Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Orange-Tip 橙尖粉蝶 Anthocaris Sara (Family Pieridae, Whites and Sulpurs)

The meadows are lushly green; dew sparkles on the leaflets; the air is pleasantly warm and delightful; then, almost magically it seems, the carpets of new-born buttercups by the creeks come alive with the bright flashing of Orange-Tip wings. It is the spring brood of the Orange-Tip come with the first wave of real warmth to gladden the land with new beauty. The sharply-marked orange and black of the upper corners of the fore-wings, contrasting to abruptly with the white of the rest of the wings instantly mark this butterfly from all others save the rare Felder’s Orange-Tip, (A. ce-thura), which, however has much less black. Note also the soft leaf-like appearance of the under-wing markings. A rare from has the wings suffused with yellow. In the east the Falcate Orange Tip (Anthocaris genutia) with a hooked wing tip, is found in woods.

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Nature: Butterflies and Moths

The Anise Swallowtail 八角燕尾蝶 Papilio Zelicaon (Family Papilionidae, Swallowtails)

This compact and sharply-painted small swallowtail is one of summer’s brightest and commonest sprites through western lowlands and foothills. Note the blunt, comparatively short wings, and the clearly defined markings. The similar Bruce’s Swallowtail (Papilio brucei Edw.) has more blue in the wings and is found mainly in the mountains. The similar Oregon Swallowtail (Papilio oregonia Edw.) does not have the wings bordered so widely with black. The design of the yellow spots is very distinctive when studied closely.

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Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Guatemala Butterfly 危地马拉蝴蝶 One of the Numerous Species (Family Nymphalidae, Brush-footed Butterflies)

The brilliant red and purple color of this butterfly is typical of many tropical butterflies. These lovely creatures drift through the jungles and savannahs of Central and South America like great flying flowers, adding a fairy-like quality to the tropics not found in the colder north. At dung and mud puddles along the roadways you see these butterflies gathering in dozens and even hundreds, risking up in rainbow clouds when you approach.

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Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Lorquin’s Admiral 洛金的蝴蝶上将 Limenitis Torquini (Family Nymphalidae, Brush- footed Butterflies)

In the west this lovely butterfly flies in the woods and brush along streams, circling lazily in the sun or dropping down to luxuriously stretch its wings upon a leaf. Try to catch it, however, and it flies off with great speed, dipping up and down in flight or even flinging itself skyward in a great leap that may take it out-of-sight. Often the orange tips of the wings flash in the sunlight in a way that must be confusing to a bird trying to catch the butterfly, for the movement of the wings causes this flashing of color to appear and then disappear.

Continue reading “Lorquin’s Admiral 洛金的蝴蝶上将 Limenitis Torquini (Family Nymphalidae, Brush- footed Butterflies)”

Nature: Butterflies and Moths

Long-Tailed Skipper / 长尾弄蝶 (Family Hesperiidae, Skippers)

Up and over, down and up, now you see it an now you don’t, so flashes the Long-tailed Skipper, in an out of the bushes and flowers. But suddenly you see it lighting on a beautiful flower like a thirsty boy or girl lighting on an ice-cream soda. Its whole body quivers with ecstacy as the long tongue sips up the nectar. Now you can catch it while it is so forgetful, though that would be really not sporting!

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