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Lorquin's Admiral (Silver Star Mountain hike, Washington)

 

Lorquin's Admiral -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com

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The Lorquin's Admiral (Limenitis lorquini or Basliarchia lorquini)  is a striking butterfly with its black, white, and red markings.  They are a common summer sight in forested areas that have some sunshine and water.  In May of 2001 I was hiking a trail on Washington's Silver Star Mountain and found a spot where two of them were gliding in a thicket of ferns and salmonberries.  While flying they hold their wings flat for a while, then snap them quickly upright, immediately spreading them flat again for a long glide.  

The bracken ferns made a good landing spot for them and the color combination draws the eye in to study the bold geometric pattern.  The underside of the wings has more detail than the top side which is mostly black with white bars and just a touch of red at the wingtip.   Habitat loss has taken away the subtle joy of watching butterflies for most city dwellers.  Click here for a link to information on growing plants to attract butterflies to your yard.  

Lorquin's Admiral is named after the French naturalist Pierre Joseph Michel Lorquin, who came from France to California during the gold rush and made important contributions to the natural history of the area.  

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Info:  Chromira digital print of Velvia 35mm slide
 

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