The Last Butterfly Described in the US?

I came across this short article today claiming that this recent description of the hairstreak butterfly, Ministrymon janevicroy Glassberg 2013, may in fact be the “last truly distinctive butterfly species left to be discovered in the United States…. [and] the era of new U.S. butterfly species is ending”. I find that statement a little bit . . . → Read More: The Last Butterfly Described in the US?

A Very Hoppy Butterfly Researcher

The Hop Azure (Celastrina humulus) is a diminutive and uncommon blue found on the front range of the Rockies here in Colorado. Its host plant is the wild hop: Humulus lupulus, varieties of which are of course a critical ingredient in beer! In a week or two I’ll be out in the field looking to . . . → Read More: A Very Hoppy Butterfly Researcher

Happy Massacre Day

When Taxonomy Makes a Species Less Critically Endangered

The story of many San Francisco butterflies are well known and depressing. The area has been heavily impacted by human development for over two centuries and is the infamous home to the first known example of an extinct American butterfly, the Xerces blue. While other butterflies are hanging on, or getting help to hang on . . . → Read More: When Taxonomy Makes a Species Less Critically Endangered

The Invasion of the Butterflies

 

The local news for most of the eastern US and Canada has been aflutter (ha) recently with reports of the irruption of Vanessa atalanta – the Red Admiral butterfly. While this is a common occurrence every spring for these butterflies to migrate north from their overwintering grounds in the southern US, . . . → Read More: The Invasion of the Butterflies

A Copper Butterfly in Disguise

For all intents and purposes this looks like a blue butterfly (as in subfamily Polyommatinae)… it’s very, very blue after all. But assumptions based on color would lead you down the incorrect road; as it turns out this butterfly is actually a species copper. There are subtle difference in wing shape and probably venation, but . . . → Read More: A Copper Butterfly in Disguise

Key to the Lepidoptera of Canada

A few months ago a magnificent key to the Lepidoptera of Canada (all of them) was published by Jason Dombroskie – a PhD student from the U. of Alberta. The program is available for windows users only so I haven’t had a good chance to explore it yet – but the PDF is available online . . . → Read More: Key to the Lepidoptera of Canada

Butterfly Vengeance

Plebejus samuelis

We all saw this day coming, the rise of the butterflies, the day they will take vengeance on us. No longer will they passively fly around their habitats as they are bulldozed for malls and polluted with runoff. One particularly angry Karner Blue has submitted a letter to the . . . → Read More: Butterfly Vengeance

Insects of the Philippines I

A month ago or so the California Academy of Sciences launched a full fledged expedition to the Philippines. While the majority of the cash was spent on a clipper ship and dive teams, there was a terrestrial component. While I didn’t get to go (and sat at home and pouted), I did talk some of . . . → Read More: Insects of the Philippines I

Genius of the Press XX

This GOP is less of a challenge and more of a simple roundup of miserable stock photography. Alex Wild and others have long ago pointed out the massive failings of many stock photo sites – but here is a brief and painful lep roundup using Google.

Step 1: Image search “moth on flower”.

Step 2: . . . → Read More: Genius of the Press XX