Nature-guide information on butterfly finding.

How to search butterflies on RikenMon's nature guide.


Finding the name of the butterfly you just have seen or perhaps identifying a caterpillar on a leaf is why we build this site. Sometimes there is little time to study the butterfly; however with a little luck you have noticed sufficient characteristics to find it on this guide.
Some butterflies are inconspicuous where as caterpillar they were remarkable. In these cases you spot the caterpillar but never notice the butterfly. Before a caterpillar becomes a butterfly it pupates; sometimes several stadia with all different appearances. Therefore the number of colors possible can be large. It is possible in one stage the caterpillar is bold where in the next stadium it is hairy, both choices will then lead to the correct caterpillar.


On the search page (access by clicking the butterfly logo on the header) left side are physical characteristics of the butterfly; on the right side of the caterpillar and at the end whether it is a day/night type.
On every search index you can select one item (except colors). Next to the star the amount of records with the current selection is presented.
logo By clicking the picture tile you are redirected to the correct detailspage. logo
logo By clicking the star (left side) the search selection is undone.

Wingspan

The span is the width on the front wings when open. There are 3 sizes, when a species has a large diversity or the sexes are different in size we have chosen a best fit. So for example 35-42 mm will be categorized in < 40mm.

Profile

The resting position of a butterfly can be an observation. Most day butterflies have an open/upward closed profile; we call this open. A lot of night butterflies fold their wings to a sort of tent shape which we call folded. Sometimes the wings are only open and not on top of each other which we call flat. When they cover each other, partly or completely, we will call this layered. And you can observe wings that have a width/height relation that makes them slender; perfectly indicated by the pictogram. These slender wings can mostly be laid along the body.

Colour

There are sometimes a lot of colours on a butterfly with top/bottom being different. Hence you can put in several colors. By clicking the arrow on the right side you leave color selection, with the star on the left side you clear the colour selection.

Eye-spot

These are not the eyes but the eye like markings on the wings. A marking is defined an eye when there is at least one dot inside a circle. Often we see several rings. It can appear to be shining through the wing however they can be on bottom side as well or vice versa. By selecting none you will filter out all species with eye-spots (up, under, front or rear).

Feeler

Sometimes referred to as feeler the 2 hairs on the front side are used for smelling. Most day butterflies have a stem with club like end. The exception being the skippers which have thicker antennas ,without club, which can be observed on night butterflies as well. It is possible both sexes have different antennas, in this case mostly the male has feather like antennas to smell the female easier. When the feathers have only on one side hairs we name it a comb.




CP Size

We note the average length; if a caterpillar is on the border we will assign the most fitting. For example if the length is 12-16mm the caterpillar will be assigned to <15mm.

CP Skin

When hairs are clearly visible we note hairy. Sometimes hairs are grouped together, this is called brushes. Are there nipples or thorns on either end we denote thorns. Of nothing of the above the caterpillar is bold.

CP Colour

Multiple colors can be selected; by clicking again you remove the selection of the color. When ready you can click the arrow to proceed. The caterpillar can have different colors in various stadia, all colors are selectable.

CP Pattern

Stripes can be lengthwise or cross on the body. Dots are round and mostly repeated. Markings are not aligned or not of similar shapes.




Type

We have day and night type butterflies (moths). At first this seems an easy separation; however a lot of day butterflies are active during twilight and lots of moths are active during daytime. Most day butterflies can close the wings straight up and have an antenna with club, thus separating the largest group. The scientific separation is outside the scope of this site. Interestingly is that moths are by far more numerous however often not noticeable, whereas day butterflies are more known.



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