Butterfly on Lichen

We watched this gorgeous butterfly flutter past us as we walked a trail at Cooper Mountain Nature Park.  It seemed to purposefully land on the lichen in the photo and had alit several times on other pieces of lichen before settling on this one.

I think the dark areas on its wing serve as camouflage and the butterfly must instinctively know it.  I’m not sure about the bright orange spot, though.  It seems to cancel out the camo, doesn’t it?   I can’t quite figure that one out.  We sort of shielded it from a group of kids running down the path in advance of their parents. The little butterfly had landed at about their sight line and the bright orange spot seemed like a beacon to me, advertising its presence rather than detracting from it.

I think the butterfly is a male Falcate Orangetip which is a common butterfly in the spring in the eastern United States.     Hmm?  Either my ID is wrong or every website I used is.  What do you think? http://www.duke.edu/~jspippen/butterflies/falcateorangetip.htm

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2 Responses to Butterfly on Lichen

  1. Kris says:

    Your butterfly is a male Sara’s Orangetip (Anthocaris sara). It’s a beauty.

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