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Old 07-19-2009, 07:25 PM   #1
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Default Butterfly identification requested.

This photo was taken of a butterfly at the St Louis Zoo. It was my understanding all of the butterflies in the exhibit were North American.

Does anyone know what species this is?
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Butterfly identification requested.-unknown.jpg  
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Old 07-20-2009, 04:21 PM   #2
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Without knowing the size, or the way the specimen was flying it would be really hard to tell which butterfly this one is. As a butterfly monitor in Northern Illinois, I am going to imagine that mostly everything we have up here would be common to the same area near St. Louis.

The only butterfly that this photo resembles is a Common Wood Nymph -
BUT -
the all important eye spots are missing.

You can almost make out the "field" that the eyespots would generally occur on. I have also seen freshly emerged Wood Nymphs where the eyespots were barely visible as they emerge very dark brown. As the Wood Nymph ages, they become lighter brown with the eyespots more evident.

If there is one thing I have learned with looking at photos on the computer...you are never really sure that your screen is rendering color and contrast correctly.
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Old 07-20-2009, 04:46 PM   #3
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Thank you very kindly for your help. The butterfly was at most 1.75".

I tried to do some research myself. I found that I was misinformed by the employees running the event. The butterflies at the Missouri Zoo's Butterfly House exhibit were not all North American-
MBG: The Butterfly House - Butterflies

I tried to find the butterfly using a little book I have and was unsuccessful. I suspect this butterfly is not North American which may very well be why we are struggling to find an identification for it-
Welcome! | Butterflies and Moths of North America
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:34 PM   #4
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Hi Lorax,

I think the people at the Faust Park butterfly house are often called upon to ID local wild butterflies, so one of their own should be a cinch. Put my county tax dollars to work, please!

It does remind me of the "dead leaf" butterflies they have... but I've no idea of its name, or if it really is one.
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