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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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The Brushfoot (Nymphalidae) Butterfly Family

The most important feature of the Nymphalidae may be their little brushy forelegs, but they are the beauties of Lepidoptera, and the most funny-looking ones, too.   Here are ladies, admirals, monarchs, but also the bizarre anglewings and the cute little American Snout.   These are in turn divided into several sub-families:

"True" Brushfoots (Nymphalinae): e.g., American (Painted) Lady (Vanessa virginiensis). These are the prettiest butterflies IMHO, including ladies, admirals, crescents, checkerspots, buckeyes, anglewings, and tortoise shells/mourning cloaks.  For more photos, see True Brushfoots. Heliconians and Fritillaries (Heliconiiae): e.g., Aphrodite Fritillary (Speyeria Aprodite).  The Heliconiiae cover a lot of territory, literally.  The Aphrodite Fritillary prefers the North, but the Zebra Heliconian can't survive as a species outside the tropics.  For more photos, see Heliconians.


Viceroys and Admirals(Limenitinae): e.g., Viceroy (Limenitis archippus). For more Viceroy and Admiral photos, see Monarchs, etc. Monarchs (Danainae): e.g., Queen  (Danaus gilippus).  Members of this family are more alike in appearance than in behavior:  The Queen is in the same genus as the Monarch, but rarely strays north of subtropical regions.  The Soldier is even rarer in the US.  For more Monarchs photos, see Monarchs, etc.


Nymphs and Satyrs (Satyrinae): e.g., Northern Pearly Eye (Enodia anthedon).  Satyrinae are brown/gray butterflies that live mostly in the woods.  For more photos, see Nymphs and Satyrs. Emperors (Apaturinae): e.g., Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis).  For more photos, see Emperors and Snouts.


Snouts (Libytheinae): e.g., American Snout (Libytheana bachmanii).  It's one of only two species in this sub-family, the other being the Southern Snout.  For more photos, see Emperors and Snouts.

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© Copyright 2005 Dorothy E. Pugh