Cabbage Whites

Those little white butterflies that we see flying about don’t attract too much attention. Until they do this…

Pretty cool, huh? They are gathered on this spot of wet mud–not too hard to find around here these days!–because they are sipping fluids, but also minerals, salts and other nutrients from the soil. It’s called mud-puddling.

By the way, these are cabbage white butterflies. They aren’t moths as some humans mistakenly believe.

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Ever seen something as crazy as this?

mystery #165

Let me know what you think is!

I’ll be back later to post the answer!

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Hope y’all knew it was a caterpillar…it’s a Variegated Fritillary just starting  to make a chrysalis. Here’s a before shot of the caterpillar, on the right, sharing a Passionflower leaves with another caterpillar.

variegated fritillary sharing passionflower leaves

This was a little after the first photo.

variegated fritillary starting a chrysalis

About halfway done.

variegated fritillary middle of making chryslis

And nearly done.

variegated fritillary finishing chrysalis

Pretty neat, huh?

Variegated Frittilary on Violets

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Mystery #162

Recognize this beauty? Give us a guessing the comments and this week I promise I will be back to post the answer!

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Eyes, eyes, eyes! This Common Buckeye has eyes, what you humans call butterfly spots…

Common Buckeye

on the forewings and the hind wings…viewed from the top…

Common Buckeye

…and the undersides!

In summertime the Buckeye is found throughout most of the United States sipping nectar from composites. But the surest way to attract any butterfly to your yard is to plant vegetation the caterpillars eat. The adult Common Buckeyes lay their eggs on host plants in the snapdragon and plantain families. Give them a try next year!

Variegated Fritillary on Violets

After posting the caterpillar of the Variegated Fritillary, we thought we should show the actual butterfly.

Variegated Frittilary on Violets

It’s laying eggs on violet leaves, one of many plants it may choose that the caterpillars like. Some of you may recall the plant the caterpillar was on in Friday’s post was not a violet. (It was a Passion Flower leaf.)

Interestingly, one of our readers wrote that she tried to move the caterpillars from the violets in her lawn when it was time to mow, but she could not get them to eat the leaves of the Passion Flower, which she has found Variegated Fritillaries eating before. Apparently they do not like to switch!

 

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Bet many of you see these little yellow butterflies around.

Mystery # 102

Do you know what they’re called? Check in later!

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The Clouded Sulphur is a common mid-sized butterfly, but not all yellow as this view makes you think. This is the underside of the butterfly’s wings. The topside has a black edging along the wings, which you can make out as what looks like a shadow on this little fellow. If you could see the topside, you could tell if this butterfly is a male of female: the males have a solid black edging, but in the females the edging contains blurry spaces or spots of yellow showing through.

We hope you noted the antennae on this butterfly and go back and compare it to the feathery antennae of the moth we showed last Sunday and the Skipper from midweek! That’s your quick way to break apart these flying nectar feeders!