Saturday, September 8, 2012


Black Swallowtail

It's been a while since I've posted a bunch of what I think of as "theme photos," images which share something in common—place, species, type, season, or some other particular of subject matter. These shots were all taken recently, and are all of butterflies I found fluttering around and posing on the zinnias bordering our graveled walkway.

(?) Skipper 
I'm pretty sure on the IDs of the ones I've named.

But I'm not sure about the elfin…even whether it is, in fact, an elfin. And when it comes to skippers, other than the Silver-Spotted and Fiery, I'm thoroughly confused—and I may be confused about those two as well—particularly the Fiery—and just too dumb to realize my mistake.

However, I have tried to sort things out. I've compared all my "unidentified" skipper images to a selection of online images of every one of the 47 species of skippers which appears on an up-to-date checklist of Ohio butterflies and skippers.

Orange Sulphur
Frankly, nothing looked right. At least to me. Which certainly does not mean these are rare species for my neck of woods.

Instead, it most likely indicates I'm being led astray by the lighting. Or possibly a bit of crossbreeding—say, between an Orange Sulphur and a Clouded Sulphur. It could also be a variant-marked individual. Though honestly, the best bet would be my overall ignorance of butterflies and skippers in general, and an inability from inexperience to understand what to look for and how to distinguish correct key field marks.

Someone who knows their butterflies can doubtless name—at a glance—what I couldn't.

Cabbage White
Therefore, seeking to hide my shortcomings behind a literary defense, I'll appropriate a line from Shakespeare, who said: "A rose by any other name would smell a sweet."

I say a butterfly unnamed is just as pretty.

Clouded Sulphur
[Should you wish to view them a bit larger, all images can, of course, be enlarged by double-clicking.]

Elfin (?)

Fiery Skipper 
Painted Lady
Pipevine Swallowtail

Silver-Spotted Skipper

(?) Skipper

(?) Skipper

(?) Skipper

(?) Skipper

(?) Skipper

(?) Skipper
Clouded Sulphur


Jayne said...

Hehehe... Skippers are for me like IDing sparrows too. So many of those little guys and so many variations of the same colors! Love seeing all your flutterbys!

Grizz………… said...


Once I get past the big, gaudy-marked, easy-to-identify butterflies, I'm already on fairly shaky ground…and then comes skippers! Like asters and autumn warblers—and, yup, sparrows—at best it's mostly an educated guess.

Glad you liked the pix. I have fun making them.

AfromTO said...

Did you notice you only got 1 comment to this blog of tons of closeups of insects:)I'm just saying...

Grizz………… said...


Yeah, but I got 18 comments (well 9, plus my replies) on the blue colorized moon a few posts pervious, and maybe a month back, 24 on one with a pix of geese. T'iz puzzling, indeed.

Seriously, I would have thought butterflies would garner more interest…but then, I'm not trying to operate by a popularity poll. They were, I thought, pretty good butterfly images, I liked 'em, and they were what I was shooting at the moment. But lots of bloggers post butterfly images. All blogs seem to be down in readership lately, maybe indicating an overall waning popularity of the form, at least by the dilettantes. I keep thinking that one of these days I'll go back to more like when I first started and the way I intended to do a blog in the first place—which was not so much nature themed, but also posts on history, folklore, cooking, books, poetry, music, and just general musings on anything and everything, more in the form of a daybook or journal, and more dependent on writing than photography.