Nymphalis milberti milberti

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eurytides
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Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by eurytides »

This is usually a pretty rare species in my area. The last couple of years though, there have been a few reported sightings. This summer, I found some larvae and reared a small series of specimens on Urtica dioica. Here is an ex pupa pair, male on the left and female on the right.
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Paul K
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by Paul K »

This is a very nice species and reminds me my youth times back in Poland where A.urticae was very common.
I only saw one butterfly of this species near Kitchener, Ontario in 2015 and collected one 100km north of Perry Sound in 2021.
Also I collected two specimens in Kananaskis (Rocky mountains) in Alberta where I suppose it is more common than here in Ontario.
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by Paradesia »

A stunning butterfly to see in the wild. Photos doesn’t do justice to the deep colors. I recall seeing many of them one late Spring / early summer in the Cascades. A memorable experience where I told myself that I must return to collect a few and never did. Surprisingly, I still don’t have this butterfly in my collection. Great pair you have there!
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by daveuk »

Lovely specimens. Strange that this species should be rare in North America but its close relative N urticae is relatively common here in the U.K. & the rest of Europe. Though the extreme heat here in the U.K. during the summer drastically reduced the numbers in my part of the country compared with last year. I did see N milberti on the wing in New Mexico in 2016. Just one. Lovely species.
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by Chuck »

In Upstate NY milberti is uncommon, being localized. If you find one, there will be more in the area, though I only find a colony once a decade or so.

If you look at the map you can see milberti has some higher concentration areas, but is spotty. https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/68269-Aglais-milberti

@eurytides those are nice specimens; the wild milberti are often beat up.
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wolf
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by wolf »

I caught one single male in the Whistler area in BC, Canada, a few years back. It was missing a large part of its right hindwing if i dont remember wrong. I dont have a picture at hand though.
eurytides
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by eurytides »

The issue is they are suuuuuper localized and the populations cycle through booms and busts. I found thousands of larvae this summer in a patch of nettle. If you walk 50 m in either direction, you find zero. Not few, zero larvae. The females dump all or most of their eggs in one shot, so in a large area, you have to be lucky and find the one or two plants that were used. Most years, there are no reports of this species in my area.
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by Trehopr1 »

This is indeed a "dandy" of a species ! 🎉

I believe in my home state (Illinois) the only real chance of encountering this species is if one lives in the far northern border counties of Illinois/Wisconsin.

I was in Central Wisconsin some years ago and managed to wild collect two or three decent specimens (which are still in papers). I will work them up this winter and post them. As has been mentioned, these are pretty tough to find any decent specimens of in nature. When I did encounter them it was a localized population and I was lucky to get the two or three good ones that I did. The rest were all worn pretty badly !
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by Trehopr1 »

Gosh eurytides, you really had me fooled thinking that you're only interest was in Papilionidae !! 😲

Amazing that you have bred so many different things.👏

Good looking specimens throughout your posts....🎉
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by eurytides »

Thanks Trehopr1. I like all kinds of stuff really. I almost never raise the same species twice. I raise a series and then move on to learn about something else. Every year, I try to raise 1-2 different species, but each caterpillar is raised individually and I record dates of all molts, pupation, diapause, eclosion, food plant…etc. I don’t have a big collection, but almost everything I have is ex ova or ex larvae and local species. I will try to post most often now that I have figured out the picture posting method.
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by Trehopr1 »

Fantastic ☺️

Great to hear that you keep such accurate/interesting species notes for each species you dabble with. It really adds so much more to the value of each specimen.

I very much look forward to seeing more of your wonderful handiwork (setting) and of hearing more of your insights of the species you encounter ! 😎
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by eurytides »

Thank you. For me, collecting is not just about beauty or science. Each specimen gives me a connection to the past. Each ones holds for me some memory of a trip or adventure. When I look at any species in my collection, I can tell you a story. In the next 30 min, I will post a couple more species.
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by mothman55 »

In years past I used to occasionally see milberti, but have not seen one in my travels around Southern and Central Ontario for years. But in July of 2019 while visiting a friend, we were walking his property just west of Guelph when we found a mass of tiny larvae on a stinging nettle. Had to be either red admiral or milberts. I took them home and reared them, and they were in fact milberti. I get 70 into chrysalid, but sadly only about 10 emerged, all the rest died .
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eurytides
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by eurytides »

I am surprised you had such a high mortality rate. I have raised Vanessa atalanta before and they are not gregarious. You find single eggs on the leaves.
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Re: Nymphalis milberti milberti

Post by mothman55 »

I have had great luck with Vanessa Atalanta as well, they seemed to actually multiply. I would go and get more nettle and a couple of days later there were more larvae, guess there must have been ova on the nettle I harvested. Got 100% success with these.

But on the milberti, all I can think of is I crowded them, maybe got a disease as they pupated. Had about 100 of them in a single fairly large container, thought when most all pupated I was home free, but not there case.
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