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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Above, please enjoy viewing a photo of the female moth of this species!
Bugguide. http://bugguide.net/node/view/507. May 17, 2012.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
See how many Tiger Swallowtails you can count that are feeding from this butterfly bush!