About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Photo Share: Think Spring!

A group of butterflies that appears early in the spring is the Punctuation Butterflies. They belong to the family Nymphalinae. Two common species of punctuation butterflies in Michigan are the Question Marks and Commas. Both get their names from the tiny mark that resembles a Question or Comma on the lower edge of hind wing.

Close relatives to each other, both species hibernate and appear on warm sunny days near the end of March. They seldom visit flowers because they actually feed on tree sap, rotting fruit, dung and carrion.
Once mated the female lays eggs under leaves of plants until the end of May. The young caterpillars hatch and munch on American elms, red elms, hackberry plants, Japanese hops, nettles, and more until its time to shed their skin and form into a chrysalis. After a couple weeks, a butterfly emerges, usually in the morning and afternoon hours.

When the summer adults emerge, they live, mate, and lay more eggs from May-September. Their eggs will develop the winter form of the butterflies that can overwinter to mate once again in the spring.
Thank you Holly for sharing your photos. If anyone else would like to share a photograph of nature send it to bloubird@gmail.com and I'll put it on the Friday Photo posts. 

Related Articles:
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Did you know butterflies have ears on their wings? http://bit.ly/x04qEi
Red Admiral Butterfly Finds a Girlfriend http://bit.ly/AcDCwl
What are those small, creamy white butterflies with a spot on the wing? http://bit.ly/yRuhBX

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