The Many Shades of the Spangled Fritillary

The silvery spots (or “spangles”) of the Great Spangled Fritillary are just like shiny little mirrors. With the right angle, they will reflect the colors around them. These pictures are all of the same butterfly as he sampled the many flavors of zinnia in our garden.

Great Spangled Fritillary, Natural Light, 2020-08-09
Great Spangled Fritillary, Yellow Reflection, 2020-08-09
Great Spangled Fritillary, Pink Reflection, 2020-08-09
Great Spangled Fritillary, Orange Reflection, 2020-08-09

Physocephala tibialis or Thick-headed Fly

Identification is tentative but probably correct or very close. It’s a wasp-mimic, but the eyes are distinctly those of a fly. It was strikingly beautiful in the field. It’s not a great photo, but its one of only two I got before it flew away. The colloquial name, while amusing, is not a pejorative but instead originates from the fact that the heads of these flies are always wider than the thorax.

Physocephala tibialis, a.k.a. Thick-headed Fly, 2020-08-04