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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Warm enough

Bodega Head can be a tough place for butterflies — it's often cool, foggy, and windy.  But this morning it was relatively warm, sunny, and still.  So I decided to go for a quick walk near Campbell Cove to see what I could find.  I was rewarded with six species of butterflies.  Here's one of them.

This is a Satyr Anglewing (Polygonia satyrus).  I first wrote about them last May when we saw one during a walk at Point Reyes (read that story here), but these are the first pictures I've posted of this species from Bodega Head.  

Satyr Anglewings are often associated with Stinging Nettles, and so far that holds true for the places I've seen this species on Bodega Head (Campbell Cove and Owl Canyon).

Note the dramatic angles along the edges of the wings:

Although a beautiful orange above, Satyr Anglewings are mostly brown below (see next photo).  When their wings are held upright, their shape and subtle coloration probably helps them look like a dried leaf or a piece of bark. 

I encountered two different anglewings during my walk.  The second one appeared to be sipping water from a monkeyflower plant (see below). 

It was interesting that the white hindwing mark on this individual was a slightly different shape — it was much more hook-like (next image).  All of the characteristics still point to this being a Satyr Anglewing, but it's a good example of how individuals can vary within a species.

P.S.  For the record, the other species of butterflies recorded at Campbell Cove today included Acmon Blue, Echo Blue, Cabbage White, Mylitta Crescent, and Red Admiral.

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