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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Home  >>  Butterflies  >>  Brushfoot Butterflies  >>  True Brushfoots

"True" Brushfoots (subfamily Nymphalinae, family Nymphalidae)

Members of this subset of Brushfoots are the real beauties of the butterfly world, in my humble opinion.  They bring far more than their share of color and variety to the butterfly world.  Ironically enough, however, all those intricate patterns may just be for camouflage purposes!  Here it seems that context (background) is everything.

To see more photos of other members of this sub-family, check out Ladies, CrescentsCheckerspots, Buckeyes, and Anglewings.

Ladies (Vanessa genus)

To me, the Ladies are the fanciest butterflies, with the most intricate wing patterns.  All that detail may double as camouflage and an appealing courting measure, depending on the situation.  For information on the different species, go to Ladies.

Painted Lady, Durham, 9/6/05, but farther down the road.  You can see significant wing pattern differences. Painted Lady, Durham, 10/2/03.

Crescents (Phycioda genus)

There are several species of Crescents in the South.  The Pearl Crescent is the most common and widespread.  For more information on the different species, see Crescents.

Female Pearl Crescent, North Carolina Botanical Garden, 9/25/02.  This female was apparently waiting for a mate. Female Pearl Crescent, Duke Gardens, 9/17/05

Checkerspots (Chlosyna genus)

The only species of checkerspot that I have photos of is the Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyna nycteis).

Silvery Checkerspot, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC, 8/24/05. Silvery Checkerspot, Eno River State Park, Old Cole Mill Road access (Durham County), 8/31/04.  This was one of two Silvery Checkerspots that I saw this day.

Buckeyes (Junonia genus)

In the Durham area, all the buckeyes are standard Common Buckeyes, but some variations show up in the coastal Southeast and different species are found in the tropics, sometimes straying into the US.  For more detailed information, go to Buckeyes.

Common Buckeye, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 8/24/05. Common Buckeye, Durham, 9/2/05.

Anglewings (Polygonia genus)

Question Mark, Fall form, Duke Gardens, 10/17/03.  Hind wings look more like forewings this time of year. Question Mark, Durham, 11/1/03.

Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)

At least in North Carolina, the Mourning Cloak is the only species of its genus.  It stays in the woods and shows up earlier in the season than most other butterflies.

Mourning Cloak, Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 3/18/10 Mourning Cloak (ventral view), Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC, 5/21/09


Mourning Cloak caterpillar, Durham, NC, 5/6/09 Mourning Cloak caterpillar, Eno River SP, Old Cole Mill Road access, Orange County, NC, 4/28/06            

© Copyright 2005-2009 Dorothy E. Pugh