Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 2011 Butterfly Monitoring

November 2011 Butterfly Monitoring
Transect A - From the Environmental Education Center to the Trailhead

More birds than ever on the dock - pelicans, gulls and cormorants.  
Tall grasses were plentiful along the edge of the marsh.  Also goldenrod and salt wort. 

We spotted a Tropical Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus oileus) basking.  We had previously seen one in June, but more often we see the Common Checkered Skipper.
Tropical Checkered Skipper
Common Checkered Skipper

There were Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) near shade trees and burned wood and dry grasses,  as well as two Common Buckeye  (Junonia coenia).  
Gulf Fritillary Wings Open

Gulf Fritillary Wings Closed

A Ceraunus Blue (Hemiargus ceraunus) was opening and closing its wings, very blue/purple with open wings. They have low and erratic flight patterns. 
Ceraunus Blue

Frog fruit (Phyla nodiflorawas) also known as Carpetweed, was blooming with lots of runners and Phaon Crescent (Phyciodes phaonbutterflies fluttering about, and resting with wings opening and closing as they rested. 

Good biodiversity today, with an American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) and two Monarchs, of the Brush-foot family (Nymphalidae),  a Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleusand) a Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus)

American Lady Wings Open

American Lady Wings Closed
Fiery Skipper

Long-tailed skipper

The male Monarch Butterfly may be easily distinguished from the female by noting the two highly visable black spots on the insect's hind wings and the thinner black webbing within the wings. The female's webbing is thicker and she has no identifying wing spot as the male does.
Female Monarch

Male Monarch