Magnificent Milbert June 03, 2007
Friday provided some great looks at a "local specialty" butterfly. The Milbert's Tortoiseshell is a member of the anglewing family of butterflies with bit of moxie.
Their caterpillars feed on Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica, a rather intimidating plant with coarse, stinging hairs! This is a plant you may not want to pull if it occurs in your yard. Mostly, because it will leave you with a miserable, painful hand, but also because it is the host plant for not only the Milbert's, but the Red Admiral butterfly as well.
I suppose the best solution is to get your neighbor to grow nettles :) Or visit the Milbert's Tortoiseshells at Byers Woods in Ashland, Ohio, the site of our monthly Greater Mohican Audubon Society bird walks and upcoming Bobolinks at Byers Woods.