Tag Archive: America

Made in USA – Caution!


Knowing how many American folk read this blog, I’d better not make any smart remarks. But I’m tempted!

Found this label on our swivelling armchair. Classic.


American Butterflies update

UPDATE 25-Dec-2011: I recently sent my Common Checkered Skipper aberration -slash- Two-banded Checkered Skipper photo to BAMONA (Butterflies And Moths Of North America) and they verified it as the Common Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus communis). The other species update I previously posted here was the Spicebush Swallowtail, from a bad photo. I’ll keep this as a shaky sighting!

          America: 13

American Butterflies

(UPDATED 23 Aug 11, 25 Dec 11)

It’s about time I fulfilled my promise to write about American Butterflies. I saw 14 species on a family trip to Manassas, Virginia for a Bible conference last April, got some decent photos, and have finally got the time (and the motivation) to put them online.

The most common butterfly? No surprises: the Cabbage White, or as we know it, the Small White. This rather tatty individual was one of the few that let me get close enough.

23APR11 Cabbage (Small) White

The Sulphurs were very common too – probably a mix of Orange and Clouded Sulphurs but the Orange (with an orange flush on the upperwings, concealed at rest) were the only ones I could positively identify. This one was on Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park.

20APR11 Orange Sulphur

I was delighted to find my first-ever skippers in the grounds of the Four Points Hotel where we stayed in Manassas. They were most likely Juvenal’s Duskywings but Horace’s may have been there as well. JDs have a grey sheen on the wings, HDs don’t. I saw this one on a woodland road somewhere in Prince William County. (We got lost.)

21APR11 Juvernal's Duskywing

The American Lady greeted me one morning on a walk near the hotel.

24JUL11 American Lady

The tiniest butterfly I saw was the Eastern Tailed Blue.

24APR11 Eastern Tailed Blue

25APR11 Eastern Tailed Blue

Then I found this strange fellow on the hotel lawn. His wings are a bit deformed, so it took a while before I finally had him verified as a Common Checkered Skipper – but an aberration thereof, with much bigger white cells. (Not to be confused with the Scottish Chequered Skipper – the American Checkered Skippers are more closely related to our Grizzled Skipper.)

24APR11 Chequered Skipper aberration?

Aaaand this is a normal Common Checkered Skipper.

25APR11 Chequered Skipper

I had a ball on the last full day of the holiday, on the waste ground near the hotel. It was teeming with butterflies (and one Grey Catbird, which, amazingly, can teem all by itself.) Fluttering around juniper bushes was my first-ever hairstreak, and yes, you guessed it, it’s a Juniper Hairstreak. This one is definitely my favourite of the trip.

25APR11 Juniper Hairstreak

Also present was the tiny Pearl Crescent (I think it’s in the fritillary family)…

25APR11 Pearl Crescent

… plus, a white female Orange Sulphur laying eggs…

25APR11 Orange Sulphur white female

… AND the Gray Hairstreak, with very snazzy fluorescent orange flashes.

25APR11 Gray Hairstreak

And the next day in central Washington DC, this magnificent Eastern Comma landed on my dad’s-brother’s-wife’s-sister’s-daughter’s-handbag, and stayed there for a good five minutes. She called him Harry.

26JUL11 Eastern Comma

As a footnote, I saw two Swallowtail species at Brookside Resaurant, and neither of them were compliant with my camera, which is a pity as they were truly awesome. They were the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and the Spicebush Swallowtail.

Not the most thorough trip report, I know, but I hope you enjoy the photos!



Well, I arrived back from Virginia nearly a week ago. On my trip I saw new birds (I LOVE the grackles!!!), new butterflies (12 species, woop woop) and new people (best thing of all!!)

I was at the caravan at the weekend – saw my first-of-year Small Coppers and Réal’s Wood Whites in Murlough on Sunday, then on Monday my first-of-year Large Whites and Holly Blues in Donard Forest – and the highlight: one Green Hairstreak, which I’ve never seen before. That’s my 22nd NI species!

And I’ve got GCSEs over the next few months so I’ll sign off now unless something else fantastic happens. I’ll upload more luvverly butterfly photos this summer.