Today’s entry into the photography challenge is the Silvery Checkerspot (or the Pearl Crescent) butterfly. I am not an entomologist by any stretch of the imagination (actually more often than not—I’ll send a picture of a bug to my cousin [who is an entomologist] for identification purposes. Though I am slowly branching out from doing straight bird photography and trying to get pictures of butterflies and other insects as well. As I get better at photography and slowly expand what I’m taking pictures of, I’m find the names of some of the animals interesting.
Take this butterfly for example—it’s an orange and black butterfly, and is either the silvery checkerspot or the pearl crescent butterfly. I’m assuming that the name is coming from the whitish edges and the bar pattern on their antennae. The pearl crescent should be a little smaller and lack the white dots (and since this one didn’t show any white dots—hard to tell; as some checkerspots might not have large white dots).
We’ve had quite a few of these butterflies through the backyard this summer. As with all butterflies and moths, these butterflies go through their lifecycle near their host plants. Their range (either the silvery checkerspot or the pearl crescent) stretches from Canada downwards towards Mexico (though not seen in the western part of the country), and then eastward.
Since the pandemic and self-isolation started I’ve realized that I do turn to taking the camera out to the backyard and looking at things through a different lens. One photography goal now is to try to see how many different butterfly/moth caterpillars I can get a photograph of during the spring/summer/fall months starting in 2021.
What’s your favorite butterfly/moth species?
This is a Pearl Crescent. The underside of the wing is the only reliable way I know to tell a Pearl Crescent from a Silvery Checkerspot (or a Harris Checkerspot). For Pearls, along the underside edge of the hind wing, there’s a large pale (sometimes whitish) cell with a chevron in it, that points a BLACK dot. The dot would be white for a Silvery Checkerspot. Also, there are no white arches with brown arcs running in a row across the middle of the underwing, which the Sliveries have. Think: Silvery Checkerspots have a silver dot and silver arches. These photos will help explain what I mean:
Pearl Crescent: https://tinyurl.com/5yfhezk2
Silvery Checkerspot: https://tinyurl.com/73e9kasv