Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Winging In

It is not even the middle of April and I have already come across these Lepidoptera visiting what few flowers are blooming.  I do not remember a spring when they have visited so early.  Is it because our winter was mild?  It is due to climate change?  It is because my yard has now grown into a good habitat?  There were two others, smaller and dancing in the air much faster, that I could not capture with my camera.



There was another Zebra Swallowtail that visited earlier and even went to the persimmon tree waiting for its blossoms.  The one above has one of the fuzziest coats of hairs and I wonder if these get shed as weather warms.

There are at least seven families of butterflies on the globe.  They have a life history that is most complicated as they reproduce on only certain plants, some use chastity belts for their female partners after they mate, some mate for HOURS(!).  Most have four life stages but one actually has the mother die when the young emerge from her abdomen.


These visitors were in pretty good shape.  I had taken a photo of an even earlier butterfly whose wings were so shredded I wondered how he/she could still fly.

Some lay eggs in batches and some singly.  Some eggs are attached with a special glue to the leaf of a specific plant and others have eggs that fall to the base of the plant.  Some eggs have a symbiotic relationship with ants that protect them.  And as most of us know the pupa stage can be the most fascinating.  That transition time when a caterpillar evolves into a winged beast.  The process involves hormones and various types of cells and is extremely complex, in my view.


The redbud, the daffodil and the apple tree all seem to be able to provide some sustenance for my visitors.  I guess spring has finally arrived.

11 comments:

joeh said...

Very pretty insects.

Bob Bushell said...

Excellent images of butterflies, Tabor thanks.

Mage said...

Simply magical.

Red said...

We've had early butterflies too. I'm not sure what gets them going so early.

messymimi said...

Lots of honeybees, but i haven't seen any butterflies around here yet. Maybe i just haven't had as much time to look.

The Furry Gnome said...

So wonderful to see those! We may see some of them inJune.

Linda Reeder said...

Very cool! We have returned to cold rain so the butterflies will be waiting around here.

ellen abbott said...

I've been seeing more butterflies this year and specifically monarchs. I've seen more monarchs in the yard so far this year than the past two years combined but then I finally got the milkweed they like established.

Jenny Woolf said...

The second butterfly is really beautiful. I am looking forward to seeing some when the weather warms up here, but it is still only just the beginning of Spring.

Hilary said...

Wow.. it sure is springier in your neck of the woods. These are just lovely. You got such pretty detail in those flutterbys.

For some reason, when I click on your profile page (which is the first click on the road from your comments (on my or other blogs) to your actual blog page, it comes up nearly blank. It no longer lists your blogs and I had to go find your pages and link directly to them through feeds, if that makes sense.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Awesome! Yep, gonna be a super buggie year ...