November 23, 2020
It's time for the Monday edition of #BenInNature! Fall is here and winter is fast approaching, which sadly means that my beloved insects are going to be few and far between for the next few months. Fortunately, I still have a few in my backlog, such as Cercyonis pegala, the common wood-nymph!
Also referred to as the blue-eyed greyling and the goggle-eye, this butterfly belongs to the family Nymphalidae, the largest butterfly family, with more than 6,000 species worldwide. These butterflies can be found throughout most of the U.S. and into southern Canada. They're commonly found at the edges of forests and in fields and meadows, and they're usually on the wing from mid-May through October in Virginia. While many butterflies have multiple broods in the southern part of their range, the common wood-nymph has just one brood per year throughout its range.
The appearance of these butterflies varies a great deal, but what they all have in common is two eyespots on each forewing, with the lower eyespot generally being larger than the upper one. Keep an eye out for 'em! (When they're back in season, anyway.)
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends.
NEW: TRIVIA CHALLENGE
You've seen the posts. You've learned the facts. Now, it's time to prove you are a #BenInNature Mega Fan! The museum's education team has developed the #BenInNature Trivia Challenge to identify the most devoted fans out there! Everyone who successfully answers each trivia question correctly will be congratulated by having your own nature selfie posted to the museum's #BenInNature Mega Fan Photo Album on the official VMNH Facebook page! Learn more and download the trivia challenge today by visiting www.vmnh.net/research-collections/beninnature-trivia-challenge.
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!