Spicebush Swallowtails have been out for a few weeks.
A superficially similar looking one, of which I saw my first of season individuals just recently, is the Red-spotted Purple. It lacks the tails and has a different array of coloured markings.
Swallowtails are some of the most recognizable butterflies. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is fairly numerous right now.
|Eastern Tiger Swallowtail|
The even larger, but darker, Giant Swallowtail is not nearly as abundant, but a few are out in many southwestern Ontario locales. They are particularly dependent on Common Hop-tree, which is greatly restricted to a few spots in southwestern Ontario (e.g. Pelee Island, Point Pelee, Rondeau), and Prickly Ash, which is a lot more widespread.
I've only seen a few Monarchs so far, but more than I did last year to this date.
Northern Crescents are probably the most abundant butterfly I've seen in the last few days. A good walk along open trails may turn up dozens.
Little Wood-Satyr is a smallish butterfly, seldom seen perched, but bouncing around in the shrubby edges of the woods.
Summer Azures are small, but fairly commonly seen. A recently published paper by Schmidt and Layberry was sent to me. It has given some clarity to the Celastrina genus in Canada, although I haven't spent a lot of time digesting all the details yet. Check it out at this link.
Skippers are becoming more abundant, including this Hobomok Skipper. They may be more abundant, but don't often allow for the kind of photo one wants as they are very active.
Yesterday, I saw my first of the season Common Buckeye. It is a southern species that does not overwinter in Ontario, but arrives from south of the border and will breed, using Plantain, Agalinis, etc. The south and westerly winds of late have likely pushed them here.