Saturday, April 24, 2010

Florida: butterflies and dragonflies

Taking a break from birds for a moment.

Our trip was all birding and in order to stay on schedule it was fast-paced. My kind of birding. So, I had relatively little to no time to stop for butterflies that I saw. Fortunately, I could identify some on the wing and others I got a good enough look to identify from the field guide. This said, I also did not see all that many butterflies, or at least not as many as I thought I would, and this surprised me.

Dragonflies were everywhere, but again, because I was rushed, I could not photograph them. With my camera I can't just rush up to either a butterfly or dragonfly and expect them to sit still for a photo. This was my main problem - no time to be gentle about my approach.

Still I got the following three photographs.

This spectacular Ruddy Daggerwing (Marpesia petreus) at Loxahatchee NWR was the only one I saw all week.

This worn Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) was along the gulf side of Long Key State Park. My only other experience with this butterfly was in San Antonio, Texas where I could only photograph the more spectacular underside. A link to that photo is here. Scroll to the middle of that blog entry.

This spectacular dragonfly seems to be a good candidate for a Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina), but I have learned from my friend and dragonfly expert, Julie Craves, that one cannot always identify dragonflies from a photo.

In addition to the two above, my [short] list of butterflies is as follows:

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)
Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
Palamedes Swallowtail (Papilio palomedes)
Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)
Mangrove Skipper (Phocides pigmalion)
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Mangrove Buckeye (Junonia evarete)
Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
Zebra Heliconian (Heliconius charithonia)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Unidentified yellow
Unidentified blue
Unidentified white
Unidentified duskywing

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