Posts Tagged ‘butterfly’

Monarch Chrysalis

On one of my walks around the backyard looking for spiders, I found a monarch butterfly chrysalis in an old garage that will be torn down soon.

I watched the chrysalis— daily, waiting for the butterfly to emerge.

Then the chrysalis turned slightly darker.  I expected the butterfly to emerge soon … It did, but I wasn’t there to watch it.

Advertisements

Sedum Visitors

I’m back! We’ve had company, and they kept me busy a lot of the time. The best medicine after they left was to walk around the yard, checking what and who’s here, and what’s blooming.

img_2163

  The monarch butterfly and

img_1234

the painted lady both like the sedum.

img_3122

The silver-spotted skipper is quite a common skipper. They visit a variety of flowers.

img_3123

The clouded Sulphur also likes the sedums. It’s obvious I have a lot of sedum, and a lot of butterflies in a good butterfly year in my gardens.

 I know there’s been others I’ve missed while entertaining company.

Cloudless Sulphur

Cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae ebule0)

IMG_8895

I just happened to be in the yard at the right time to see this cloudless sulphur land on a hosta flower. They are one of the few butterflies that visit tube flowers. They also visit moist places, which can be dramatic if their numbers are high. Several other butterfly species visit damp places too, having what’s called a “puddle party.”

IMG_8896

The butterfly changed position and left only seconds later. They are not able to survive our winters and migrate south in late summer and fall.

Line Forms to the Right

IMG_0632

Tis’ the season for sapflow butterflies to  visit rotten fruit for their meals.

The butterfly in the foreground is a tawny emperor. One of the three in the line is a tawny emperor. All the others are hackberry butterflies. They each have their proboscis down where the banana split open when I “smushed” it with my sandal. There’s two apple halves in the background.

The hackbery trees in our yard are one of the reasons we have so many hackberry and tawny emperor butterflies here at this time. Both lay their eggs in hackberry trees. A huge hackberry tree grows eight feet or so from the cistern where the butterfly are gathering, and several grow in the yard.

IMG_0525

The orange and black butterfly above is often called a “monarch” when, actually, it’s a viceroy. The black band on  its hindwing differentiates it from the monarch.

A Passing Spicebush Swallowtail

So few butterflies have visited our backyard this summer. Their numbers have been the lowest I’ve ever seen.

IMG_8681

So, I got excited when a spicebush swallowtail flew across our backyard on its way south. It didn’t stop.

IMG_8674

Our yard’s been full of them at times over the years … them and many other butterfly species too.

IMG_8698

A butterfly in an odd position usually means it’s in the clutches of a predator.

IMG_8672

In this case it was a female crab spider.

IMG_8663

Females are much bigger than the males.

Crab spiders have the ability to change color to match the color of the flower they’re on. Obviously, this one hadn’t changed yet. I have no idea how long the change takes.

A Red Admiral Butterfly

I was walking around the backyard, looking for things to take pictures of.

IMG_2417

This red admiral butterfly landed on a daisy fleabane right in front of me. I’ve seen an occasional sulphur butterfly in the

back–back of our yard … this was my first non-sulphur butterfly this spring (March 30).

128 red

This picture of a red admiral was taken in a previous year. Our butterfly numbers are low probably because we’ve had a wet cooler-than-normal spring.

Red Spotted Purple Caterpillars

IMG_6444 crop

This morning started with watching a female red-spotted purple butterfly laying eggs in a young wild cherry tree.

IMG_6459 crop

The female taps the leaves with her feet to be sure she’s in the right tree. Butterflies smell with their feet.

The egg on the left is definitely the egg of a red-spotted purple butterfly. Something’s not right with the egg on the tip of the leaf.

IMG_6464 crop red

This young wild cherry tree almost gets lost among all the other nearby growth nearby. All these pictures were taken in it.

IMG_6779 crop

The caterpillar measured 5mm. The three I found were all approximately the same size. They usually dangle a small cluster of leaf pieces to attract attention away from the caterpillar. The predator must be an immature, just like the caterpillar.

IMG_6811 crop

 The position of the caterpillar looks like it’s either paralyzed or dead.

 IMG_6842 crop red

This last caterpillar looks a tad odd: maybe it just molted. What looks like antennae, is a split from the drying vein of the leaf.  The way the leaf is cut away, the bare center vein and the dangling leaf pieces are definitely done by the caterpillar of red-spotted purple butterfly.