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Posts Tagged ‘Question Mark butterfly’

viceroy

Viceroy (Limenitis archippus)

When I’m walking or working in the garden, I always keep my camera close at hand, because you never know who you might see. The garden plays host to an awesome assortment of creatures. Many garden inhabitants live hidden lives and remain invisible, their presence undetected by we mere humans. Others are more amenable to photography, or at least are engrossed in their own activities and pay no heed to the photographer.

No pesticides of any sort, toxic or organic, are used in my garden. Life is too precious. Plants that don’t thrive in this ecosystem are replaced with more tolerant species. Here is a selection of photographs of garden life. It is by no means all-inclusive. Some visitors are heard, but not seen, so the closing entry is a short recording of a black-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus erythropthalmus), ho-ho-hoing softly from shrubbery.

question

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)

white admiral

White Admiral (Limenitis arthemis)

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redadmiral

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

swallowtail

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis)

twobutterflies

Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus)

wood

Common Wood-Nymph (Cercyonis pegala)

butterfly

Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

skipper

Skipper sp.

frog

Green Frog (Rana clamitans melanota)

toad

American Toad (Bufo americanus)

snapper

Baby Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

snake

Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis)

dragonfly

Dragonfly, Meadowhawk sp.

moth2

Virginia Ctenucha moth (Ctenucha virginica)

spider

Yellow Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) with prey

mountain ash sawfly larvae

Mountain Ash Sawfly larvae (Pristiphora geniculata)

bee

Bumblebee (Bombus sp)

mayfly

Mayfly (order Ephemeroptera)

moth

Hummingbird Clearwing Hawkmoth (Hemaris thysbe)

squirrel

Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus)

hummer

Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris ) female

cedar

Cedar Waxwing pair (Bombycilla cedrorum)

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but

When I wrote my last post, Then and Now, I wanted a photograph of a Question Mark butterfly to compare its marking to those of the Eastern Comma. I haven’t noticed any Question Marks this year, and had to dig into the archives to come up with a photo of a Question Mark.

That same afternoon, as I walked through the garden, I encountered … you guessed it… a Question Mark! Not just any Question Mark, either, but a real beauty! Many of the butterflies you encounter in the garden look battle weary, with tattered wings. Some have V-shaped snips missing from their wings, the sign of a close encounter with a hungry bird. This Question Mark was perfect, with a gorgeous silver edging outlining its shining russet wings.

Question Marks (Polygonia interrogationis) have a darker summer form and a lighter, more orangey winter form. This butterfly is a wonderful example of the latter. The underwing is also lighter. You can see the difference if you compare the photograph below to that of the Question Mark pictured in ‘Then and Now’.

Question Marks have two broods in a season. Second-brood adults such as this butterfly hibernate and fly again in the spring. Some Question Marks migrate to warmer regions to overwinter.

but2

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