About

Hello, I’m Sylvia…and I’m a wee tad obsessed with chasing butterflies. A day spent butterflying is a pretty perfect day! But for me, the thrill doesn’t end with the chase. I love looking at them later, learning more about them and comparing different species. This site is my way of keeping track of all the butterflies I’ve found and photographed.

When we were kids, my mom lugged a pile of field guides around on all our camping and hiking around the Western United States. We loved seeking out new species of birds, bugs, flowers, mushrooms, etc. And then we’d look it up in the guide and Mom would make a notation of our sighting. I was hooked!

These days, although I lug around a pile field guides everywhere we go, I mostly chase butterflies. I’ve been fortunate to live in quite a few places with phenomenal butterfly populations.

I spend endless hours on identifications, but I welcome corrections when I get it wrong. I’m only an amateur enthusaist…and I’m still learning.

If you are a fellow butterfly enthusiast, I’d really love to make your acquaintance. Please leave a link to your home on the web, and I’ll return the visit.

43 Comments

  1. bluebrightly

    Impressive – part of me would love to do this, but…I’m so glad you are! I too love identifying plants, birds, insects – whatever – with a Field Guide, and it started with the backyard feeder when I was a child. When my mother died I found notebooks full of detailed observations.

    1. sylvia

      Thanks. I love it. I take way more joy in a good butterfly capture than any other type of photo. I think partly because I’m identifying them, and keeping track. I wish I was as organized as your mother…I simply don’t have the time to devote to it though. Maybe someday. For now, this blog will have to do.

      Thanks for you visit and comments Lynn!

    1. sylvia

      Thanks Heather. Sorry I didn’t follow through or reply. We’ve been traveling almost non-stop since January, and leave again for a trip tomorrow. I’ve totally fallen down on all forms of correspondence, blogging, etc. Hopefully things will get back to normal in a few weeks, and I’ll have a proper visit to your blog. Thanks for thinking of me!

    1. sylvia

      Chan – Thanks so much! I would certainly love to see some of your butterflies! Look forward to seeing more from you. It sounds like you live in a truly wonderful place, with a wealth of nature to explore. Of course you can link, etc. I’m honored. I work very hard on identifications….which is why I am sometimes so slow to post new shots. I currently have a back log of approximately 100 species that I will be adding…some of them species found in your neck of the woods.

  2. Tom Baum

    Wow! Love your photos! Used to collect butterflies as a kid. Now that I’m “all grown up” I find my interest being rejuvenated and your work is very inspiring! Are your pics available for sharing on websites and blogs assuming link back to source? Keep up the fantastic work!

  3. Karolyn Cooper

    I found your butterfly blog by accident when I was looking for stories about life in China. Now I want to link to it when I post my own butterfly photo (of what I think is a Common Castor in India) on my blog 10 October. Is that OK with you? I will come back to read more about China.

    1. sylvia

      Of course, Karolyn. Thank you for taking time to have a look at my blogs. I look forward to seeing your photo of the Castor. You have many of the same butterflies as we have here in the southwest of China, but I’m sure you have plenty that we don’t. Do you see a lot where you live? Where did you live in China?

      1. Karolyn Cooper

        Thank you. Yes we see lots of butterflies and birds here on the edge of Bangalore. More than I saw in China. We lived in Shanghai (too urban) and Dalian (too cold and windy).

  4. michelle petty

    Hi Sylvia,
    I am just wondering if you would mind if used one of your pictures of the Eurema hecabe for a poster I have to complete for University? I would reference you obviously.

    Thank you,
    MIchelle

  5. Jan den Dekker

    I have a picture of a caterpillar wher I can find the name not of.
    The photo was taken in China 22-10-2013 near Xiangyun.
    Can you help me to the name.
    I do’nt now how to upload the photo, maby jou can help me.?
    Gr.Jan

    1. sylvia

      Jan…Caterpillars are really not something I have much knowledge of personally. I am sorry to say, I’ve not spent much time on anything but the actual butterflies. But, I do have one very good reference book for the Butterflies of China, which does have quite a few photos of caterpillars. I would be happy to compare your photo with the photos in it, and see. If you can just send me a link to the photo I’d be happy to take a look.

