Monitoring Lepidoptera

Monitoring Lepidoptera (Butterflies and Moths)

 

We will be capturing adult lepidoptera using light traps, visual sitings, and by collecting caterpillars via branch beating.

There is a lot of variety of moth and butterfly species in our area.

Western Tiger swallowtail  Papilio rtulus

    

Identification: Upper side of hindwing with upper-most marginal spot yellow or lacking. Underside of forewing with separate yellow spots forming marginal band. Hindwing has narrow marginal spots and no orange tint except for 2 spots near end of inner margin.

Wing Span: 2 3/4 - 4 inches (7 - 10 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Leaves of cottonwood and aspen (Populus), willows (Salix), wild cherry (Prunus), and ash (Fraxinus).

Adult Food: Nectar from many flowers including thistles, abelia, California buckeye, zinnia, and yerba santa.

Habitat: Woodlands near rivers and streams, wooded suburbs, canyons, parks, roadsides, and oases.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Papilio-rutulus

Identification: Upper side of hindwing with upper-most marginal spot yellow or lacking. Underside of forewing with separate yellow spots forming marginal band. Hindwing has narrow marginal spots and no orange tint except for 2 spots near end of inner margin.

Wing Span: 2 3/4 - 4 inches (7 - 10 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Leaves of cottonwood and aspen (Populus), willows (Salix), wild cherry (Prunus), and ash (Fraxinus).

Adult Food: Nectar from many flowers including thistles, abelia, California buckeye, zinnia, and yerba santa.

Habitat: Woodlands near rivers and streams, wooded suburbs, canyons, parks, roadsides, and oases.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Papilio-rutulus 

 

Pale Swallowtail  Papilio eurymedon


Identification: Upper surface of wings creamy white with black stripes. Front wing is narrow and pointed; tail of hindwing is long, slender and twisted.

 

Caterpillar Hosts: Trees and shrubs in the Rosaceae, Rhamnaceae and Betulaceae families including cherry (Prunus emarginata), coffee-berry (Rhamnus californica), and ash (Fraxinus spp.).

Adult Food: Flower nectar including California buckeye, yerba santa, and wallflower.

Habitat: Foothills, open woodlands, chaparral, stream sides

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Papilio-eurymedon 

 

Anise Swallowtail

Papilio zelicaon

Identification: Upper surface of hindwing has yellow-orange eyespot near tail with round black center that is not connected to hindwing margin. Anal cell of hindwing is primarily yellow.

Wing Span: 2 3/4 - 3 1/2 inches (7 - 9 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Many species in the parsley family (Apiaceae), and some in the citrus family (Rutaceae).

Adult Food: Not reported.

Habitat: Bare hills, mountains, gardens, fields, vacant lots, and roadsides.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Papilio-zelicaon 

 

Clodius Parnassian  Parnassius clodius

Identification: Upper surface of forewing cell with 3 dark gray bars. Front wing has no red spots. Upper surface of hindwing with 2 red spots; female usually has red anal bar. Mated females have large, white keeled pouch (sphragis) at end of abdomen.

Wing Span: 2 - 2 1/2 inches (50 - 62 mm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Bleeding heart family (Fumariaceae) including Dicentra uniflora, D. formosa, and D. pauciflora.

Adult Food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Open woods, alpine areas, meadows and rock outcrops.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Parnassius-clodius 

 

Cabbage White  Pieris rapae

Cab White

Identification: Upper side of wings white; forewing with black tip. Two sub-marginal black spots in female, one in male. Underside of hindwing and forewing apex evenly yellow-green or gray-green. Spring and fall short-day form is smaller, less yellow, with reduced black areas.

Wing Span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/4 inches (4.5 - 5.8 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Many plants in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family and occasionally some in the caper family (Capparidaceae).

Adult Food: Flower nectar from a very wide array of plants including mustards, dandelion, red clover, asters, and mints.

Habitat: Almost any type of open space including weedy areas, gardens, roadsides, cities, and suburbs.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Pieris-rapae 

 

Sara’s Orange Tip  Anthocharis sara

Sara 

Identification: Upper side of male forewing with large, orange-red spot; border of apex dark, narrow. Female spot smaller; dark border with white wedges. Underside of hindwing with scattered, dark-green marbling. Late spring individuals are larger with less black and hyave yellow green marbling below. Some individuals are yellow. Less common in Portland area.

Wing Span: 1 1/16 - 1 1/2 inches (2.7 - 4.0 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Plants in the mustard (Brassicaceae) family especially rock cresses such as tower mustard. In California, presence of late flowering \"true\"" mustards (Brassica species) allows extended larval feeding and a partial second flight."

