Help with I.D. -no pic

catherinet(5 IN)September 2, 2011

I was out riding our trails in my golf cart last evening and saw a most beautiful little butterfly. Of course I didn't have my camera! After I went and got my 2 butterfly/moth I.D. booklets, it had closed its wings for the night, and I didn't want to bother it.'s my fairly bad description of it. When its wings were open, it was about 1 and 1/2" wide. It had the horizontal-type shape like a zebra swallowtail. The entire length of its wing margins were these little round circles of yellow or orange. The inner part of its wings (by its body) were darker brown, as was its body. What was so beautiful were these yellow and orange mosaic-type circles at the wing margins.

I'm so sorry this is such a bad description. I'm not a butterfly expert, so I'm sure I'm not even using the correct terms. I went through every pic in both my butterfly books and couldn't find a pic of it.

Any suggestions as to what it was? It was so beautiful, and I'd never seen one before.

We live in the woods with lots of fields around us.

Thanks for your help.

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Milbert's tortoiseshell?


    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 12:26PM
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Tony G(5a)

Miss Sherry, THANK YOU! I purchased 3 milbert tortoise shell chrysalides at the state fair and forgot what they were called.

What a strange name for a butterfly. Tony

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 12:45PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks Sherry,
Close, but no cigar! It has that shape, but the bottom of its wings and around the margins had row upon row of orange and yellow circles. Keep trying though!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 1:36PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

After looking through a few million pics online, I'm thinking maybe a great spangled fritillary?? It has more colors though. The bottom wing was packed with yellow and orange circles........looked like stained glass window.
I'll keep looking! I'll go out tonight with my camera, but I doubt its still there.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 2:45PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Maybe some sort of checkerspot? Maybe I should give up. I'm going a little crazy. :)

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 2:56PM
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Did you already try Baltimore? Great Spangled Fritillaries and pretty big so I don't think your description sounds like that.
Could you still see the circles when its wings were closed? And were they "eyespots" like on a Buckeye?
What state are you in?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 3:51PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi christie,
I'm in central Indiana. It was getting sort of dark when I went back and its wings were closed. The color wasn't on the outside wings. I think they were sort of gray, but I couldn't see any markings.
The circles I'm referring to were small and some were filled with orange, and some with yellow. Most of the backwings and margins of the top wings were filled with these circles of color, but toward the body, it became all brown.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 4:34PM
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Hmmm, I am in Ohio and right now we have a lot of buckeyes flying. Could that be it?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 9:51PM
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Pyle surmises in his Butterflies of Cascadia book that "Milbert" in this case was Jean-Baptiste Godart's tortoiseshell cat (Godart was a French entomologist C. 1800).

    Bookmark   September 2, 2011 at 11:45PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Check out Meadow Fritillary.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 9:29AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

No, I know what buckeyes look like and it wasn't that. And it seemed much more colorful than a Meadow Fritillary. It sort of looked like one of the Checkerspots. Couldn't find it again last eve. I'll keep on the lookout and keep my camera handy. It was such a beautiful little jewel.
Thanks for your help! Maybe it was just a dream. :)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 9:43AM
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