The 12 Bugs of Christmas II

A handful of additional Bugs.

A Duskywing and a Cloudywing (Family Hesperiidae)

Duskywing and a Cloudywing Butterflies are sun-loving, chunky, hairy, small-sized, large-headed, often brown/brown-and-orange butterflies that are sometimes mistaken for moths. Like other butterflies, their antennae have club-shaped tips, but in most skippers the clubs have a tiny hook on the end.

Bog Copper Butterfly (Family Lycaenidae)

Bog Coppers, also called Cranberry-bog Coppers, are with hairstreaks, coppers, and blues in the Gossamer-wing family Lycaenidae. They occur in a band across North America on either side of the Canadian border, as far south as northern Ohio/Pennsylvania/New Jersey, and Maryland, and never far from cranberry plants. They are extreme food specialists, the caterpillars eat only cranberry leaves.

Tiger Swallowtail Junior (Family Papilionidae)

Tiger Swallowtails have been split into three species. and the latter three groups of trees are food plants of the Canadian swallowtail, a northern species that was a subspecies of the Eastern Tiger swallowtail until 20 years ago are listed as eating aspens, birches and willows. By comparison, our other two swallowtails have narrower palettes. Their connection to plants in the carrot family has earned Black swallowtails the nickname of “Parsley swallowtail,” and Giant swallowtails are tied to plants in the citrus family.

Tiger Swallowtail (Family Papilionidae)

Tiger Swallowtails are big butterflies. Canary-sized butterflies, with wingspreads approaching 5½”. The males are tiger-striped. Some of the females share that yellow and black coloration, and a tiger with an extra dollop of blue on the hind wings is likely to be a female.

Bronze Copper (Family Lycaenidae)

Adult Bronze Coppers, especially females, take some nectar. Caterpillars dine only on a few species of the dock (Rumex), especially water dock, and smartweed (Polygonum) in the smartweed family. BCs can be found in low, moist areas on both sides of the border from Maine west to the northern Great Plains and south to mid-country. Here in Wisconsin, they are rarer “up north.” One source suggested that the BC, like other coppers, favors areas where drainage is poor.

Great Spangled Fritillary (Family Nymphalidae)

Great Spangled Fritillaries can be seen over a good chunk of North America. They like open spaces—woody clearings, gardens, wet and dry grasslands, and other open areas as long as there’s a woodland near-by. They are strong flyers and vigilant feeders.

Edwards’ Hairstreak (Family Lycaenidae)

Edwards’ hairstreaks live in savannahs, sand barrens, limy ridges, and the edges and openings of oak thickets. There, the adults nectar on flowers of a variety of legumes, dogbane, sumac, milkweeds (there’s a reason they call it Butterfly weed) and other summer flowers. EH caterpillars are oak-eaters, browsing first on the buds and later on the tender leaves. Young caterpillars eat during the day and apparently stay in the trees, but older caterpillars spend the day on the ground and feed in the trees at night.

Hackberry Emperor (Family Nymphalidae)

Hackberry butterflies are found over about two-thirds of the U.S. In Wisconsin, you’re most likely to see a Hackberry Emperor (HbE) in the southwestern third of the state and along the Mississippi River, but there are records elsewhere. The HbE is considered a fairly common butterfly in its range, but it is often overlooked because it’s flying around the tops of the trees. Its caterpillars feed on the several species of hackberry trees/shrubs. Period. As hackberry trees grow, so grow hackberry emperors.

Pearl Crescent (Family Nymphalidae)

Most sources agree that Pearl Crescents are one of the most abundant butterflies in the U.S. Some parts of the west coast are PC-free. They like grasslands, bike trails, vacant lots, edges, and open spots in woods, where they bask on low plants, siphon nectar from a variety of wildflowers with their long proboscis, or take in minerals and moisture from the edges of mud puddles.