Adult Food: Flower nectar, including that of host mustards, thistles, fiddleneck, and brodiaeas.

Habitat: Open oak woods in hills, orchards, fields, meadows, streamcourses, canyons.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Anthocharis-sara 

 

Orange Sulfur  Colias eurytheme

OrSulph 

Identification: Quite variable. Upper side of male yellow with orange overlay, yellow veins, wide black border, and dark black cell spot. Female yellow or white with irregular black border surrounding light spots. Underside hindwing spot silver with 2 concentric dark rings, and a spot above it.

Wing Span: 1 3/8 - 2 3/4 inches (3.5 - 7 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Plants in the pea family (Fabaceae) including alfalfa (Medicago sativa), white clover (Trifolium repens), and white sweet clover (Melilotus alba).

Adult Food: Nectar from many kinds of flowers including dandelion, milkweeds, goldenrods, and asters.

Habitat: A wide variety of open sites, especially clover and alfalfa fields, mowed fields, vacant lots, meadows, road edges.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Colias-eurytheme 

 

Purplish Copper  Lycaena helloides

 

PurpCop

PurpCop

 

 

 

Identification: Upperside of male brown with purple iridescence; female more orange. Hindwing of both sexes with broad orange band at margin.

Wing Span: 1 1/8 - 1 1/2 inches (3 - 3.8 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Knotweeds (Polygonum) and docks (Rumex) in the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae), cinquefoils in the rose family (Rosaceae).

Adult Food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Disturbed areas including roadsides and open fields; wet meadows, marshes, stream sides, and valleys

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Lycaena-helloides 

 

Gray Hairstreak   Strymon melinus

GrayHGrayHair 

Identification: One tail on hindwing. Upper side blue-gray with large red spot near tail. Underside of spring/fall form is dark gray, summer form is paler gray. Relatively straight post-median line is white, bordered with orange on the inside edge.

Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.2 - 3.5 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Flowers and fruits from an almost endless variety of plants; most often from pea (Fabaceae) and mallow (Malvaceae) families including beans (Phaseolus), clovers (Trifolium), cotton (Gossypium), and mallow (Malva).

Adult Food: Nectar from many flower species including dogbane, milkweed, mint, winter cress, goldenrod, tick trefoil, and white sweet clover.

Habitat: Open, non-forested sites; common in disturbed, weedy areas.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Strymon-melinus 

 

Brown Elfin  Callphrys augustinus

BrElf 

Identification: No tails. Upper side of male gray-brown; female reddish brown. Under side chestnut brown with dark, irregular post-median line; hindwing darker at base.

Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 2.9 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: In the East, members of the heath family (Ericaceae), including sugar huckleberry (Vaccinium vacillans) and Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum). In the west, many other plants including madrone (Arbutus) and dodder (Cuscuta).

Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including blueberry, footsteps-of-spring, spicebush, willow, winter cress, and wild plum.

Habitat: Mixed conifer woods, barrens, bogs, sandy coasts, chaparral. Less common in Portland area.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Callophrys-augustinus 

 

Silvery Blue   Glaucopsyche lygdamus

SilBlu 

Identification: Upper side of male iridescent silvery blue with narrow dark borders; female darker blue with wide borders. Both sexes have white fringe. Underside gray-brown; both wings with row of white-ringed, round black spots. Subspecies xerces (Boisduval) and pseudoxerces Emmel and Emmel have large white spots with or without black centers.

Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/4 inches (2.2 - 3.2 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Astragalus, Lotus, Lupinus, Melilotus, Oxytropis, Lathyrus, Vicia, and other species in the pea family.

Adult Food: Nectar from flowers including Asteraceae.

Habitat: A variety of locations including open woods, coastal dunes, prairies, meadows, road edges, rocky moist woods, and brushy fields.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Glaucopsyche-lygdamus 

 

Spring Azure Celastrina ladon

SprAzur 

Identification: Seasonally variable and sexually dimorphic. Upper side of males blue, females with some black at outer edge of forewing. Late spring and summer forms with white above. Underside hindwing gray-white with faded small black dots, darker gray with larger black spots, or with blotches and black margins in the center.

Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 3/8 inches (2.2 -3.5 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Flowers of a variety of woody shrubs and occasionally herbs including dogwood (Cornus florida), New Jersey tea (Ceanothus americana), meadowsweet (Spiraea salicifolia), and Collinsia.

Adult Food: Flower nectar from dogbane, privet, New Jersey tea, blackberry, common milkweed, and many others.

Habitat: Openings and edges of deciduous woods, old fields, wooded freshwater marshes and swamps.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Celastrina-ladon 

 

Western Tailed-Blue  Cupido amyntula

WBLue 

Identification: Narrow tail on hindwing. Upper side of male blue, female brown with blue at wing base. Underside white with black spots indistinct or lacking; single small orange spot near tail.

