CLOSED: Brown butterfly with bluish purple spots on margins of wings

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

I took this fellow's portrait yesterday (4/8/2002) in central Ohio. Any ideas? Sure was nice to see a butterfly already! :D

Thumbnail by gardenwife
Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

P.S. Look at how the edges of his wings match the leaves so perfectly! Isn't he cool?

Westbrook, ME(Zone 5a)

That's a mourning cloak. Great picture GW!

Castelnau RB Pyrenée, France(Zone 8a)

Wow, it's a Camberwell Beauty (Nymphalis antiopa). Didn't know you have them in the US. There found more or less throughout Europe right up to the north of Norway, but are only a rare visitor to the UK.

Isn't it handsome?
:)

Westbrook, ME(Zone 5a)

I read that they overwinter in the forest debris. That's why they are often the first butterfly seen in the spring.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Thank you. :) We saw what we presumed to be three or four of these while walking around the woods. It made me believe even more than the warm temperatures that spring has finally arrived.

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I learned something from this. That what I've been calling a moth all these years is a butterfly. I'll think differently of it now. LOL! What is the difference between a butterfly and a moth?

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

My mom told me the most obvious is the antennae. The butterfly has little knobs at the end of its antennae.

Castelnau RB Pyrenée, France(Zone 8a)

Another way to tell is, when they are resting, a butterfly closes it's wings so that they are vertically over it's body, sticking straight up, and all you can see is the underneath of each wing. A moth, on the other hand, folds its wings so that they cover it's body like a blanket and you are looking at the upper surface of the wings.

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

Okay, then what we have here that looks much like the picture posted is not a butterfly. It rests with it's wings folded. I don't know about the antennaes though. I think the only difference in what we have and the picture posted is that I'm not sure about the blue on it. It's supersized though. They are like the size of a hummingbird. I'll have to do a research and see what I can come up with, and check them out closer this summer.

Just what I needed...another thing to become addicted to. Researching moths and butterflies. I'm coming to realize that I missed my calling somewhere along the line. LOL!

Castelnau RB Pyrenée, France(Zone 8a)

Butterflies also bask in the sun - which is the attitude of the one in this photo - with their wings open. Here you can see the body clearly with the wings on either side. If it were a moth, the wings would be covering the body, 'folded over it's back', but flat across it's body rather than sticking straight up.
Difficult to describe, i'll see if i can find a site with pics sometime.

Castelnau RB Pyrenée, France(Zone 8a)

Have a look at these images - hope you'll be able to understand what i mean.
http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=butterflies%2Fmoths&btnG=Google+Search
On the second line down 2nd from left 'thecla2' this has it's wings going straight up and is a butterfly. Next right, 'moth.jpg' the wings are folded to cover the body - a moth. Next again is 'butterfly' with wings open. Afraid this is not very good as you can't see the body as well as usual with a butterfly in this position, but you can see the different angle of the wings to the moth
HTH
Hilary

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Right -- like this moth I shot last summer: http://davesgarden.com/showthread/73400.html

See how its wings are sort of folded over one another as opposed to this butterfly's flat, spread wings?

Castelnau RB Pyrenée, France(Zone 8a)

YES, what a lovely photo gw, and a perfect illustration!
:)

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Thanks, Philomel. Any idea what kind of moth it is? As I recall, its body had pink on its underside. I never found out what it was!

This message was edited Wednesday, Apr 10th 3:07 AM

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

Now I'm confused. The moth/butterfly I see in the summer rests with it's wings folded in line with his body, and they are huge. I really think they are a moth, because they are attracted to the bug light on the deck. Butterflies don't do this, do they? I'd hate to think that I've been frying butterflies. Shudder!!!!

I just got a digital camera, so I'll take a pic of one as soon as I see them start to appear.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

Are they out at night Joan? Most moths feed and fly at night, while butterflies feed and fly in the daytime. Let's see...Here's some more info I found while surfing the butterfly/moth web this wee morning, LOL:

http://www.ci.shrewsbury.ma.us/Sps/Schools/Beal/Curriculum/butterfly/mothorbutterfly.html
http://www.web-nat.com/Butterfly/info.htm
http://bugs1.netfirms.com/bugs/BUGQuiz/answers/butterfly_moth.shtml

:) Kimberley

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

We see them mostly at night. We do find them sometimes during the day, but sleeping I think. I looked at the sites you posted and I am almost sure what I have is a moth. I'll take a pic this summer.

Chardon, OH(Zone 5a)

Beautiful photo - I love mourning cloaks!
In the spring, one of my tasks at work is to check sugar content of the trees in our supersweet maple collection. I punch little holes in the bark and take a drop of sap. I often have mourning cloaks following me because they drink the sap that keeps running after I'm done. Adaptable little guys - they have to eat something when they come out of hibernation and there aren't many flowers blooming in Ohio in March!

Castelnau RB Pyrenée, France(Zone 8a)

Sorry gw, don't know what your moth is - haven't a detailed enough book. Might not even be in a UK one.
BTW, do any of you know thw scientific name for the mourning cloak please? It looks exactly like the butterfly we call the Camberwell Beauty.
:)

Chardon, OH(Zone 5a)

Nymphalis antiopa
Try this site http://www.butterflywings.com/s-mourning.html

Castelnau RB Pyrenée, France(Zone 8a)

Thanks very much DawnG. As you can see from my first post to this thread, it is indeed the same beast. "A rose by any name would smell as sweet" and all that!
Proving yet again the worth of the scientific name, LOL!
;)

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