Montana Outdoors

May 7, 2012

Large Marble. Talk about names that don’t fit!

Filed under: Butterflies — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:04 pm

Today I noticed some small white flowers starting to bloom on the hillside just above our driveway and so this evening I went up there to get a photo or two. Completely un-noticed until I knelt down to get a close shot of one of the flowers was this beautiful little creature. Although not rare, it is new to me and I’m very pleased that I got the chance to see it!

Large Marble

Large Marble, Euchloe ausonides, in the Pieridae family

http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Euchloe-ausonides

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63 Comments »

  1. Oh my goodness!

    Comment by Roberta — May 7, 2012 @ 9:37 pm

    • Sure looks different for a butterfly, doesn’t it! In the photo the wings stand out, but they were surprisingly well camouflaged from a distance.

      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

  2. The world is a different place at the macro level.

    Comment by jomegat — May 7, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

    • It sure is. It has given me a totally new perspective on many things and an increased appreciation of the natural world.

      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

  3. How beautiful!! That may be my favorite one so far! What incredible colors.

    Comment by juls — May 7, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

    • It’s a beauty, isn’t it! I’m sure they have been all around here every summer, but how is it possible that no one of us has seen one?

      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2012 @ 11:34 pm

  4. Cool. Ya gotta love the fringe on this fella.

    Comment by Grampy — May 7, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

    • We’re still having frost on things in the morning, so I’m hoping that is a warm jacket he’s wearing!

      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2012 @ 11:36 pm

  5. How beautiful! I love his fur trim, and his eye is amazing! You did well to get such an excellent photo.

    Comment by Jo Woolf — May 8, 2012 @ 12:49 am

    • Good fortune that it let me get so close! Those large eyes must have seen me!

      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2012 @ 8:10 am

  6. Oh my … I have never seen anything like it … so fuzzy. Great shot. Glad luck was on your side so that we all got to see it.

    Comment by bearyweather — May 8, 2012 @ 6:08 am

    • I’m always thrilled to see something like that and glad I had the camera with me. Sometimes I think that I’ve seen most everything that lives around here and then there comes a pleasant surprise!

      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2012 @ 8:12 am

  7. Very unique! That must be its ‘I am an old leaf’ disguise. I did an image search and would not have recognized it with the wings spread. It is very fuzzy, isn’t it?

    Comment by sandy — May 8, 2012 @ 6:49 am

    • Yes, if you look at the top sides of the wings, it looks like an entirely different butterfly. That’s probably why I haven’t noticed them before, although I sill study a butterfly every chance I get.

      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2012 @ 8:13 am

  8. Wow, that is one cool find. Thanks for sharing. I’ll check it out and see if there’s anywhere around here that I might find one.

    Comment by anniespickns — May 8, 2012 @ 7:03 am

    • I gathered from what I read that they are fairly widespread on the west coast, although one website says that it is in serious trouble in central California. (http://butterfly.ucdavis.edu/butterfly/Euchloe/ausonides).

      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2012 @ 8:19 am

      • Thank you. It says it does frequent my area. It would definitely be worth keeping an eye out for.

        Comment by anniespickns — May 9, 2012 @ 6:34 am

        • I think the trick to finding them will be learning how to recognize them seeing the top surfaces of their wings. I will be studying that.

          Comment by montucky — May 9, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

  9. Sooo glad the synchronicity happened to you with this being – thanks – it’s so great to see such diversity. Glad to know it’s common!

    Comment by C.C. — May 8, 2012 @ 7:45 am

    • I continued to do more research last night and I saw that it is not doing well at all in central California. (See the link in my reply to Annie’s comment above.) I will watch for them more closely here now that I know what their top side looks like too.

      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2012 @ 8:22 am

  10. Exquisitely hairy little fellow. Nice capture.

    Comment by Kim — May 8, 2012 @ 7:45 am

  11. Oh my! What a fuzzy little fellow and such a beautiful creation. I’ve never seen a butterfly like him before!

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — May 8, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    • I had not seen one like that either, but after seeing images on several butterfly sites, the tops of the wings are mostly white and not at all like the bottoms. This just might be an unusual look at a butterfly that we usually consider a white one.

      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

  12. Such precious and unique creature ! Aren’t we lucky that you knelt down and discovered it for us ? A wonderful macro.

    Comment by isathreadsoflife — May 8, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    • Yes Isa, I’m really glad I discovered it, or noticed it. I think it’s a very pretty butterfly!

      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

  13. Wow-I’ve never seen a butterfly like that. It’s a hairy one but beautiful just the same. When I read “large marble” I was thinking of the kind of marble games are played with. It took a second look for me to think oh, I get it. Actually it looks more like a leaf than marble I think, though what kind of leaf I’m not sure.

