Thursday, August 13, 2009

Buckeye Butterfly

I am off today and spent the day running errands. I'm sure that you don't want to see photos of my grocery experiences, so here are some photos from the past for your viewing pleasure. All of the photos on today's blog are of the Buckeye Butterfly, in different stages of life. You may recognize this butterfly if you sent a postcard at some point during 2006. They were pictured on the 24 cent stamp. Caterpillars need particular host plants to feed on and butterflies need a variety of flowers to drink nectar from. Buckeye Butterflies are able to find plentiful food sources in all stages of their development within the park and especially, near my house. I see them often and have collected several photos of each stage of their life cycle.
The caterpillar photo was taken this week. I think that the majority of the Buckeye Butterflies that I have seen this week have been faded and tattered. They must be laying eggs right now and the eggs are beginning to hatch. The few caterpillars that I saw this week have been small like this one. They have a lot of eating to do before they find a nice place to hang upside down and shed their skin to expose their chrysalis (second photo). They remain in their pupa state in the chrysalis for a little over a week before they emerge as a winged butterfly. The chrysalis photo and the second adult butterfly photo were taken last August. The first and third butterflies, I spotted this week.
Many people refer to the pupa stage of the butterflies life as a cocoon. The word cocoon is usually referring to the silk casing spun by an insect such as a moth during its pupa stage. You'll sound smart if you refer to the pupa stage of a butterflies life as a chrysalis instead of the moth's cocoon.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Your fourth butterfly down has wings that looks like a stained glass window. Just beautiful!!!