Butterfly Sightings Today

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Today was an interesting time for seeing a variety of butterflies in my garden.  Checking twice for a few minutes each time yielded some firsts for me, novice that I am. Nothing I saw is rare or unexpected for this county at this time of year, but it was exciting nonetheless to see so many different things here in one day.

11:17-11:25 am
Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) First of year (saw one last year August 15, 2019)
Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus) First life sighting
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

12:33-12:48 pm
Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) 3 yellow and 3 dark morphs (6 total).
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) (same individual as earlier judging by the missing tail)
American Snout (Libytheana carinenta) First life sighting
Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) (spotted one earlier session but couldn’t get photo)
Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

[Addendum: Later in the afternoon around 3:30 pm I saw a Black Swallowtail on zinnias in front yard, but had no camera handy.]

I spent most of the first session watching this beautiful creature with its gorgeous blue. It checked out verbena bonariensis briefly but once it found the lantana nearby it was content to stay put.

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Just as the swallowtail drifted to the back side out of view, this amazing skipper landed beside me.  The tail of the long-tailed skipper definitely stood out as did the blue coloration. I had about 5 seconds to enjoy it before it flew off.

Long-tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus)

While eating lunch I had seen a white butterfly flash by so I stepped back into the garden with the camera for session 2, but of course it was not in sight. I checked out the butterfly bush where six Eastern Tiger Swallowtails were hanging out.

A Silver-spotted Skipper landed out of nowhere. I have seen several this week. A quick photo shoot sent it off elsewhere, so I went back to the E. T. Swallowtails.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

A Monarch landed on nearby Rudbeckia laciniata (Green-Headed Coneflower) and posed.

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Moving to the southern border where the lantana is I spotted (probably the same) Pipevine Swallowtail again.

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)

Across the garden I noticed action in the northern border. In the iris bed feeding on salvia is where I saw my first ever American Snout (Libytheana carinenta).  I was not sure what it was but “snout” came to mind!

American Snout (Libytheana carinenta)

Taking one more glance around I spotted a Common Buckeye. I had seen one earlier but could not get a photo.  Perhaps it was the same one, no way to know. Lovely and distinctive markings make it fun to see.

Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)

The white butterfly reappeared. It was a Cabbage White.

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)

 

19 thoughts on “Butterfly Sightings Today

  1. lammjane

    Absolutely beautiful and I had never seen the blue one. Wonderful photos. I can understand them visiting your garden! Thanks for sharing — a bright spot in the day. Jane

    >

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Oh thanks Jane! What is it about blue? Other butterflies are nice but I see that blue and I am smitten. Hope you’re okay and making the best of our weird times.

      Reply
  2. krispeterson100

    Your garden is a butterfly magnet, Susie! I’ve never seen a Pipevine Swallowtail – it’s beautiful. I also love the common buckeye, a butterfly I’ve never seen here. Right now, the most common butterflies in my own garden are cloudless sulphur butterflies, not that I’ve caught any photos of them..

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Kris, seeing so many butterflies today reminded me of when we visited the butterfly house at Brookside Garden during Fling. It would be a treat to have any one or two at at time, so this was special. I’ve seen one cloudless this summer–the sulphurs are too quick!

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thanks Pauline. Hope to add more butterfly-loving plants next year. I’ve never carefully chosen plants for pollinators—just lucked out with a few.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Thank you Malc. It is interesting to notice how different insects and birds around the world. I ususally see 1 or 2 Common Buckeyes each year but I’ve surpassed that this year. Maybe I just never was paying attention before.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      It is a good butterfly year. I see lists that professionals and enthusiasts publish and their daily sightings are beyond what I’ve seen in my life, but I’m happy to note the ones that come around.

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      It feels like serendipity whether or not butterflies visit. Today I saw only 2 Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, by far the most common one in my garden. But it was a big treat to see the Pipevine’s lovely rich blue!

      Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Maybe. I compared but am sticking with cabbage white. INaturalist suggested it and one person agreed (it can still be wrong of course)). The black dots look right though.

      Reply

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