Sunday, 14 July 2013

Insects in the north

July can be a slow time for birds. With the exception of a few shorebirds and some warblers/flycatchers, almost no migration is happening. Most species have stopped vocalizing as they are busy rearing their young. After the rush of spring migration followed by a few months of fieldwork I am usually pretty sick of birds by July! Fortunately, mid summer is the best time for insects, so that is what I have been turning my attention to lately. This post will cover some of the butterflies that I photographed up north in late June.

On some of the sites we were surveying, Silvery Checkerspots outnumbered the (usually abundant) Northern Crescent.

Silvery Checkerspot - Timmins, ON

Near our Timmins site I finally photographed a Dreamy Duskywing.

Dreamy Duskywing - Timmins, ON

Hobomok Skippers are unique in that they have a fairly rare dark form, called the "pocahontas" form. Near Sudbury I found a big patch of Hobos that contained this "pocahontas" individual.

"pocahontas" form Hobomok Skipper - Sudbury, ON

"pocahontas" form Hobomok Skipper - Sudbury, ON

This is what a "normal" Hobomok Skipper looks like.

Hobomok Skipper - Sudbury, ON

I finally saw my first ever Harris's Checkerspot on the Sudbury site as well. This species can be difficult to tell apart from a Silvery Checkerspot, though they usually are darker and the submarginal spots on the hindwing often touches the black border. They are much easier to ID when you can see the underside of the wings.

Harris's Checkerspot - Sudbury, ON

European Skippers, while abundant over much of their range, are often quite photogenic. I lucked out with this individual and managed a couple of photos which I am pleased with. First, here is one nectaring on some Orange Hawkweed. Both the nectarer and nectaree are native to Europe, though both have been introduced in North America and are widespread..

European Skipper - Sudbury, ON

I'm really happy with the following photo. When photographing it, I noticed the darker patch in the vegetation behind it. I lined up the butterfly so that it was centered in the dark patch, surrounded by the lighter green grass.

European Skipper - Sudbury, ON


  1. Why dosn't the pictures show up, I cant see any :(