Saturday, July 2, 2011

Butterfly of the Month/July

Butterflies seem to be present in very low numbers right now. I went out a little while ago searching for a butterfly of the month subject and had little success. There were a couple of sulfurs rapidly flying around; they presented no photography opportunities. I saw one cabbage white and no swallowtails of any kind. The only species present today in any significant numbers was the familiar Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) and you had to look for them.
The Silver-spotted Skipper is our largest skipper. It is common throughout North America; from Florida to California north to British Columbia and east to Quebec.
This species is found wherever black locust is present. It may be found in any open area throughout the High Virginia's. The adult butterfly feeds on a wide variety of summer flowers. The larvae host plants include many members of the legume family. The first brood of butterflies emerge in May and June. The second large brood begins flying in July and has the largest number of butterflies. The final partial brood emerges in August. Therefore the Silver-spotted Skipper should be easy to find throughout the Summer (even the Summer of 2011).
The Butterflies Of West Virginia and their Caterpillars (Pitt Series in Nature and Natural History)

Photography by High Virginia Images

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