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Posts Tagged ‘butterfly’

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Just a small group of photos taken from 20-25 feet with a Canon 7D with a Canon EF300L IS f/2.8 with a 1.4C canon TC. A red-spotted Purple, Tiger Swallowtails, Spangles Fritillaries, Giant Swallowtails on the Little Buffalo gravel bars, Pipe-vine Swallowtails, and saw 6 Monarchs and about a dozen Cloudless Sulfurs today too.

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Just a typical fall photo from my backyard on one snakeweed; can you ID them ?

 

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I have only seen these a few times in my 67 years. Mostly, during my childhood in east-central Missouri. I would see maybe 1 each week. Then later in my 20’s I would see a few by the Huzzah Creek in south-central Missouri. That I can remember, that is the last time I saw one. Until Yesterday !

It is the Diana Fritillary Butterfly. Since then they have retreated to only two know locations: the Southern Appalachians in North Carolina and parts of South-Carolina AND in the mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma; primarily the Ouachita’s.

The Diana Fritillary (Speyeria diana) is a butterfly found in several wooded areas in southern and eastern North America (primarily in the Arkansas River valley, several counties in South Carolina, and spots along the Appalachian mountain range). The species exhibits marked sexual dimorphism, with males of the species exhibiting an orange color on the edges of their wings, with a burnt orange underwing. Females are dark blue, with dark, almost dusty underwings, and are also larger than males.

The larvae feed on violet leaves. Dianas are unusual in that they do not lay their eggs directly on the host plant, instead scattering the eggs around the base of the plant. Upon hatching, larvae burrow into the ground over winter to emerge in spring. Adults feed on flower nectar and dung.

On February 28, 2007, Act 156 of the Arkansas General Assembly designated the Diana fritillary as the official state butterfly. Introduced by Representative John Paul Wells of Logan County, the legislation for making the butterfly a state symbol took note of the butterfly’s beauty, educational importance, and impact on tourism. Arkansas is the only state to designate the Diana fritillary as its state butterfly; pairing it with its state insect, the honeybee. Arkansas is the twenty-sixth state to designate a butterfly as a state symbol.

So 40 years later ……….

The photo I took yesterday is of a pretty beat up Male Diana Fritillary; near the Diana’s Host woodland violets. Taken with a Canon 70D with a Canon EF300L IS f/2.8 from 10 feet:

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Butterflies have been scarce due to the heavy rains of July. I saw a few Pipe-vine swallowtails on a butterfly bush this afternoon – the sun just now came out – this photo taken with a 300mm telephoto lens:

 

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Other then a brief thundershower on the 15th (got 0.09 inches) its been quiet here in the mountains; the in night the insects have really started screaming afterr dark. I hope we get some forcasted rain this Sunday because we are starting into another drought here in NW Arkansas. There has been a burn ban on for 3 weeks now. The thistle is just about done blooming but I did get a phopto of two Fritillaries on the last thistle heads:

 

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This beautiful butterfly was active very early today (the longest day of the year) on the very same thistle heads that the Amercian Goldfinches have been feasting on thi9s week. It is unusual to see butterflies out so early in the day:

 

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From the front yard yesterday; a very chilly start at 39F.

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