My Digital Photography of 

Butterflies and their Larvae

The following insects were photographed in the Metro-Detroit area, unless otherwise noted.  I have identified them by their scientific names, if known.  Photographs are sorted so that most recent photos are at the top of the page.

Special thanks to John Maxwell for helping me identify many insects on this page from 2008 and before. 

 

Click here for info about purchasing prints of these photographs.

 

Click on any photo to see a larger view!

 

Unidentified caterpillar

Island Lake State Park, October 8, 2017

 

 

 

Unidentified butterfly

Waterloo State Park, September 25, 2016

 

 

Mourning Cloak, Nymphalis antiopa

Point Mouillee, August 8, 2015

   

 

   

 

 

Monarch, Danaus plexippus

Sterling State Park, August 13, 2017.  I saw 5 or 6 in about 4 hours.

     

   

   

Oakwoods Metropark, September 3, 2016

   

   

Point Mouillee, August 8, 2015.  I saw over 10 monarchs today in 7 hours.  They were very plentiful today.

     

Kensington Metropark, August 1, 2015.

 

Deerfield Hills Nature Area, October 12, 2014

     

   

   

 

Proud Lake State Park, September 14, 2014

   

 

 

Viceroy, Limenitis archippus

These are not my best photographs, but I saw this gorgeous, flawless viceroy on August 18, 2010, and had to try to snap a few shots.  These are all hand-held (no monopod), so that is why they are not as clear as some of my others.

       

 

 

Unknown Larva

Independence Oaks, July 20, 2014

     

       

 

 

Unknown Butterfly

Jackson, MI.  April 19, 2014

 

 

 

Unknown butterfly

Crosswinds Preserve.  July 1, 2017

   

Pontiac Lake State Park.  August 11, 2013

   

   

     

 

 

Unknown Butterfly

Holly, MI.  June 23, 2012

   

     

 

 

Unknown Butterfly

Holly, MI.  June 23, 2012

 

 

 

Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes

I had the chance to observe a swallowtail caterpillar go through its metamorphosis into a butterfly over the summer of 2009.  There are so many photos that it needed its own page.  Click on the larva or butterfly below to see the photos.

 

 

 

Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly, Limenitis arthemis

Jackson, MI.  July 8, 2012

     

Unfortunately, these are not macro photos, but I had never seen one of these types of butterflies before, so I had to take some pictures, even if it was only with my Sony Cybershot 7.2 megapixel camera.  I was at a nursery looking at trees on May 30, 2009 when I spotted this butterfly flying around near the ground.  I was lucky enough to be able to get within a few feet of it while I photographed it.  If only I had my macro camera with me!  I'm not sure why it's called the red-spotted purple butterfly though because it was quite a striking blue color if you ask me.  These photos are pretty accurate regarding the colors.

   

     

     

 

 

Question Mark, Polygonia interrogationis

Holland Ponds, October 25, 2014

   

 

 

 

Unknown butterfly

Photographed on a Buddleia "Purple Emperor" butterfly bush on August 25, 2006.

battered butterfly 8-25-06 drinking nectar closeup.jpg (127376 bytes)  battered butterfly 8-25-06 drinking nectar closeup front view proboscis in focus 2.jpg (148744 bytes)  battered butterfly 8-25-06 drinking nectar top full view.jpg (141248 bytes)  battered butterfly 8-25-06 drinking nectar closeup front view proboscis in focus.jpg (111155 bytes)

battered butterfly 8-25-06 drinking nectar closeup top view.jpg (141371 bytes)  battered butterfly 8-25-06 drinking nectar.jpg (152052 bytes)  battered butterfly 8-25-06 ready to fly away.jpg (142469 bytes)

    battered butterfly 8-25-06 drinking nectar top view.jpg (127744 bytes)  battered butterfly 8-25-06 top view 3.jpg (148761 bytes)  battered butterfly 8-25-06 top view 4.jpg (143521 bytes)  battered butterfly 8-25-06 top view.jpg (128637 bytes)

 

 

Red Admiral, Vanessa Atalanta

Sterling State Park, August 13, 2017.

     

Photographed on a Buddleia "Purple Emperor" butterfly bush on August 25, 2006.

colorful butterfly 8-25-06 full view eyes in focus.jpg (147910 bytes)  colorful butterfly 8-25-06 full view outer wing in focus.jpg (146569 bytes)  colorful butterfly 8-25-06 hanging upside down 1.jpg (116938 bytes)

colorful butterfly 8-25-06 drinking nectar front view.jpg (116025 bytes)  colorful butterfly 8-25-06 full view slightly oof.jpg (120934 bytes)  colorful butterfly 8-25-06 drinking nectar top of wing cut off.jpg (136554 bytes)

  

 

Cabbage Butterfly, Pieris rapae

This butterfly was photographed on oregano flowers in my garden on August 9, 2006.  The first photo is definitely a male since it has one wing spot, not two.  Males also have black wing tips (although I've found that some seem to be missing a lot of scales and are lighter in color).

cabbage butterfly 8-5-06 facing right.jpg (151086 bytes)  cabbage butterfly 8-5-06 best.jpg (114784 bytes)  cabbage butterfly 8-5-06 rear view cropped.jpg (146628 bytes)  cabbage butterfly 8-5-06.jpg (131544 bytes)

Here are two more photos from Sept. 4, 2006.  This one is a female---note the two spots on its wing---males only have one.  Females also have gray wing tips as opposed to black.

cabbage butterflly 9-4-06.jpg (125954 bytes)  cabbage butterflly 9-4-06 in motion.jpg (121048 bytes)

 

 

Tiger Swallowtail butterfly, Papilio glaucus

This butterfly was photographed on the side of my house on a Buddleia "Purple Emperor" butterfly bush in 2004.

swallowtail on butterfly bush.jpg (61891 bytes)

 

 

Monarch butterfly larva, Danaus plexippus

This caterpillar was photographed on a milkweed plant (the only food it eats) at the Saugatuck Dunes on 7-24-04

75 caterpillar back in focus only.jpg (74085 bytes)

 

 

Go to Insects, Spiders and Other Tiny Creatures Main Page

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[ Pandora Sphinx Moth ]  [ Polyphemus Moth ]  [ 5-Spotted Hawk Moth ]  [ Anise Swallowtail ]

[ Jumping Spiders Volume 1 ]  [ Phidippus jumping Spiders Volume 2 ]  [ Phidippus jumping Spiders Volume 3 ]  [ Baby Phidippus Jumpers ]

[ Biglegs the Jumping Spider ]  [ Tufts & Mr. Greenfangs ]

[ Platycryptus undatus jumping spiders ]  [ Platycryptus Babies ]  [ Zebra Spiders ] [ Miscellaneous Jumping Spiders ]

[ Orb-Weavers Volume 1 ]  [ Orb-Weavers Volume 2 ]  [ Baby Orb-weavers ]  [ Crab Spiders ]  [ Miscellaneous Spiders ]  [ Spider Webs ]

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