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e_moon60

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Unfamiliar Butterfly (Common Mestra) [Nov. 14th, 2016|05:25 pm]
e_moon60
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Today I noticed an unfamilar small butterfly--quite a few of them in fact--flying low above the grass and occasionally perching with wings folded (more rarely, with wings open briefly.)  From a distance (and with my eyesight!) they appeared to be cream and orange.  When photographed (and the photographs put into the computer)  the dorsal side of the forewings was basically white with some gray markings and a little bit of orange (three "dots) on the trailng edge; the hind wings were mostly orange with white spots and dark gray edging.

Butterfly--white-orange2-11-14-16
Note longer white hairs protruding below the abdomen in this individual.
I saw what looked like courting behavior in some of these, but was unable to photograph it .
IDed by cdozo as Common Mestra (Mestra amymone)

On the ventral side, both wings were largely orange (a sort of caramel color) with a band of white and some smaller white spots on the forewing and a band of gray border thinly with black, and a row of uneven white spots and smaller white spots on the hind wing:

Butterfly-white-orange-11-14-16
We did have it on the species list, but hadn't seen it for years.  Now it's abundant.


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Comments:
[User Picture]From: cdozo
2016-11-14 11:40 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that it's a Common Mestra (Mestra amymone).

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[User Picture]From: cdozo
2016-11-14 11:40 pm (UTC)
I have always had some every year, but this year I have a ton of them. They are my most common butterfly.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2016-11-15 12:01 am (UTC)
Thanks! Of course, if I don't know what it is, it will have "common" in its name .

I could not find a picture of it in the one butterfly book I can find (the better one having gone missing) and the description alone wasn't enough, but yes, it could easily be here now. I've gone to BugGuide.net, and yes, it IS a Common Mestra. And there are tons of them around right now.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2016-11-15 12:06 am (UTC)
And...it IS on our list, photographed in the dry woods openings in 2007 (blurry image, says my note in the species list.) No notes on subsequent sightings. 2007 was a very wet year, and wet into the fall, like this year. Don't know if that has anything to do with it, but...it's a similarity.
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[User Picture]From: lillian13
2016-11-15 11:23 pm (UTC)
I have tons of those and a small, brilliant yellow one all over my blooming rosemary here in Round Rock.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2016-11-16 02:17 am (UTC)
I have that small, vivid Sulphur too...not sure which it is. I have to photograph them and then bring them into the computer where I can enlarge them (and they hold still!) to consult the books. Today we went another way, out in the field, and saw some of both, but I didn't have the camera along.
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[User Picture]From: gifted
2016-11-19 10:22 pm (UTC)
Beautiful, glad to hear more are returning to your land.
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