birds. These caterpillars turn orange just before becoming a pupa.||2967|
|70||A funny-faced Spicebush Caterpillar||1456|
Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly
April 22, 2006
These beautiful butterflies lay their eggs on the large, heart-shaped Dutchman's Pipe vine leaves. The caterpillars are black with reddish-orange spikes. See the following photo to see the butterfly with its' wings closed, it looks very different.
|72||These 3 Pipevine Swallowtails were on Turks Cap Lilies. This photo was my first magazine cover shot, it was used on the Tennessee Conservationist.||1353|
Battus philenor Butterfly and moth wings are covered with thousands of tiny scales. The irridescent blue color comes from the refraction of light from microscopic lines on the scales of the wings.
|74||Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly with wings closed||1509|
|75||This was an injured Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar that we found on the ground at Piney River. As their name implies, these caterpillars eat the leaves of the Dutchman's Pipevine.||2329|
Black Swallowtail Butterfly
I found this butterfly high in the mountains in the Smokies. I was surprised it was able to fly because one of its lower wings was broken. The caterpillars of these butterflies eat parsley.
Max Patch, NC
August 10, 2008 I found this butterfly sipping nectar from flowers in a meadow at Max Patch. The caterpillars of these butterflies eat parsley.
|78||This Black Swallowtail Caterpillar was found on a Filmy Angelica leaf near Clingmans Dome.||1304|
|79||Anise Swallowtail Caterpillar||1366|
Oak Ridge, TN
June 2, 2008 This beautiful Zebra Swallowtail butterfly decided to visit us during Science Camp. It found the a couple of the boys' shoes to be irresistible (probably the sweat!). At least a shoe is not as unpleasant as dog poop, like some of my other photos were taken on! Of course, I quickly said, "Don't move, I need a picture of this butterfly for my website!" The boy took his shoe off to make it easier for me to take the photo. The kids were excited too because this is Tennessee's State Butterfly.
|81||Zebra Swallowtail Eurytides marcellus This is a side view of the butterfly (on another boy's shoe!). Note the red scales on the lower wings.||1249|
|82||This Zebra Swallowtail eluded me as we hiked at Haw Ridge in mid-April 2009. I was able to snap this shot before it took off again.||995|
Oak Ridge, TN
May 5, 2006
***An Anderson county record butterfly!*** This butterfly was "puddling" (drinking liquids) on the site of a dead skunk! My friend Debbie and I found the skunk remains while hiking at Haw Ridge. There was fur along the side of the trail but the carcass was gone. Fortunately, the smell was not too bad. This butterfly hardly moved when I got in close to get its photograph, it must have really liked what it was drinking! :( I like the fuzzy orange "face" and the checkerboard compound eyes!
|84||I was glad I found this Baltimore-checkerspot Butterfly on a flower instead of a dead skunk! I found it in one of the powerline cuts at Haw Ridge. The following photo shows it with its wings open.||1404|
|85||There were lots of these Baltimore-checkerspot Butterflies on the Fleabane at Haw Ridge.||1377|
|86||Baltimore Checkerspot Caterpillar Frozen Head State Park May 5, 2008 The bright coloration and spikes on this caterpillar make me suspect that it is probably unpalatable to birds and other predators.||1458|
August 27, 2007 Next to the Monarch, this is my second-favorite butterfly. It had eluded me for a long time, this species is not very tolerant of people with cameras! I was in the garden at my school when it caught my eye. I had my little pocket camera, so I had to get within a couple of feet away. Every time I would get the camera focused in the LCD viewfinder, the butterfly would take off! I would follow it until it landed on a flower then repeat the process. Finally, after about 20 minutes, I got this shot! Fortunately, it was after the students had left, they might have thought I was crazy wandering around the garden after a butterfly! :) The Buckeye has lovely false eyespots used for frightening away predators. The following photo is a view with the wings closed.
|88||The Buckeye Butterfly with its wings closed. The outside of the wings have small eyespots too.||1161|
|89||Buckeye Butterfly Caterpillar May 30, 2008||1703|
Little Wood Satyr Butterfly
Oak Ridge, TN
June 14, 2008
|91||Little Wood Satyr Butterfly with closed wings||1072|
Northern Pearly-eye Butterfly
Enodia anthedon This must be a fairly "old" butterfly (relatively speaking!) because of faded pattern on the wings.