Wing Span: 7/8 - 1 1/8 inches (2.2 - 2.9 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Legumes with inflated pods including false lupine (Thermopsis), milkvetch (Astragalus), crazyweed (Oxytropis), and vetches (Vicia and Lathyrus).

Adult Food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Open - usually native - areas with low shrubs including chaparral, meadows, and open woodland.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Cupido-amyntula 

 

Mylitta Crescent  Phyciodes mylitta

Mylitta 

Identification: Upper side is bright reddish orange with narrow dark markings. Lacks the prominent black inner marginal spot of Phyciodes pallidus. Underside is yellow-orange with somewhat blurry rusty orange markings.

Wing Span: 1 1/8 - 1 1/2 inches (3 - 3.8 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Native thistles (Cirsium), milk thistle (Silybum marianum), and European thistles (Carduus).

Adult Food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: From sea level to 8000 feet in mountains, fields, meadows, roads, vacant lots, parks, and fencerows.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Phyciodes-mylitta 

 

California Tortoiseshell  Nymphalis californica

CalTort 

Identification: Upper side is orange-brown with large black spots and dark wing borders. Underside looks like a dead leaf and is dark mottled brown with darker wing bases; hindwing does not have a centered silver spot.

Wing Span: 1 1/4 - 2 3/4 inches (3.2 - 7 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Various species of wild lilac (Ceanothus).

Adult Food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Chaparral, woodland, brush areas, forest clearings and edges. Less common in Portland area.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Nymphalis-californica 

 

Mourning Cloak  Nymphalis antiopa

Mourning

Caterpillar Hosts: Willows including black willow (Salix nigra), weeping willow (S. babylonica), and silky willow (S. sericea); also American elm (Ulmus americana), cottonwood (Populus deltoides), aspen (P. tremuloides), paper birch (Betula papyrifera), and hackberry (Celtis occidentalis). Older caterpillars wander about and may be found on plants that they do not eat.

Adult Food: Mourning Cloaks prefer tree sap, especially that of oaks. They walk down the trunk to the sap and feed head downward. They will also feed on rotting fruit, and only occasionally on flower nectar.

Habitat: Because Mourning Cloaks roam and migrate, they are found almost anywhere that host plants occur including woods, openings, parks, and suburbs; and especially in riparian areas. Less common in Portland area.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Nymphalis-antiopa 

 

Lorquin’s Admiral  Limenitis lorquini

Lorqu 

Identification: Upper side is black with white median bands on both wings; tip of forewing is orange-brown. Underside is reddish-brown with white markings.

Wing Span: 2 - 2 5/8 inches (5.1 - 6.7 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Wild cherry (Prunus), willows (Salix), poplar and cottonwood (Populus), and orchard trees.

Adult Food: Flower nectar from plants including California buckeye, yerba santa, and privet; bird droppings; and dung.

Habitat: Forest edges, mountain canyons, orchards, parks, stream sides, fencerows and groves of cottonwood and poplar

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Limenitis-lorquini 

 

Red Admiral  Vanessa atalanta

REdA 

Identification: Upper side is black with white spots near the apex; forewing with red median band, hindwing with red marginal band. The winter form is smaller and duller, summer form larger and brighter with an interrupted forewing band.

Wing Span: 1 3/4 - 3 inches (4.5 - 7.6 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Plants of the nettle family (Urticaceae) including stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), tall wild nettle (U. gracilis), wood nettle (Laportea canadensis), false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica), pellitory (Parietoria pennsylvanica), mamaki (Pipturus albidus), and possibly hops (Humulus).

Adult Food: Red Admirals prefer sap flows on trees, fermenting fruit, and bird droppings; visiting flowers only when these are not available. Then they will nectar at common milkweed, red clover, aster, and alfalfa, among others.

Habitat: Moist woods, yards, parks, marshes, seeps, moist fields. During migrations, the Red Admiral is found in almost any habitat from tundra to subtropics. Less common in Portland area.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Vanessa-atalanta 

 

Painted Lady  Vanessa cardui

  

Identification: Upper side is orange-brown with darker wing bases; forewing with black apex patch and white bar on leading edge; hindwing sub-marginal row of 5 small black spots sometimes has blue scales. Underside has a black, brown, and gray pattern with 4 small sub-marginal eyespots.

Wing Span: 2 - 2 7/8 inches (5.1 - 7.3 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: More than 100 host plants have been noted; favorites include thistles (Asteraceae), hollyhock and mallow (Malvaceae), and various legumes (Fabaceae).

