Walks on the Wild Side, Fall-Winter, 2008-9

November 5, 2008
West Fork of the San Gabriel River
Narrowleaf Milkweed and Associates

Section 4: Other insects we saw

Propertius duskywing
Photo by Graham.

Notice the bent clubbed antennae which tell us that this is a skipper, not another type of butterfly nor a moth. Identified as female Propertius Duskywing by the pattern of white dots on the upperside of the forewing. It prefers oak woodlands. Robert Michael Pyle in Butterflies of Cascadia says, " ... the females [are] particularly reminiscent of big brown moths when they fly." Also notice the long black proboscis (between the two antennae) inserted in the flower.

More photos:

Propertius Duskywing on Goldenaster, Heterotheca sessiliflora, one of the few plants providing nectar at this time of year.

West Coast Lady. Photo by Graham.

Painted Lady. Photo by Graham.

Examine the leading edge of the forewing of each butterfly. On the West Coast Lady the second color bar or large spot in from the tip is light orange, while on the Painted Lady it is white.

On the Painted Lady the straight clubbed antennae are very easy to see. Moths have no club on their antennae; most moths have simple thread-like antennae, some have feathery (branched) antennae. Skippers have bent clubbed antennae. (Thanks, Bob, for the correction!)

Narrowleaf Milkweed and Associates

Section 1. The Plant Asclepias fascicularis, narrowleaf milkweed

Section 2. Insects that feed directly on the milkweed plant

Section 3. Insects that feed on the insects that feed on the milkweed

Section 4. Other insects we saw

“I do not seek. I find.” — Pablo Picasso

original pages created November 7, 2008
text on this page is Copyright © 2008-2021 Jane Strong.
images on this page are Copyright © 2008-2021 Graham Bothwell.

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