Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Two butterflies

My patch of Spanish Needle (Bidens alba) attracts so much wildlife.  Bees are always flying from one flower to another but today so were butterflies.  Below are pictures of a Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) and a Checkered White (Pontia protodice), two butterflies that couldn't get enough of the small daisy-like blooms and the surrounding grassy weeds.

The Buckeye would land on a flower then slowly turn around until it made a complete circle.  At that point it would fly off to another flower and repeat the process.

Drinking nectar from the Bidens alba flower

Adult Buckeye Butterflies only live for about a two weeks

A female Buckeye can lay several hundred eggs in her short lifespan

The Buckeye ignored the red Florida tasselweed in the foreground, focusing entirely on the Bidens

The large colorful 'eyespots' on the Buckeye's wings help to scare away predators who are fooled into thinking they're looking at a face 

In between drinking nectar from Bidens alba plants, the White Checkered Butterfly spent considerable time resting on blades of grass.  

Another name for this butterfly is Southern Cabbage

I like the slightly blue color of this butterfly's body

Although a common butterfly, the Checkered White - especially the more heavily marked females like this one - are beautiful to behold

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