Archive | May 2012

Sunday Swallowtail Breakfast (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Tiger Swallowtail on Buddleja, Georgia, USA, May 27, 2012

Yesterday morning, as my son and I were eating our breakfast, I noticed a Tiger Swallowtail visiting the butterfly bushes in our backyard.  The Swallowtail was also getting it’s breakfast from the beautiful Buddleja bushes that bear purple flowers. 

Tiger Swallowtail on Buddleja, Georgia, USA, May 27, 2012

This Tiger Swallowtail is only one of a few that I’ve seen flitting about in Georgia so far this year.  There are some butterflies around, here and there, though not nearly the proliferation that I observed two summers ago.  Therefore, I really take enjoyment in seeing them when I see them since they are so few.  They remind me of miniature yellow kites soaring in the air.

Fabulous Fluttering Fritillaries (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Gulf Fritillary, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

Fritillary butterflies are generally so orange and beautiful, fluttering about the flowers in my yard.  The year 2010 was an excellent year for butterflies in Georgia.  Having lived in Georgia for 12 years, I’ve never seen so many butterflies as I have in 2010.  Hence, the many photographs I’ve taken of them from the summer of that year.  In 2010, I observed many Gulf Fritillaries visiting the flowers in my garden, as seen in two of my photos included here.  Also keep in mind, however, that Gulf Fritillaries are not considered true fritillaries.

Gulf Fritillary, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

There was another type of fritillary that I saw enjoying the nectar from my garden flowers in 2010.  It’s flight was much faster than any other fritillaries I had ever seen before, similar to the fast-flying Painted Ladies and Question Marks.  It’s coloring is not nearly as bright orange, and is has more tan and brown coloring, making it the Variegated Fritillary, found below.   

Variegated Fritillary, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

These are the fabulous fluttering fritillaries from my flower garden of Summer 2010.  I hope that you have enjoyed viewing them in these photos as much as I enjoying viewing them in flight in real life.  They are majestic and beautiful, delicate flying creatures.

“Spikey Saddleback Surprise” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Saddleback Caterpillar, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

The saddleback caterpillar, Sibine stimulea, as seen in my photos herein, is a formidable foe to birds and other predators.  This caterpillar is found in eastern North America, and belongs to the family of slug caterpillars.

With it’s green and brown coloration, the saddleback caterpillar blends in with tree bark and foliage, camouflaging itself.  A circular brown spot on it’s back gives it the name, “saddleback.”  Circular white-colored spots may serve to scare away possible attackers. 

Saddleback Caterpillar, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

Arguably, the saddleback caterpillar’s greatest assets are it’s horns on which protrude urticating hairs.  These hairs are more akin to needle-like spikes that secrete poison that can cause irritation and pain.

Saddleback Caterpillar on Plum Tree Leaf, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

I have never touched a saddleback caterpillar, and I don’t suggest for anyone to do so.  These caterpillars are really beautiful and interesting to view, though I wouldn’t want one to mistake me for a predator, stinging me with poisonous venom.  They are better to leave alone, simply admiring their uniqueness and natural beauty!

Female Saddleback (Caterpillar) Moth, http://bugguide.net/node/view/507, May 17, 2012

Above, please enjoy viewing a photo of the female moth of this species!

References

Bugguide.  http://bugguide.net/node/view/507.  May 17, 2012.

“Beautiful Buckeye Bonanza” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Buckeye Butterfly, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010 

The Buckeye Butterfly, also known as Junonia coenia, is a beauty to behold, and can be seen flitting about all throughout the summer months in Georgia.  I took the photos of these Buckeye Butterflies during the summer of 2010 in Georgia, a wonderful year for butterflies!  The Buckeye is found throughout the United States, except in the northwest, and also is a resident of parts of Canada and Central America.

Buckeye Butterfly, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

The Buckeye’s eyespots are splendid and vivid, in an attempt to scare away predators.  This butterfly’s magnificent colors and spots are truly beautiful to behold! 

Pair of Buckeye Butterflies, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

These Buckeye Butterflies were alight on flowers in my yard.  It was interesting and exciting to watch them flitting from flower to flower, feeding on the nectar.  The two Buckeyes in the included photographs, herein, seemed to follow each other everywhere.  I was able to take some neat pictures of them while they were feeding together. 

Pair of Buckeye Butterflies, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

Thus far this year, as of mid-May 2012, I have seen only one Buckeye Butterfly on the flowers in my yard.  Hopefully, there will be more to see and enjoy.  There’s plenty more hot weather and summer to come!

“Tiger Swallowtail Party” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

Two summers ago, in 2010, Tiger Swallowtails decided to have a party in my backyard!  There are two butterfly bushes in my backyard that serve to attract butterflies each year.  The butterflies just can’t get enough of the nectar from the flowers of these butterfly bushes.  

Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

The summer of 2010 was a great year for butterflies in Georgia, as evidenced through my photos taken of the Tiger Swallowtails decorating the butterfly bushes at that time.  The greatest amount of Tiger Swallowtails that were feeding from the bushes at any particular time during that summer was eight. 

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Black Version), Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

The Tiger Swallowtail Party in my backyard was truly and extremely memorable as I have never seen so many Tiger Swallowtails in my life at one time as there were on the butterfly bushes of two summers ago.  The Tiger Swallowtail Party served as Butterfly Heaven for me! 

Tiger Swallowtails Feeling on Butterfly Bush, Georgia, USA, Summer 2010

See how many Tiger Swallowtails you can count that are feeding from this butterfly bush!

Welcome to Lepidoptera Lovers! By Michele Babcock-Nice

Buckeye Butterfly, Georgia, USA, 2010

This blog is focused toward anyone who enjoys Lepidoptera – butterflies and moths!  This blog is also associated with the LinkedIn group, “Lepidoptera Lovers.”  Therefore, Lepidoptera Lovers is for all those who enjoy communicating, sharing information, becoming more educated, increasing their appreciation, and networking about Lepidoptera!  All Lepidoptera lovers are welcome.

There are entomology-related group(s) in LinkedIn (as of May 2012), though they are not specific to Lepidoptera – my area of love and interest in insects.  There are also two other current and specific Lepidoptera-related and/or butterfly-related groups in LinkedIn (as of May 2012), though their activity is low.

Gulf Fritillary, Georgia, USA, 2010

“Lepidoptera Lovers” on WordPress aims at creating, encouraging, promoting, and providing  educational, communicative, and interactive blog posts between people who love and/or enjoy butterflies and moths.  Issues about eggs, caterpillars, chrysallises, and and pupae are also acceptable for posting, discussion, communication, and networking, as they relate to butterflies and moths.

I have been a collector of insects – mostly butterflies and moths – since I was about 7 or 8 years old.  As I have gotten older, I have also become a Lepidoptera photographer.  Photos posted in this “Lepidoptera Lovers” blog, therefore, are those that I took, except only where specifically referenced and identified with the source.  Rather than capture butterflies and moths, physically, I now mostly capture them in photographs! 

Tiger Swallowtail on Butterfly Bush, Georgia, USA, 2010

I am fascinated by the beauty and movement of these beautiful creatures – butterflies and moths.  They bring so much beauty to our world.  They are many of God’s wondrous miracles, adding to the enjoyable beauty of our lives. 

Thank you for your interest, and welcome to my blog!