Sunday, June 24, 2012

male Needham’s Skimmer dragonfly

I read that red dragonflies can be very hard to identify. As far as I can tell…this might be a male Needham’s Skimmer.


It looked much more red in real life.  I checked and there was a picture of the Needham’s Skimmer and they looked the same to me.

It claimed this stick by the birdbath as it’s own.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monarch Butterflies

Our milkweed bed was pretty overgrown with weeds when we got home from our trip to NY,VT and TN. 2 months away during the spring, in Florida, is a long time.

Once I got all the weeds pulled, I looked the plants over for caterpillars. I found 22. All have become butterflies but 2. They should emerge in a day or two.

These are 2 of the ones I’ve released.


I set them on the Buddleia so they will know where it is the next day when they are hungry. I know they will find it by themselves, but I try to give them an easy start.

Their colors are so sharp and beautiful when they first emerge. This female is eating ….she must be one from yesterday’s release.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

male Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly

I don’t have a lot of blooming plants in my yard right now, but I have butterflies coming and going. The Bottlebrush plants continually put out blooms and the Buddleia plants. There are also a few wild Lantana. The Zebra Longwings hang out on those.

Two Spicebush Butterflies stopped today.


I followed them all over until this one finally settled down to sun itself.


The iridescent blue on the wings was much better than the photo shows it.


Their host plants can be Sweetbay Magnolia, Sassafras, and Tulip Tree. There are Magnolias in the area, perhaps they are Sweetbay.

I don’t see a lot of the Spicebush Swallowtails in the yard, but they do show up once in awhile. Beautiful contrast of blue and black.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Viceroy Butterfly

The Viceroy Butterfly visits once in awhile.  It is easy to mistake it for a Monarch at a quick glance. The Monarch doesn’t have that line across it’s hind wings.


Their color is much richer than the Monarch’s.


This one didn’t mind posing…but wouldn’t spread it’s wings for very long.


I believe their host plant is a Willow and I don’t have any in my yard, so they don’t come in very often. I guess it was after my Buddleia plant.


Pretty little fellow…guess I’ll have to plant some Willow to keep them coming.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

This one is a beauty! It is also a very large butterfly. Wingspan of about 5”.


It flutters and glides so gently. There is no rapid fluttering of the wings. At rest or feeding the wings are completely open. This is the underside. The blue is visible from this side…not the top.


Most of the other swallowtails have such rapidly beating wings it is hard to catch their beauty.

I love the soft fuzzy body.


It walked all over this flower with it’s wings spread. Only occasionally closing them.


With the sun on the opposite side of the plant, you can see the shadow thru the wings. It’s amazing how fragile they are….yet able to carry them for great distances.


Checking me out…but never stopped eating.




I believe this one is a male. The female has the blue on the back of the lower wings instead or as well as, the underside.