Party Crasher September 22, 2007
Butterflies often gather at communal puddle parties. It is believed they are nectaring on salts or nutrients found in the soil. Tiger Swallowtails often partake in this behavior, and today while searching for the unusual Southern Dogface butterfly, I found a group of sulphurs similarly engaged.
A quick "look see" suggested that the party was for Clouded and Orange Sulphers only. Both species are unremarkable in Ohio, but worth the time to get a nice photo of the party goers.
Imagine my surprise when sorting photos, I noticed the Southern stranger hiding (mostly concealed) in the top left corner of the party. This handsome stranger was the unusual visitor, the Southern Dogface, Zerene cesonia. The feature to note is the straight edge and pointed corner of the upper wing (forewing). Comparing this "Bowser's" straight wing edge with the the rounded edges on the other butterflies in this group gathering makes the Dogface easier to note.
Why are they called the Dogface? It is difficult to get a photo of the upper side (dorsal) of the wings, as they perch with wings closed, but on-line photos (click here) clearly show a marginal outline which does resemble the face of a dog. This southern species is not regularly occurring in Ohio, so this was a very exciting puddle party to crash!