Bug of the Week: Butterfly Census

With the increased moth activity mentioned last week, there also has been a surge in butterfly activity after the recent rains. In my neighborhood here near Phoenix,  we have seen representatives of almost every butterfly family.

Swallowtails

Because it is missing its hind wing, this one is hard to identify, but I believe it is a pipevine swallowtail.

Whites and Sulphurs

Sulphurs are really easy to spot right now.

We have several fluttering in our yard at any one time, given away by their bright yellow wings.

 

Orange sulphurs aka alfalfa butterflies are particularly common. Some of the females are quite pale.  Right now often seen flitting across six lanes of traffic.

The tiny dainty sulphurs are so cute. This one is visiting a desert marigold.

Hairstreaks, Blues and Coppers

This tiny blue is also adorable. It posed while taking a snack from a milkweed flower.

Hairstreaks grab your attention by wriggling those antennae-like structures on their hind wings. The milkweed flowers are popular places to drink nectar.

 

Brushfooted Butterflies

We saw a few American snout butterflies, but not as many as in the past (previous post).

 

The queens are back.

They have laid eggs for the  next generation on the rush milkweed.

 

Skippers

Last, but not least, the skippers with their uniquely folded wings.

The only family of butterflies not currently represented are the metalmarks.

What butterflies have you found in your neighborhood this month?

2 Comments

  1. Cynthia Argentine

    Fantastic photos, Roberta! It’s fun to see the variety.

  2. Roberta

    Thank you Cynthia. It is lovely to see after last year when it was hard to find any at all.

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