      Or better yet, you might try contacting John Horstman. He is much more knowledgeable than me, and has quite a few photos of caterpillars on his sites. You can take a look at:

      His Blog: http://sinobug.tumblr.com/
      His Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/itchydogimages

  6. Jonathan

    Hi Sylvia,
    beautiful blog!!! It’s great that you share all these wonderful pictures with us.
    I had no idea that there were so may butterfly-bloggers ouy there!

    Jonathan.

    1. aivlys

      Thanks Jonathan! I really love your blog. You have some really great shots! I’m looking forward to seeing more of your work…it motivates me to get out hunt.

  7. N5PIX

    Very impressive stuff and you are so dedicated to this! – Very inspiring to myself, trying to complete my degree in geology. I hope you get at least 15k butterflies, that’s a good number to shoot for :-)

    1. Sylvia

      Thanks! I would love to get 15k…it may take me awhile :). But I plug away, one butterfly at a time…For me it’s a very healthy hobby, that combines my love of the outdoors, with exercise, with photography, with blogging…and I can pursue it at home and on vacation. Win, win, win.

  8. Benchu Lin

    I am interested in your photo of Mycalesis s. kagina, I took this butterfly in different form(hot season?) would you please to let me know how to ID this butterfly in dry season form?

    1. Sylvia

      I think identifying the Bushbrowns, with the variations in the seasonal forms can be challenging. They are notably polymorphic, with wet- and dry-season forms differing in many species, especially as regards size and number of underwing eyespots. In general, dry season forms have very small eyespots and just lack detail overall. The number of eyespots and their positions usually remains the same, and so that is what you have to really look at, but no guarantees.

      As an example, you can look at this post http://mybutterflycollection.com/2014/04/29/dark-branded-bushbrown-mycalesis-mineus-mineus/
      The first photo is of wet season form and the next two of dry season form.

      Obviously, a good field guide with full descriptions is the most helpful in identifying these species. I have several good ones for Taiwan that you can see on my reference page – link at the bottom of my blog.

  9. Todd Wright

    Wow. I found your site while searching for “butterflies of Thailand.” You helped me identify the Common Rose. Yet, I am not only grateful for the ID help, your site is absolutely beautiful. Even if one discounts the main attraction, the minimalist design is sublime.

    1. Sylvia

      Thanks Todd! I’m so glad you found my site helpful and attractive. I love minimalism in just about every aspect of life, so it is a must in blog design for me. But beyond that, my goal is for the butterflies to really be the main feature, with a pleasant viewing experience but also with the structure being organized in a way that it is easy to locate species by Family, Subfamily and Location, including different subspecies, etc. I would love feedback on that. I’m always trying to immprove, but since I set things up I know where everything is, and so I can’t be too subjective. But thank you so much for taking time to view my butterflies and leave a comment – it is appreciated.

  10. Christine Duvalis

    Hi Sylvia! I am interested in one of your Idaho photos “ghost trout”. Is this image available for purchase. Thank you in advance. I look forward to hearing from you. ~Christine (christineduvalis at gmail.com)

  11. stevanneauerbach2013

    Hello Sylvia
    I would like to tell you first how impressed i am about your site and focus.
    I would like to share a book with you. would you PLEASE write to me directly
    stevanneauerbach@gmail.com and send address so i can send you a copy.
    For the butterflies!

  12. Jeff Zablow

    Impressed, I am. I just, weeks ago, stopped posting my butterfly images on wingedbeauty.com, after more than 12 years of posting. Those, maybe 900-1,000 posts, include my image(s) and a brief writing pertinent to them. Nearly butterflies all, this retired high school Biology teacher LOVED seeking, stealth fully approaching and shooting butterflies. Why I did so? Well that’s a tale I too shared on blogs. Suggestions for you? Yep, I have some. We live now in middle Georgia, lived in Pittsburgh before that.

    1. Sylvia

      Thanks Jeff! My first post was May 22, 2007. If my math is correct that is just over 14 years. So that makes us contemporaries in this butterfly blogging gig! I had no idea when I made that first post that I would still be at it all these years later. And no way I would have guessed that I’d get to live and chase butterflies is so many remarkable places.

      I’m excited to take a look through your posts! We use completely different formats. I started this just to keep track of the butterflies I encounter, and so I make one post for each species/subspecies. Then, if I encounter it again, I just add it to the existing post. It’s a system that has worked for me. You seem to have a lot of information on your site that I look forward to reading.

      Sad to hear you’ve stopped posting. But all that work and info will continue to be a treasure trove for butterfly enthusiasts.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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