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Posts Tagged ‘Satyrodes appalachia’

Most of the butterflies that I have photographed this season have been in sunny fields, where they are attracted to wildflowers or other blooming vegetation. Last week while photowalking in Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge, I was thrilled to spot a butterfly that prefers a marshy woodland and captured this image of an Appalachian Brown butterfly (Satyrodes appalachia).

The colors of this butterfly species are quite subdued, when compared with those of a Monarch or an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, but I love the beautiful brown-on-brown patterns on the wings and the distinctive-looking series of eye spots. There are several similar butterflies with slightly different arrangements of eyespots. I am relatively confident that this one is an Appalachian Brown butterfly, but there is a chance that it is an Eyed Brown butterfly (Satyrodes eurydice).

As always, I defer to those with greater expertise in identification—I have been humbled multiple times when I have confidently made an identification and have been absolutely wrong.

Appalachian Brown

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I spotted this beautiful little butterfly while wandering through the woods at Huntley Meadows Park this morning. I think it might be an Appalachian Brown (Satyrodes appalachia), although there are a surprisingly large number of brown butterflies with eyespots, which complicates identification.

The woods were pretty dark in the area in which I first spotted the butterfly. However, luck was with me and the butterfly landed on a log that was in the sunlight. I tried to get as low as I could to get this shot, which is why you see the green moss in the foreground.

Update: One of my Facebook readers pointed out that this is probably a Northern Pearly-eye (Enodia anthedon), not an Appalachian Brown. My butterfly identification definitely need some more work.

Appalachian Brown

 

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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When I am chasing after little butterflies, it’s rare that I manage to get a shot of them with their wings open—I am lucky if I can get a side view.

This little brown butterfly, which I think is an Appalachian Brown (Satyrodes appalachia), perched in a location, however, which allowed me to shoot downward, catching its wings wide open. The muddy, brown water of the marsh normally would not be optimal for an image, but seem to work well here, almost matching the colors of the butterfly.

I also was able to get a shot from the side, the second image, showing the butterfly’s beautiful brown eyes. There was intermittent rain the day that I was shooting and you can see a few raindrops on the leaves of the plant on which the butterfly is perched.

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© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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