Two Tawny Emperors

 The more studying I do, the more confused I get.

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 Tawny emperor butterflies lay their eggs in hackberry trees.

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The butterflies sip nectar from flowers and will also feed on rotting fruit.

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Hackberry butterflies will land on me for the sweat.

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Both are “sap-flow” butterflies too, meaning they also feed on rotting fruit.

Both the tawny emperors and hackberry butterflies lay their eggs on leaves in the hackberry trees.

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Now for my problem. When I found this caterpillar on the side of the house, I thought for sure it was a tawny emperor caterpillar. Then I started researching it.

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Seems they’re hard to distinguish them from that of the hackberry butterfly.

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  Their pattern changes as they grow.  Two stripes along the body turn yellow. So, since they’re hard to distinguish one from the other, I’ll just enjoy each encounter.

Tawny emperor butterflies visit flowers.

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Hackberry butterflies go more for the rotting fruit, and other things like, ugh, animal droppings. I smash rotten bananas on the cistern where I can watch the activity from the picture window by my computer. The large tree in the picture is a hackberry tree.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. That tree is impressive. How clever to take a photograph one handed.

    Reply

  2. Henry David Thoreau said “I begin to see an object when I cease to understand it,” so maybe not understanding isn’t so bad.
    Nice shots!

    Reply

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