Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Butterfly Wonderland, Part 2

My little buddy, Johnny, helped me choose this week's photos from Butterfly Wonderland — and I think he did a great job — starting with a Doris Longwing, native to Central America and South America as far as the Amazon River.

Next he chose a Julia, found from Brazil to Texas and Florida although in the summer, they can be seen as far north as Nebraska.

His third choice required three photos — all of different Clipper butterflies from Southern Asia. Note that not all butterflies are brightly colored — as shown by this example.

Note the variety of coloration in these Clippers feeding from a cloth saturated in sugar water. Also, check out the black and white speckled butterfly at top left — I do not know what the variety is and I did not see another specimen anywhere in the atrium.

And check out this third Clipper specimen that has more green than tan in its wings. Sometimes color variation can be evidence of gender — other times a difference of subspecies. I do not know in this case but I enjoy looking at them.

This was one of Johnny's favorites — a Lacewing found from India to Southern China and Indochina. It was hanging upside down on another type of feeder — note that its proboscis is uncoiled. When a butterfly's leg touches a good food source, a reflex causes this action. This lets the butterfly retrieve and swallow the food, which is digested in organs in the butterfly's abdomen.

Here Johnny chose a Malay Lacewing, native from Southern Burma to Singapore.

My little buddy's second favorite color is green (after blue) and thus this Malachite was one of his favorite butterflies. They are quite common in Central and northern South America with some found in southern Florida and Texas.

Curiously, they dine on flower nectar, rotting fruit, dead animals, and bat dung. Bat dung? As Johnny says, "disgusting".

This choice by my little buddy is a Malay Cruiser native to Southeast Asia. Notice the eye spots that help scare away predators. Some varieties have even more.

Johnny picked out one of the most spectacular images for the final one — a Swallowtail — with some 552 extant species covering nearly the entire globe. Good job, little buddy.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com