So I saw this guy flitting around our yard this past weekend and thought for a minute that it was a Painted Lady, which I have already seen this spring in our yard numerous times.
But something didn’t seem quite right and it was not a Painted Lady, but rather a Red Admiral, of the same Brushfoot family of butterflies (also including Monarchs, Fritillaries, and many more). This is the largest butterfly family with about 6,000 species distributed throughout most of the world.
I love finding new-to-me butterflies (and birds) so it was my lucky day!
We have an inadvertent butterfly garden with all the lantana we have. The butterflies flock to it, and since I’ve already seen several types there this spring, when my first sighting last year was not until April, I’m hoping for many more new varieties this year.
For comparison, this is the Painted Lady I photographed a few days ago:
And here’s a bonus moth below. This is a White-Lined Sphinx Moth.
Moths are similar to butterflies, but lack a distinct club at tip of antennae and have wing scales with softer edges. Butterflies are mostly diurnal and moths mostly nocturnal – with many exceptions. Our bug lights don’t seem to deter them so we have to work at keeping them outside, by keeping the light by the door off, so Google doesn’t enjoy them for sport and snack. Mothra!