"Thicket Hairstreak" on yellow flower

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rjlittlefield
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"Thicket Hairstreak" on yellow flower

Post by rjlittlefield »

Image

This one is from the archives -- shot May 30, 2005. I was doing a bit of housekeeping, ran across it, and thought it had some promise.

The big problem with this image was how to avoid vertigo. The butterfly was upside down, the camera was at a weird angle, and ... well ...

This image has been rotated about 120 degrees from what the camera shot, which puts the flower stem pointing straight up and the sun shining from someplace around my left hip!

But if you don't think about those little details, it all looks pretty reasonable. :lol:

The butterfly is a "Thicket Hairstreak", Mitoura spinetorum, brown on the underside, steel blue on the upper surface. Their caterpillars have a pretty restricted diet -- they eat dwarf mistletoe, which grows as a parasite on local conifer trees. I don't know offhand what the flower is. :-k

--Rik

Technical: Canon 300D, Sigma 18-125mm at 125mm. Cropped to about 40% of frame width. 1/400 second at f/10 (thereby giving DOF equivalent to about f/25 if this were full frame).

Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Beautiful butterfly Rik, don't think I have ever seen a Hairstreak such as this around here but I could be mistaken. As for the flower, looks like some sort of field dandiloin, maybe a "Cats Ear," not sure. :-k

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Thanks, Ken.

Most of the hairstreaks are west coast only. There are a couple that might be found in your area, but they look quite a bit different from this one.

I researched the flower a bit more. It appears to be Silvercrown, Cacaliopsis nardosmia ("= Luina nardosmia var. glabrata in Flora of the Pacific Northwest", says the UW Online Herbarium entry). In the full frame, the upper leaves of the plant show a distinctive palmate shape that pretty much nails the ID.

--Rik

Image

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