Readers’ wildlife photos

August 19, 2020 • 7:45 am

Send in your wildlife photos, please! We have a comfortable backlog, but it goes down at the rate of seven posts a week. Also, I ask again for “photos of readers” (we have two more).

Today’s contributor, who sends lovely photos of butterflies, is Ivar Husa from Washington State. His captions and IDs are indented.

Here is a collection of butterflies from around the west. Strange and beautiful insects often occupy my field time ‘in between birds’. These are all butterflies. More diverse insects will follow in other posts.

Becker’s White Pontia beckerii.  One of the most surprisingly beautiful butterflies of the shrub steppe. The green/gold bands on the ventral hind wing are created by mixing yellow and black scales. Quite a trick!

Fun! A Gray Hairstreak, Strymon melinus, alongside a Gorgone Checkerspot, Chlosyne gorgone, on Mt Lemmon near Tucson AZ.

Coronis Fritillary (Speyeria coronis), Yakima County Washington:

Mourning Cloak, Nymphalis antiopa, this one from NE Oregon, is known in Britain as the Camberwell beauty. It is said to possibly be our longest lived butterfly, as adults live 10 to 11 months.

Queen Alexandra’s Sulphur, Colias alexandra. John Day River, NE Oregon:

Satyr Comma, Polygonia satyrus. Blue Mountains Washington:

White-checkered Skipper, Pyrgus albescens. Patagonia, AZ

Melissa Blue, Plebejus melissa, squeezes amazing detail and color in the tiniest of packages. These ‘blues’ are about the size of a dime. They are found widely, but this was observed in the Blue Mountains of SE Washington.

Anise Swallowtail, Papilio zelicaon:

I photograph insects with the same camera and lens I use for larger critters and ‘soon’ deep space objects as well.  I have an astronomic tracking system (used to counter the earth’s rotation) on back order.  The pandemic has put more people into the astronomy market than ever before, so my wait could be a while. The equipment I use  is Canon 5DSR with 100-400 lens and 1.4x teleconverter.

16 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

    1. Just so, the Mark II is amazing. I also highly recommend the Canon 5D SR. It has mega pixels and delivers much sharper images than I get with my 5D Mark II. Just not for Astrophotography (more’s the pity) as it doesn’t do as well in low light as Nikon or Sony.

  1. Speyeria coronis – what’s going on with the blotchy eye? Are there differences in the ommatidium or is it just coloration of the facets?

    1. I have no idea how they do it, but most compound eyes, on insects anyway, are multicolored. Some are stunners. From Google Images, fetch for HORSEFLY EYES. They will amaze.

  2. What’s it called when your eyes are two different colors? The Gray Hairstreak (how’d it get that name?) has one yellow eye and one orange on its wings. Incredibly clear pix of such a wide variety of gorgeous butterflies! Thanks.

    1. Thank you for drawing that to my attention. I’d not noticed. Now I have to check with some real experts to understand what is going on. Bad/uneven lighting?

  3. You have a fine eye for butterflies, and the photos are absolutely gorgeous. I love the angles that let us see the eyes and proboscis on these beauties. Thanks for giving us these.

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