A short while ago I did a post on the Mourning Cloak butterfly. One of the odd things about this butterfly is that it looks like it only has four feet, but it actually has six feet like most insects. It’s just that the front two are tiny, little things that the butterfly holds near its body. Someone thought the fuzzy, front feet looked like brushes, so that’s how an entire family of butterfly species became known as the Brushfoot family. Today I’m going to look at two other species that are members of this same family: the Eastern Comma and the Question Mark. Yes, they are both named after punctuation. We’ll soon see why.
Soon you’ll know whether this is an Eastern Comma Butterfly or Question Mark Butterfly.
A few days ago, I was able to photograph my first butterfly of the year, a Mourning Cloak Butterfly. The reason the outer edges of its wings are frayed already is because it has been hanging out in Ohio all winter… well, not exactly hanging out. When it’s very cold, this butterfly sneaks into a crack in a tree or some other little nook and hibernates there until it gets warmer. And it doesn’t necessarily wait till spring. Whenever we are having unseasonably warm, winter weather, there is some chance of these butterflies emerging and flitting above the snow.
Mourning Cloak Butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa)
Butterflies with elegant projections extending from their hind wings are known as “swallowtails”; the swallowtails can be seen clearly below. However as a butterfly ages, the outer edges of its wings start to wear away. The thin, little swallowtails are usually the first to go. So you may find yourself looking at a swallowtail species without seeing any swallowtails at all. The “tiger” part of this butterfly’s name comes from the four black stripes that start at the outer, front edge of its wings
Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
It’s easy to distinguish between the male and female butterflies belonging to the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail species. The above photo is a female representative of the species as viewed from the top. The underside of a female’s wings can be seen below.
Spotted Cucumber Beetle on Whorled Rosinweed
I really liked how color-coordinated the above insect and flower were. Prior to taking that photograph I had never seen that particular insect. There’s such an astounding number of insect species that I find it really difficult to identify new species. But then I discovered BugGuide.net.
A mother raccoon teaches the kids to forage under the bird feeder. This was photographed while looking out of the window of the Nature Center.
Blacklick Woods Metro Parks is located in Reynoldsburg, an eastern suburb of Columbus. This 634 acre park has hiking, jogging, and bicycle trails, an abundance of picnic tables and shelters, playgrounds, a golf course, and a nature center.
Posted in Central Ohio, Nature
Tagged "Fairfield County", "Franklin County", "handicap accessible", Blacklick, butterflies, cycling, hiking, jogging, Park Review, wildflowers
Since we were at Scioto Trail State Park mid-May, there were so many wildflowers along the trails that I thought they merited their own post. Here’s a look at some of the flowers that we saw, plus some of the living creatures that were near them.
Clear Creek Metro Park is part of the Columbus / Franklin Metro Park system, but is located an hours drive from Columbus in the Hocking Hills region.