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 8, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    • When I was trying to identify it I saw a photo on a butterfly site but at first didn’t understand that “Large Marble” was actually the common name for it. The pattern looks like a leaf that has been fed upon by an insect larva.

      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

  14. It’s so pretty and unique! I’ve never seen one like that before. Great photo!

    Comment by alskamom — May 8, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

    • It is so different that when I first saw it I did a double-take, not at first understanding what it was.

      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

  15. Your macro detail is amazing! Beautiful photo!

    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — May 8, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

    • Thanks. This butterfly was very patient, perhaps settling down for the night. Given a chance, that lens can do a very good job with detail!

      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

  16. Wow pretty neat…never saw anything like that before. The name doesn’t quite fit unless the name refers to the marbling on the wings or maybe when it was first discovered it was perched on a marble…hmmmm. Super photo of a very unusual creature!

    Comment by dhphotosite — May 8, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    • You’re probably right about the “marbling” on the wings, but that’s quite a stretch. I visualize the pattern as a leaf that was fed upon by a larva. It even appears to have the veins of a leaf.

      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2012 @ 9:57 pm

  17. Oh, my. I think I’m in love. And I see I’m not the only one who wants to pet him!

    Comment by shoreacres — May 8, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

    • I’m in love with it too. It seems to me to be the epitome of a butterfly!

      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  18. What a beautiful little creature…incredible photo, Montucky.

    Comment by seekraz — May 9, 2012 @ 7:17 am

    • Thanks Scott! I was very impressed with the little thing!

      Comment by montucky — May 9, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

      • You’re very welcome…I was impressed, too. :)

        Comment by seekraz — May 9, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

  19. Fantastic photo Montucky!

    Comment by Tammy — May 9, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    • Thanks Tammy! I was very happy that the little fellow was patient so I was able to get a good shot.

      Comment by montucky — May 9, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

  20. I certainly see where the marble part of the name came from. Maybe there’s a close relative called Small Marble. :) Very beautiful and hairy under your lens.

    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — May 9, 2012 @ 11:46 am

    • Interesting that you see the marble, Scott. Yes, there must be a small one too!

      Comment by montucky — May 9, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

  21. That’s an incredible photo! What an exotic-looking creature!

    Comment by Watching Seasons — May 9, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

    • The pattern on the wings is fascinating to me, especially how the colors are created. A lot like the four-color printing process. Although they show up clearly in the photo, the actual effect of the wing color and pattern was that it blended into the background very well. Had I not gotten very close to it when looking at the flower I would easily have missed it.

      Comment by montucky — May 9, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

  22. it’s adorable! I want to hug it!

    Comment by sfwolf — May 9, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

    • It just looks friendly and huggable, doesn’t it!

      Comment by montucky — May 9, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

  23. Hi Montucky, Outstanding find and shot. It is a great example of camouflage in nature. Have a wonderful evening tonight and a bright day tomorrow!

    Comment by wildlifewatcher — May 9, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    • Thanks! Yes, it is a great example of another of nature’s survival strategies. This one would be very visible in flight when the white tops of the wings can be seen, yet virtually disappear when the wings are folded.

      Comment by montucky — May 9, 2012 @ 10:48 pm

  24. The diversity of life is amazing, isn’t it? Just among butterflies there are so many varieties. I love this furry butterfly.

    Comment by Candace — May 9, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

    • It is amazing indeed! The species, the variations and the sheer beauty. This little guy just seems to have a lovable quality about him.

      Comment by montucky — May 10, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

  25. Very cool! Amazing macro as always!

    Comment by TheDailyClick — May 10, 2012 @ 3:39 am

  26. Wonderful, crisp photo! And some of the best camo I’ve ever seen. The furry edge of the butterfly matches the hairy edge of the plant in a truly marvelous way.

    Comment by Wild_Bill — May 10, 2012 @ 4:57 am

    • I would bet that is a survival strategy that works. I read that this species is nearly extinct in some areas of mid-California. I suspect that if we knew why, we would see another example of the need for areas of completely natural habitat.

      Comment by montucky — May 10, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

  27. Beautifully sharp image! And the detail on the eye is perfect. How close were you to the butterfly?

    Comment by Finn Holding — May 10, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

  28. Awesome. Your “macro world” is fantastic! I have never seen anything like that.

    Comment by Sartenada — May 10, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

    • I saw another one of these this morning. I’m getting the “eye” for them now I think. Beautiful little creatures!

      Comment by montucky — May 11, 2012 @ 7:58 pm

  29. That is an incredible macro. Interesting pattern on the butterfly–and yes, a strange name for such a pretty little creature.

    Comment by kateri — May 11, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

    • Incredible little creature for sure! I saw another one today too. I suppose I see the “marble” pattern, but I just can’t equate a cold, hard thing like a marble to a delicate, fuzzy little creature like this.

      Comment by montucky — May 11, 2012 @ 9:25 pm


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