Sunday, March 9, 2014

bramble hairstreak ~ 03/09/14 ~ Pinnacles

Apiaceae

posted 03/18/14 - I should have posted this yesterday, but it slipped my mind that it was St. Patty's Day until I saw all the school children wearing green on the Rec Trail as they headed to the Aquarium.  The way the kids float in and around each other reminded me of butterflies, hence this post.  I've got butterflies on the brain.  Last year I noticed the populations of bramble hairstreaks seemed to be booming everywhere I went.  I'll be curious to see how they show this dry year.

I half joked with Art Shapiro that the common names of butterflies are becoming more reliable than the scientific names.  He agreed with me.  I tend to lean old school, like him.  Oy vey!  It looks like there's quite a heated debate around the taxonomy of this common butterfly, as is evidenced by this BugGuide entry under lotus hairstreak.  I've also read a couple mentions for C. viridis for the coastal version.  Local lep people, including at Pinnacles, seem to prefer C. perplexa.

I think, for a descriptive and recognizable name, I'm just going to call them bramble hairstreaks.  They're the only solid green butterfly reported in this area.  However, the juniper hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus) might be mistaken for a bramble if one doesn't look close enough, and there are very few reports of junipers.  I should note the bramble topside is actually solid brown for both males and females, and it's a flash of green and brown when they fly by.  When all is said and done, I'm charmed by this sweet little green butterfly.

ps - As I was researching links (all the highlighted words above) to embed in this post, I found this odd page for lomatium @ Sustainability in Prisons Project in conjunction with Evergreen State College.  Huh?  Yes, correctional facilities.  I heard Evergreen folks were a little wacky.  Their project is fascinating.

pss 03/21/14 - Ken-ichi Ueda on Flickr came up with a similarly tangled name search.  I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds this confusing to track.

8 comments:

Imperfect and Tense said...

I can't decide which is cuter, the insect or the plant, so I'm just going to enjoy looking at both. Nice shots :o)

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Thanks, Graeme! Did you wear green yesterday?

Imperfect and Tense said...

Coincidentally, yes! But then again, my wardrobe is biased heavily towards landscape colours.

Jennifer said...

I love it when I see these little green butterflies. So cute and pretty.

biobabbler said...

Wow, what a perfect capture of that beautiful little butterfly. That's a pretty amazing green. I love "perplexa" as a species name for a contentious animal (at least, taxonomically). =) Both butterfly and plant are charming.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Thanks, all.

GretchenJoanna said...

I love that butterfly picture, and have never seen such an insect myself - all the words here in your post and the comments are fitting...I'll just add: lovely. :-)

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Oh, bb, I just got your pun. Haha.

Gretchen, they are lovely and so spring-like, aren't they?