Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Common Wood Nymph butterfly’

Is today the first day of a new season? It depends. If you use the meteorological calendar, today is the first day of autumn (or spring if you live in the Southern Hemisphere). If you use the astronomical calendar, however, you have to wait until the equinox on 22 September for summer (or winter) to end.

No matter how you calculate the seasons, we are already starting to see signs of transition. The weather is marginally cooler and some vegetation is dying off. It won’t be long before the leaves on the trees begin to change colors or, as is often the case, simply fall from the trees.

Many of the dragonflies and butterflies that I see are showing signs of wear and tear, with scratches on their bodies and tattered wings. While exploring Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge last week, I spotted several butterflies with somewhat unusual damage to their wings. The wings of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) in the first photo seem to be in almost pristine condition, except for the fact that one of the tails and a portion of the wing is gone. What could have caused that kind of damage?

The Common Wood Nymph (Cercyonis pegala) in the second image had similar damage, but it appears that the damage affected both of its wings. I can’t help but notice the straight lines and almost right angles of the edges of the missing wing sections of both of these butterflies. Could a bird have caused that damage? It is a bit of a mystery to me and I would welcome any insights that you might have about the cause of the injuries to these butterflies, which nonetheless seemed flying capable of flying.

Happy change of seasons—fall or spring, as applicable—if you live a place that uses the meteorological calendar.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Common Wood-Nymph

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

Read Full Post »

Yesterday I spotted this Common Wood Nymph butterfly (Cercyonis pegala) at the edge of a wooded area as I was exploring Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Although the colors of this butterfly are somewhat muted, I really like the distinctive yellow patch that makes it easy to identify.

When I first saw the butterfly, it was on the ground and initially I was disappointed when it flew up into a tree. Fortunately, it perched on a leaf that was at eye level and I was happy to be able to capture this image.

Common Wood Nymph

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

The combination of springtime rain and summertime heat in our area has caused a real explosion of insects. Some of them, like deer flies and mosquitoes, mercilessly harass me when I go out with my camera, but a lot of them are amazingly beautiful, like this spectacular Common Wood Nymph butterfly (Cercyonis pegala) that I spotted this past weekend at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Many woodland butterflies are rather drab in appearance and it is hard for me to identify their species. With the Common Wood Nymph, though, the yellow patch on the wings makes them almost instantly recognizable.

Common Wood Nymph

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

Read Full Post »

One of the little woodland butterflies that I see only rarely is the Common Wood Nymph (Cercyonis pegala). I was therefore pretty excited when I spotted this beauty on Friday while it was perched on a tree at Huntley Meadows Park. The yellow patch is so distinctive that it was pretty easy for me to identify this one, unlike so many other woodland butterflies that are mostly brown with different patterns and colors of eye spots on their wings.

Common Wood Nymph

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »