Duskywings In April: Calling All Photographers

Juvenal's or Horace's? Male or female? What's your call? All photos here by Dave Amadio, 4-1-16, at Glassboro WMA, GLO.

Juvenal’s or Horace’s? Male or female? What’s your call? (All photos here by Dave Amadio, 4-1-16, at Glassboro WMA, GLO.)


What name would you give to the butterfly above?

All photos here are by Dave Amadio and of the same individual skipper — at Glassboro WMA on 4-1-16.

You can go to the Sightings Log to see Dave’s conclusion, but Dave himself says it was a tough call.

And before you look at Dave’s answer, here are three more of his shots of the same bug.  What would be your ID if these were your photos?

 A different angle, showing dorsal pattern.

A different angle, showing dorsal pattern.

A third angle, dorsal side in different light.

A third angle, ventral side (and different light).

Ventral in different light.

Dorsal — blurry but helpful.

Distinguishing Juvenal’s and Horace’s duskywings while both species are flying — through April and deep into May — might be even more of a challenge than separating blueberry and holly azures. Juvenal’s are more numerous than Horace’s in spring, but our records show Horace’s fly early also, starting some years in early April and even one year in March (2012).

Can we pull together our photos and group expertise for a Photo Forum focused on these two?

If you have photos of either or both flying in South Jersey in April (or early May) that you are willing to share, please send them to nacotejackATgmailDOTcom. Please be sure to include the date and site. Most useful would be bright and sharply-focused shots that show features that you believe are diagnostic to species and/or sex. Be sure to include your comments about what you see in your photo(s) that help you or puzzle you so that your thoughts can become part of the discussion.

Dave has already sent in his analysis of his shots here, but I am saving his comments for that Forum.

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to contribute to this effort to help all of us become better observers!


This entry was posted in ID Challenges & Tips, Photo Forum, Skippers. Bookmark the permalink.