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Monday, September 23, 2013

Butterfly Sightings





The reduction in butterfly sightings has been disturbing which makes these captured shots all the more precious. The only one I cannot take credit for is the Spicebush butterfly photo.
Destruction of natural habitat and pesticide use are the main threats for the survival of these flying flowers. When you plan your flowerbeds and landscaping, try to be aware of not only how pretty are your flowers, bushes and trees, but in how environmentally beneficial they will be. Try to plant native species for your area to supply both caterpillar food sources as well as the nectar plants for the adult caterpillars. Though many photos of adult butterflies are taken on the butterfly bush, these plants are not natives, and are now discouraged for butterfly garden plantings because they can become invasive.


Pipevine Swallowtail on Buttonbush


Many of our common sightings are butterflies from the Swallowtail family.
Pipevine Swallowtails are found in gardens, woodland edges and open scrubby areas. The caterpillars eat Pipevines and the adults seek nectar plants.


Black Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Buddleia or Butterfly bush
Eastern Tiger Black Swallowtails are seen mostly in open areas such as fields and roadsides. The caterpillars eat plants mostly in the parsley family, such as carrot, dill and fennel, and the adults seek nectar plants.

Eastern Swallowtail on Buttonbush
Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are found in open woodlands and wooded suburban areas. The caterpillars seek trees such as wild black cherry, tulip tree, aspens and ashes. The adults search for nectar plants.

Spicebush on Lantana
Spicebush Swallowtails are found in open woodlands, woodland edges, and swampy areas. The caterpillars prefer the spicebush and sassafras trees. Adults seek nectar plants.

Monarch on Tithonia or Mexican Sunflower
Monarch butterflies are in the Brushfoot family and are found in open areas such as fields, meadows, places where milkweed grows. During migration they can be anywhere. Milkweed is the necessary food source for these caterpillars. Adults seek nectar plants.
Monarch on Tithonia or Mexican Sunflower

Red Admiral on Echinacea or Coneflower
 Admirals, the Red-spotted Purples and the Red Admirals are also in the Brushfoot family. They live around moist woodlands and suburban areas. Food sources for the caterpillars include cherries, poplars and birches. Adults seek organic matter such as fruit.
Red Admiral on Echinacea or Coneflower

Red Spotted Purple on Sedum
Red Spotted Purple on Sedum
Fritillary on Liatris or Gayfeather
In the Brushfoot family as well, Fritillaries are found near woodlands and meadows where violets and willows can be found. The caterpillars need violets and willows. The adults seek nectar plants.
Fritillary on Echinacea or Coneflower