Adult Food: The Painted Lady prefers nectar from composites 3-6 feet high, especially thistles; also aster, cosmos, blazing star, ironweed, and joe-pye weed. Flowers from other families that are visited include red clover, buttonbush, privet, and milkweeds.

Habitat: Almost everywhere, especially in open or disturbed areas including gardens, old fields, dunes.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Vanessa-cardui 

 

Monarch  Danaus plexippus

Monarch

Identification: Uppe rside of male is bright orange with wide black borders and black veins; hindwing has a patch of scent scales. Upper side of female is orange-brown with wide black borders and blurred black veins. Both sexes have white spots on borders and apex. The Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) is a Mullerian mimic; it has similar coloration and is also distasteful.

Wing Span: 3 3/8 - 4 7/8 inches (8.6 - 12.4 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Milkweeds including common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), swamp milkweed (A. incarnata), and showy milkweed (A. speciosa); and milkweed vine in the tropics. Most milkweeds contain cardiac glycosides which are stored in the bodies of both the caterpillar and adult. These poisons are distasteful and emetic to birds and other vertebrate predators. After tasting a Monarch, a predator might associate the bright warning colors of the adult or caterpillar with an unpleasant meal, and avoid Monarchs in the future.

Adult Food: Nectar from all milkweeds. Early in the season before milkweeds bloom, Monarchs visit a variety of flowers including dogbane, lilac, red clover, lantana, and thistles. In the fall adults visit composites including goldenrods, blazing stars, ironweed, and tickseed sunflower.

Habitat: Many open habitats including fields, meadows, weedy areas, marshes, and roadsides. Less common in Portland area.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Danaus-plexippus 


West Coast Lady

Vanessa annabella

WCLady

Identification: Upper side is orange-brown with an orange bar at the leading edge of the forewing; hindwing with 3 or 4 blue sub-marginal spots. Underside with complex pattern; eyespots are obscured by other markings.

Wing Span: 1 1/2 - 2 1/4 inches (3/8 - 5.7 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Many plants in the mallow family (Malvaceae) including tree mallow (Lavatera), globe mallow (Sphaeralcea), bush mallow (Malvastrum), mallow (Malva), alkali mallow (Sida), checkerbloom (Sidalcea), and hollyhock (Althea).

Adult Food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Open places including weedy areas, gardens, roadsides, fields, foothills, chaparral, disturbed areas. Less common in Portland area.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Vanessa-annabella


Ochre Ringlet Coenonympha tullia ochracea

Ocre

Identification: Extremely variable geographically, with at least 4 subspecies. Wings range from dark orange-brown to pale cream. Underside of forewing usually has a small eyespot near its tip. Underside of hindwing is gray-green with a wavy white median line.

Wing Span: 1 1/3 - 1 1/2 inches (3.4 - 3.8 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Grasses and rushes.

Adult Food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Grassy, open areas in a wide variety of habitats, including fields, meadows, grasslands, and tundra.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Coenonympha-tullia

 


Propertius Dusky Wing  Erynnis propertius

Identification: Upper side brown; forewings with gray over-scaling and distinct dark markings. Clear spots are small in the male, large in the female. Underside of hindwing has well-defined spots below the apex. Male has a costal fold containing yellow scent scales; female has a patch of scent scales on the 7th abdominal segment.

Wing Span: 1 3/8 - 1 3/4 inches (3.5 - 4.5 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), Garry oak (Q. garryana), and perhaps others.

Adult Food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Open oak woodlands, forest openings and edges, meadows and fields near oaks. Does not occur in deserts or hot central valleys. Less common in Portland area.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Erynnis-propertius

 


Two-banded Checkered Skipper

Pyrgus ruralis


Identification: Upper side is light-to-blackish brown; forewing has square like white spots; hindwing usually has 2 rows of white spots. Underside is brown or gray with dull spots that are often obscure. Male has a costal fold enclosing scent scales on the forewing.

Wing Span: 1 - 1 1/8 inches (2.5 - 2.9 cm).

Caterpillar Hosts: Herbaceous plants in the rose family (Rosaceae) including Drummond's potentilla (Potentilla drummondii), dusky horkelia (Horkelia fusca), Santa Rosa horkelia (H. tenuiloba), Cleveland's horkelia (H. bolanderi clevelandii), and probably others.

Adult Food: Flower nectar.

Habitat: Forest clearings, meadows, pastures, stream sides; from sea level to 10,000 feet. Less common in Portland area.

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Pyrgus-ruralis 

 

Additional websites  to try to identify the lepidoptera we collect:

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/insects/macronw/index.htm           http://pnwmoths.biol.wwu.edu/

Here is the protocol for using the light trap  Protocol Here is the protocol we will use to capture catterpillars usikng branch beating Protocol