Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly

This striking Baltimore Checkerspot was photographed last week in a field of Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). The field is located in Ipswich’s town center.

Notice the Baltimore Checkerspot’s vivid orange antennal clubs and white and orange dotted abdomen. The caterpillar’s food plant, or host plant, is mainly turtlehead (Chelone glabra) in low lands and gerardias upland, e.g., Smooth False Foxglove (Aureolaria flava).

Baltimore Checkerspot (Euphydryas phaeton) Ventral

I find absolutely the most interesting creatures in fields where grows Common Milkweed, which tells us that the plant provides a wealth of nourishment for a diverse range of organisms.

Note: The underside of butterfly wings are referred to as ventral; the upper surface as dorsal. An easy way to remember the difference between the terms dorsal and ventral is to think of the dorsal fin of a dolphin.

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