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Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday's Foto

This beauty was found at the edge of the East Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. I was confused by the identification because it had the upper-wing markings of a White Admiral and the under-wing of a Red-Spotted Purple. Kenn Kaufman describes the issue in his Field Guide to Butterflies of North America:

"Formerly regarded as a full species, now considered same species as Red-spotted Purple, they blend where their ranges meet, producing many intermediates. (The species as a whole may be called "Red-spotted Admiral," but it is more useful to identify individuals as White Admiral, Red-spotted Purple, or intergrade.) ... Look for highly variable intergrades with Red-spotted Purple in Ontario and northeastern U.S."

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