Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Butterfly: American Snout (Libytheana carinenta)

April 21st, 2012. Continued from here. Just south of GA-83, Starrs Road - the road into the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge – jogs slightly before it continues south the NWR. For some reason, butterflies are attracted to this specific section of road. Some gather here in large numbers. In addition to an American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis), a Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis), and many Question Marks (Polygonia interrogationis), there was new butterfly for me, the American Snout (Libytheana carinenta).

There were about 20 t0 30 American Snouts at the jog in Starrs Road. When they flew we could see splashes of brilliant, deep orange. However, as soon as they landed…

they folded their wings so that the orange was no longer visible – replaced by a camouflage of various shades of brown.

Occasionally some of the orange on the top of the wing was visible if they didn’t fold their wings completely. In each of the previous three photos, the butterflies proboscis may be seen ‘sipping’ minerals from the gravel.

We drove on down to Tribble Fields in the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. There weren’t many here and most behaved like the snouts we’d seen earlier. And then there was one…

that perched on vertical objects like this grass blade rather than on the ground. It flew over to the…

stem of a Venus’ Looking Glass (Triodanis perfoliata) plant where, occasionally, it would flex its wings. Then it was possible to see the pattern on the top of the wing.

Since this sighting, I’ve seen a couple of American Snouts as far north as the boat launch at Dyar Pasture and the Sculls Shoals Experimental Forest in Greene County.
This is probably close to the northern end of its range in this part of Georgia. I've never seen this butterfly at home.
Click on an image to view a closer image

Identification resources:

Michael Beohm, West Central Georgia Butterflies:
- Libytheana carinenta (American Snout)
Butterflies and Moths of North America:
- Libytheana carinenta (American Snout)

Libytheana carinenta (American Snout) [Wings open] [Wings closed]

Related posts:

- A Gathering Of Butterflies

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