Two kinds of butterflies

They look alike but are different species

  • Oct. 5, 2011 7:00 p.m.

The beautiful butterfly (photo on top right) is our very own West Coast Lorquin’s Admiral (Limenitis lorquini) which has managed to survive these last few years which have been very hard on our butterfly population in part becase their larva feed on a wide variety of trees and shrubs, black cotton wood, trembling aspen, willow, cotoneaster, garden apple, Oregon crab apple, ornemental Siberian crab apple, hard hack, Saskatoon, choke cherry, bitter cherry and hawthorne.

As you can see by the list they are not specialist feeders like the Monarch, a much larger orange and black butterfly rarely found on the Island because we do not have milkweed,  the family of plants its caterpillars thrive on.

The butterflies are having such a hard time with the weather in the last few years that we all need to be kind to ourcaterpillars.

Wing span: 47 to 71 mm.

Range  west coast in the U.S.A. moving further inland in the more northerly part of its range. Widespread in southern B.C. and Vancouver Island.  flight June to August.  It winters over as a caterpillar. Information:  The Butterflies of Canada: Layberry, Hall & Lafontaine

Butterflies of British Columbia:  Guppy & Shepard

Here is the Monarch  (Danaus plexippus) pictured on an eastern milkweed. This one is male.  This butterfly is of special concern in B.C.  as there is only one native milkweed  in B.C. and it is found in the dry areas of the southern interior. Unfortunately it is considered a noxious weed. With out the milkweed there can be no Monarchs to migrate to California or Mexico for the winte,r as the caterpillars will only eat milkweeds.

Monarch  wing span: 93 to 105 mm. The  male is distinguished by the dark spot on the wing.

Flight time June to September, overwinter, no,  migrates to California or Mexico.

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