Mariton: An Interesting Butterfly
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager. Photos by Carole Mebus.
On last week’s Butterfly Walk we saw an American Snout (Libytheana carinenta). On the census, we recorded the first one seen during 29 years of censuses! Virginia said it had been a few years since she had seen one on her property. This is an uncommon butterfly for us. On the walk it landed on Marilyn’s camera strap. Marilyn stayed still for several minutes while people took photos of the butterfly posed peacefully. Alas, though she had her camera, Marilyn didn’t get a photo of the butterfly. This butterfly’s caterpillars feed primarily on Hackberry trees (like the Hackberry Emperor). Since we have a good supply of Hackberries at Mariton we will hopefully keep seeing this species here.
Another special sighting was the Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos). Carole got a great photo of this butterfly that feeds on Asters when it is a larva. I haven’t seen a lot of these, so Virginia was kind to point out it gets its name for the light crescent seen on the wing. I am always learning something on these walks.
Mariton’s Butterfly walks are over for the summer, but there are still butterflies to be seen in the fields.