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Posts Tagged ‘Megisto cymela’

I was thrilled on Monday to see lots of butterflies as I was exploring Occoquan Regional Park. Many of them were small skippers that skittishly flew away whenever I approached them. Only a few were large and colorful, like the Red-spotted Purple butterfly (Limenitis arthemis) in the first photo. When it first landed on the plant, its wings were closed, but I waited and eventually the butterfly opened its wings. The damage to one of those wings this early in the season really emphasizes the fragility of these beautiful little creatures.

I also saw some brown woodland butterflies and I chased after several of them. I was out of breath but finally managed to catch up to one. Identification of this type of butterfly is always problematic, because there are quite a few similarly-colored species that vary only in the number and placement of the the eyespots. I think that the butterfly in the second shot is a Little Wood Satyr butterfly (Megisto cymela). I contemplated cropping closer, but decided I liked the little plant on the right side of the image and kept it. With this framing, I am able to create the illusion that the butterfly is staring at the plant.

Red-spotted Purple

Little Wood Satyr

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I have been seeing little brown butterflies (or moths) flitting about in the woods recently, but have not gotten a good look at any of them, so I was thrilled when a Little Wood Satyr butterfly (Megisto cymela) landed on a nearby leaf this past Monday and remained long enough for me to get some shots.

I am not a hundred percent certain of my identification, because there are a lot of similar butterflies and the distinctions seem pretty subtle to me at the moment. Please let me know if you can identify this little butterfly with greater precision.

This is another photo in which I took the time to use my tripod and to focus carefully, shooting at a focal length just short of 400mm. The focus is a little soft, particularly for the leaf, but I think that it helps to give the image a kind of dreamy feel, though it’s a little early for a midsummer night’s dream.

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Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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