A Brushfoot Fetish

The Nymphalidae family of butterflies are called brushfoot butterflies because the front pair of legs are greatly reduced and the hairs on those legs remind some people of little brushes.  The legs are difficult to spot in the field, but sometimes can be seen on a good photograph.  I thought it might be interesting to show a little gallery of the legs of different species to compare them.

4-24-120053

The brushfoot can be seen on this American lady right behind the eye, and pointing down.  It is fairly large on this species.

5-7-150020

This photo might show the brush better than any other photo I have.  It starts near the bottom of the eye and goes straight down.  The foot of this red admiral clearly has a lot of hair and does look like a brush.

6-26-140024

The brushfoot on this mourning cloak is a little harder to pick out of the background, but if you look at the back of the eye you can follow it down.

7-3-150014

They are easy to spot on this Baltimore checkerspot because all of the legs, functional or not, have a contrasting orange color.

8--23-140015

On pearl crescents, the non-functional legs are skinny and don’t have much hair.

8-30-150023

The legs are extremely difficult to spot on monarchs.  I think that in this photo the leg comes down vertically from the eye, and has a long white mark but is black on the tip.  I have looked at my photos of monarchs and have not found a better picture.  It does not show up well because the white dash breaks up the profile.

10-9-11011

I had to show all of this winter form common buckeye.  The brushfoot is clearly visible behind the eye and going back along the body.

 

Advertisements

About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in butterflies, common buckeye, Junonia coenia, pearl crescent, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s