Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring butterflies

Oh, my, you should see the butterflies right now! It seems like we're hosting more black-colored swallowtails than usual. BUT... are they black, pipevine or spicebush swallowtails? So I took a photo...

From the markings, I'd say they are pipevine swallowtails (Battus philenor). Spicebush swallowtails (Papilio troilus) have two rows of orange dots. PLEASE correct me if you disagree. Those three species are hard to tell apart! And this photo isn't very clear either.

Here are some links that help solve the identification problem: 
   * "Spicebush swallowtail and pipevine swallowtail butteflies"
   * "Spicebush or black swallowtail? An underwing guide

I found this GREAT tool: Massachusetts Butterfly Club side-by-side comparison.
A lone buckeye!

A battered Gulf fritillary

Lots of cloudless sulphurs

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