Bug book: Ode to Anthanassa

After great feedback and encouragement from several readers, I’ve decided to go ahead with putting together a book of my creature photography. I’ve also decided to share photographs throughout the process under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. I haven’t yet constructed a timeline for the book – there’s a lot of information still to compile and many more creatures still to photograph. But it has been a good exercise for me to begin putting aside my favorite pics and jotting down any notes I have on the species.

Today, I focused on butterflies from the genus Anthanassa. When I first tweeted a photograph of one of these butterflies earlier this month, Andy Warren (@AndyBugGuy) replied identifying it as Anthanassa sitalces cortes. Over the next few days, I saw many similar butterflies. I assumed they were all the same species, so I photographed a few and moved on. Then, Andy told me there are five very similar Anthanassa species in my area. Five! In addition to A. sitalces cortes, I could find A. a. ardys, A. tulcis, A. nebulosa alexon, A. ptolyca amator, and A. t. texana. Naturally, I wanted to find them all…

Since then, I have photographed every Anthanassa I’ve seen (well, those that would hold still long enough!).  Here are some of my best shots:


The three photos on the left are of butterflies already identified as A. sitalces cortes. I think there is at least one, possibly two, other species represented. But my inexperienced eyes are starting to blur scanning the patterns of dots and lines!

I certainly don’t have all five. So…the search continues!

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All content on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


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