Thursday, May 06, 2021

Waterfalls And Butterflies

... have been the order of the day so far on Dixie 2021. I've got more to share, but I've got more to do, too. I'll leave you with these two photos. I think they're worth clicks. Enjoy!

Note to Tim: I didn't take the time to identify the butterfly. If you feel like it, I'd love to know what it is.


tim eisele said...

Nice one!

At first glance, I thought that it was maybe a pipevine swallowtail, but that was just what it wanted me to think!. Looking a bit closer, I saw that it was missing the little tails on the hindwings that a swallowtail would have.

It turns out it is actually a "Red-Spotted Purple", Limenitis arthemis astyanax, which is a mimic of the toxic pipevine swallowtail. The thing is, this isn't a distinct species yet. It is a color variation of the White Admiral, which ranges all the way up north into Canada. The Pipevine Swallowtail, on the other hand, is restricted to the more southern states. So, since there is no incentive to mimic something in a place where it doesn't exist, the White Admirals that we see here up north look completely different, with a broad white band across the wings. The two color phases is apparently a fairly recent state of affairs, with both varieties still freely interbreeding at the northern edge of the Pipevine Swallowtail's range, and it may be some time before they actually become separate species.

K T Cat said...

Thanks, Tim!