She was noticed recently hanging around the deck and gravel path after the afternoon container watering session. After several days of trying to capture her image so identification could be made, success was had. I followed her along the deck boards, getting as close as possible.
She was not amused by the crab walking human following her and walked off the deck edge onto the gravel path. Lucky for her it is only a six inch drop. The breeze nearly blew her away, but her sticky feet held fast to the stones.
The Red Spotted Purple is a species of North American brush-footed butterfly, common throughout much of the eastern United States. Limenitis arthemis astyanax has red spots on its underside and the top of the wings are notable for their iridescent blue markings. The Red-spotted Purple is a mimic of the poisonous Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) and is typically found in open woodlands and along forest edges. The Pipevine is what we thought she was until the butterfly book was perused and the internet searched. Larval food includes wild cherry and birch, both abundant here. I learned something new today, for I had never even heard of this butterfly before.
It may be that she has been here for years and we mistook her for the dark form female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail which is common here. The cherry and birch trees have been eaten by many chompers for a long time. We will now look more kindly upon that vandalism.
There are some other friends that would like to be mentioned besides the swallowtails which get more than their share of blog glory. The sweet little hairstreaks are enjoying the garlic chive bloom season. We do not know which type of hairstreak it is. The maps of distribution indicate it could be Edwards or Banded but the markings do not exactly match either. Added: This has been identified as a Gray Hairstreak by good buddies Lisa Of Greenbow! and Randy of Randy And Meg’s Garden Paradise Thanks, my friends!
Speaking in tongues, no, stop being silly, speaking of tongues, get a look at this one. The eye designs are very haute couture. Snout butterflies are easily recognized by their long projecting mouth parts (palpi) which resemble snouts. The Common Snout is the only one occurring north of Mexico. That makes identification easier! The larva feed on hackberries. Please eat them all!
Not everybody can be a movie star, but those of us who are a little plain have something to contribute as well. This duskywing is part of the skipper clan. We are not sure of its identification either, but welcome it with open arms.
We end the wildlife parade with a shot from about a month ago of the tall and stately Lilium ‘Black Beauty’ being visited by the hummingbird moth, aka the Common Clearwing. The whirring sound made as this pollinator flits from flower to flower is the stuff of daydreams.