“Weedy” Butterfly

Mylitta Crescent

While browsing Art Shapiro’s butterfly blog I encountered a new term – a “weedy” butterfly. Weedy organisms are those typically associated with habitats disturbed by human activities or dominated by non-native or invasive species. An example of a “weedy” butterfly is the mylitta crescent (Phyciodes mylitta).

Thistles are hosts for mylitta crescent larvae. Originally these butterflies evolved in association with native thistle species. Many additional thistle species, often native to the Mediterranean, were introduced into the Western North American range of mylitta crescents and now outnumber the native thistles. The larvae of these butterflies are common in the disturbed areas these invaders inhabit.

I previously discussed these mostly orange butterflies with fine black markings (“Mylitta Crescent” on 12-21-2014)¬† and will not repeat the information.

This mylitta crescent was photographed on the gravel trail between the North and South Elkins Barns at Ash Creek Wildlife Area (Modoc County CA).

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Juvenile Virginia Rail

This gallery contains 6 photos.

In addition to the adult Virginia rails (Rallus limicola) Leonard and I were able to observe, as discussed in yesterday’s post (“Virginia Rail” on 07-06-19), there were also several juveniles and immatures that would creep out of the dense vegetation … Continue reading

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Virginia Rail

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Virginia rails (Rallus limicola) are secretive birds, often heard but seldom seen. Their habitat is tall stands of reeds and cattails with standing water. Leonard and I could hear their distinctive calls, but would only catch glimpses of these elusive … Continue reading

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Madia elegans

This gallery contains 7 photos.

There are four subspecies of Madia elegans, all of which have black or dark brown disk flower anthers. The fourth subspecies (Wheeler’s madia) has yellow disk flower anthers. The ray flowers in all four subspecies are yellow. Common madia, also … Continue reading

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Roosevelt Elk Calves

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While driving along Endert’s Beach Road south of Crescent City CA (Del Norte County), Leonard and I were surprised to see a small herd of Roosevelt elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti) cows and their calves¬† in a field next to the … Continue reading

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Sticky Monkeyflower

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Sticky monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus) grows on rocky slopes, disturbed areas, coastal cliffs and canyon walls below 3,000 feet in California and Southern Oregon. This hardy plant even thrives on nutrient-poor, serpentine substrates. While hiking the Enderts Beach Trail south of … Continue reading

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Candystick

This gallery contains 6 photos.

  Candystick (Allotropa virgata) is usually called a saprophyte. However, it technically is a mycotroph, an extremely host-specific species that feeds exclusively on the mycelium of the American matsutake mushroom (Tricholoma magnivelare). Candystick attaches to the mushroom mycelium and, in … Continue reading

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