Thursday, May 6, 2010

CA sister ~ 05/06/10 ~ Pinnacles

California sister perched on buck brush
Adelpha californica (formerly Adelpha bredowii) perched on Ceanothus cuneatus var. cuneatus

Didn't I say I hope my pictures will improve in a year? And, yes, I'm using the same ol' Konica Minolta DiMAGE X50. I'm just pausing a little longer and being patient.

I often get California sisters confused with Lorquin's admiral (Limenitis lorquini) from the top view and on the wing. The way I remember it now is "Lorquin's lacks the black" margin around the orange tips. From the underside, each is very different.

Notice it appears like there are only 4 legs? There really are 6, the front two are tucked in, which is typical of the Nymphalidae family, also known as brushfoots. What I don't understand is Glassberg, p.134 says the forelegs are reduced in males. Does this mean they are not reduced in females? I can't find anything online confirming this, but I do find it interesting that most pictures online are of males.

To see a fantastic picture of the California sister caterpillar, see Butterflies of America's site.

ps 07/02/11 - I should note that buck brush is not the host plant of CA sister. This butterfly's caterpillars reportedly eat oaks. As I watched the individual above, it seemed to be territorial of a particular open air space created by the nearby stream; it repeatedly perched on the same branch of buck brush, after chasing other butterflies.

ps - 06/01/13 - I've updated the butterfly name change and embedded links.


biobabbler said...

ooh, delightful post. WONderful picture, very interesting re: tucked in legs (had no idea), handy lacks the black tip, LOVE the caterpillar link (of course), and what is your butterfly holding/touching?

Nature ID said...

Thanks! I just made up the "Lorquin's lacks the black" as I was typing it, but I'll remember it from now on. I added the plant info above just for you.