Common Wood Nymph Butterfly
Oak Ridge, TN
August 17, 2008
***An Anderson county record butterfly!*** This is a really crummy picture because this butterfly would not cooperate!
Asterocampa celtis / Brushfooted butterfly family
July 30, 2007 This butterfly became a close companion to my friend Diana's daughter, Sara, while we hiked at Ijams. Actually "friendship" had nothing to do with it, the butterfly was attracted to her cocoa-scented sunscreen! Butterflies often land on people to drink their sweat in order to get salt and minerals they need.
|95||Hackberry Butterfly with wings closed Asterocampa celtis / Brushfooted butterfly family Ijams Nature Center July 30, 2007||1149|
|96||Sarah with her new hiking buddy, a Hackberry Butterfly!||1191|
|97||Question Mark and Northern Pearly Eye Butterflies feeding on dog poop||1326|
|98||The Comma Butterfly gets its name from the small white comma-shaped mark on the closed wings. These butterflies are well camouflaged, the wings look like dead leaves. Another of these "anglewing" butterflies is called the "Question Mark" butterfly. (See next photo)||1924|
|99||Eastern Comma Butterfly Polygonia comma Great Smoky Mountains National Park - North Carolina side October 8, 2009 These are very difficult butterflies to photograph, they don't stay in one place long enough to get the camera in focus! These butterflies could easily be confused with the closely-related Question Mark. The following photo shows the white "comma" mark on the underside of the lower wings.||1281|
|100||Eastern Comma Butterfly - note the little white "comma" mark on the underside of the lower wing.||1063|
Question Mark Butterfly - with closed wings
Polygonia interrogationis / Brush-footed butterfly Family
May 22, 2007 Note the small white "?" on the hindwing of this butterfly. Question Marks are in the Brush-footed butterfly family, these butterflies have only 4 legs visible, the front 2 are vestigial and not used for walking. I found this one at the University of Tennessee Arboretum on dog poop. These butterflies are well camouflaged with their wings closed, but very bright with them open. (See next photo)
|102||Question Mark Butterfly with closed wings||1106|
|103||Question Mark Butterfly||2241|
Question Mark Butterfly - with open wings
May 22, 2007 These butterflies have a slightly different coloration in the summer broods than the fall broods. The summer ones have a light rim around the wing edges.
Oak Ridge, TN
***An Anderson County, TN record butterfly!*** These butterflies are very humorous-looking; they are the "Jimmy Durantes" of the lepidoptera order!
Orange Sulphur Butterfly "Alfalfa Butterfly"
Colias eurytheme I got a kick out of this butterfly as it appeared to peek through the Blazing Star flowers.
|107||Sulphur Butterfly on Cardinal Flower at Frozen Head State Park.||1469|
Cabbage White Butterfly
Artogeia rapae* I photographed this pretty little butterfly in the garden at my school. This butterfly would have started out life as a caterpillar eating cabbage, broccoli, or other plants in the Mustard family. These non-natives can be a pest in the garden.
Oak Ridge, TN
Sept. 7, 2007
Colias eurytheme / Lepidoptera
Oak Ridge, TN
May 31, 2008 This pair was "courting" on a clover plant. The male is the brighter colored butterfly on the left. The female has the end of her abdomen raised as an invitation to mate.
Virgin Falls State Natural Area
Falcate Orange-tip Butterfly
(House Mountain SNA) - Knox Co.
April 10, 2010 After chasing these butterflies for 2 days, I finally managed to get this shot. It is not great, but it beats not having any photo at all! The males are easy to distinguish due to the bright orange tips on the wings, the females do not have these marks. The caterpillars of this butterfly feed on plants of the Mustard Family.
West Virginia White Butterfly
Frozen Head State Park - Morgan Co.
May 4, 2010
|114||Pepper and Salt Skipper Amblyscirtes hegon Frozen Head State Park - Morgan Co. May 4, 2010||1246|
|115||Zabulon Skipper - male Poanes zabulon Frozen Head State Park - Morgan Co. May 4, 2010 Thanks to the folks at BAMONA for helping me ID this skipper!||1516|