Insects

My Butterfly Meadow

There are about 170 species of butterflies in Ontario, so I was expecting to see lots of different butterflies at the cottage. It was one of the things that made me fall in love with the property, when I saw a beautiful butterfly meadow. Whilst I do see many butterflies there, I haven’t seen the variety I expected to see. I have seen Swallowtails and Monarchs fluttering through, but they haven’t stopped when I have had camera in hand. The most common sighting I have seen is Blues and I have seen two different types of these.

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I think this is a Silvery Blue Butterfly – Glaucopsyche lygdamus.

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This one is an Eastern Tailed-Blue (Everes comyntas). I think it is a female. The males are blue on the upperside of their wings, but the females are more brown or charcoal in colouring.

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I love its tiny tail!

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Another common butterfly that I often see is the Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos).

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It is interesting how they all seem to have slightly different markings.

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Apparently males usually have black antennal knobs, so I guess this one is a female.

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This American Painted Lady (Vanessa birginiensis), wouldn’t cooperate with me and open its wings to show how beautiful it is.

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I loved watching this Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) feeding.

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The Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) loves to eat tree sap and we often see it on our oak tree.

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The Northern Pearly-eye (Enodia anthedon) is one of the few shade loving butterflies.

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It is found in mixed wooded areas where the undergrowth is thick, so our place is ideal for it.

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Another butterfly that likes woodland is the Common Wood Nymph (Cercyonis pegala). I think that is what this butterfly is. They can vary greatly. They all have two eyespots on each forewing and some have eyespots on the hindwing.

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The European Skipper (Thymelicus lineola) was introduced to Ontario, Canada in 1910. Timothy Grass seeds were imported and contaminated with the butterfly’s eggs. This is the only North American Skipper whose eggs hibernate over winter and now this species is abundant, outnumbering all other species combined. It has slowly been migrating across the country and arrived in Alberta in 1987.

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I think this visitor is the larva of a European Skipper.

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