This is an ongoing project where I will be putting pictures and video of lepidopterans… butterflies and moths… including adults, larvae (caterpillars), and pupae (cocoons and chrysalises).

I’m starting a collection of them, so I can eventually identify some of them, as well as help myself associate adults with young ones… I don’t see nearly as many pupae as adults and larvae (maybe because if you’re going to wrap yourself in a metaphorical sleeping bag and go into completely-change-your-body-shape mode and be stuck in one place, I suppose you don’t want to do it in an obvious, predatory accessible place…like plain sight).  And I think I’ll probably just leave them here after identification instead of separating them out to their own pages.  I’ll just add info here as I find it.

I’ll be going back and adding old pictures first, so that I have a place organized for new pictures…and as of August 31, 2017 I have this somewhat settled using old picture already posted, so now I can just plop new ones in, and I know I’ve got a huge backlog to plop as I update.  I’ve been a bit obsessed with caterpillars lately…oh well, there are weirder things to stop and randomly take pictures of while jogging!

Oh, p.s. if you’re trying to find a particular photo in a different post, but are looking at it here, if you can find the photo’s file name (I’ve been hovering over them, and looking at the little text thingy that comes up along the bottom left of my browswer, it might be the address? or something like that… for example, DSCF#### only the #’s are actually numbers.  You can also click on them to view them larger and I think hovering or something else there can tell you… I tried right clicking to save as, and it came up with the correct file name to save it…aaannnnyywaayy) if you get the file name, and use the little magnifying glass search function (top right of pages if viewing on a desktop, I’m not sure what a tablet or phone looks like or where it’s placed) and that name in the search bar, it should pop up with the blog posts (pages? I can’t keep a post and a page straight…) you’ll end up with search results for the posts (pages?) it’s in.


I identified this as a Virginia Creeper Sphinx Moth (Darapsa myron), when I posted it back in mid July 2017.




Next, the Tiger Swallowtail.

They’re the yellow and black, or blue and black butterflies.  The males are yellow with black, the females are either blue along the back edge of the rear wing on black, or yellow and black like the males, but with blue along the back edge of the back wings.

More Tiger Swallowtails.  Hey, I like them, and there’s always so many posing nicely down by where Kyle “gets wet”.  Updated Sept. 5, pictures from August 1 and 2.


I looked these up, I think it’s a cecropia moth, I’ll recheck once I have this first draft situated.



Luna moth!


I haven’t identified this guy or gal yet.

I have to look this one up still.  It’s on Canada Thistle, I think.


I think these are some kind of Azure, maybe.


Monarch-and I’m going to try to make sure I don’t mix in any Viceroy or other look-alikes… at least the Viceroy caterpillar looks more like bird doings than a green and yellow stripey guy like the monarch’s.




Sept. 5 addition, from August 2.  It looks like a monarch but it’s not.  It’s a Viceroy! I’ve kind of always wanted to spot one of these… because its one of the group of similar looking butterflies that all tell predators the same thing by looking a like–don’t bother eating us we’re nasty.  But you always hear about the monarch butterfly, the migrations and all that other nature stuff that gets slipped into the classroom or visitor center.  But you don’t really get much attention on the Viceroy or others who look similar…. and I kept having trouble remembering how to tell them apart, but then I managed to get a few pictures of this one, and went and looked, and sure enough, I was able to see the differences I’d seen mentioned online.  Mainly, the Viceroy’s vein pattern along the back wing is different, in this case, it has a straight line cutting across it, where the monarch doesn’t.  I kind of nerd out on terms like Batesian and Mullerian … and I don’t think I’ve spelled those right, as well as aposomatic, and these guys give me a chance to use them (after I look them up and refresh the info in the dusty corners of my brain).  So, coolies, I got to see one!  Now I just have to get a monarch to hold still so I can get a picture, and put up my own comparison pictures….




And this moth…




And even though I’m not exactly a fan of them, I think these are tent caterpillars… and hey, I did read a while ago that they’re not the complete black death for a forest they are billed as (ok, they’re not great either) and that they are actually a food source for some critters, including bears… that doesn’t mean I like them a lot yet.