~ Caterpillars ~
From Caterpillar to Chrysalis to Butterfly... Natures Beauty
~ Black Swallowtail, American Swallowtail or Parsnip Swallowtail ~
The (eastern) Black Swallowtail, American Swallowtail or Parsnip Swallowtail, is a butterfly found throughout much of North America. It is the state butterfly of Oklahoma and New Jersey. The species is named after the figure in Greek mythology, Polyxena, who was the youngest daughter of King Priam of Troy. Its caterpillar is called the parsley worm because the caterpillar feeds on parsley.
~ Glasswinged Butterfly ~
The Glasswinged Butterflys wings are transparent. The butterfly's most common English name is Glasswing and its Spanish name is "mariposa de cristal", which means "crystal butterfly". The tissue between the veins of its wings looks like glass, as it lacks the colored scales found in other butterflies. The opaque borders of its wings are dark brown, sometimes tinted with red or orange, and its body is dark in color. Adult glasswings can be found mostly from Central to South America as far south as Chile. They can migrate great distances and have been documented as far north as Mexico and Texas. It visits common flowers like lantana, but prefers to lay its eggs on plants of the tropical Solanaceae genus Cestrum. The green caterpillars feed on these toxic plants and are perhaps toxic to predators through secondary chemicals stored in their tissues; caterpillar chemical extracts are unpalatable. Adults are also assumed to be toxic, but their toxicity results mainly from males feeding on flowers whose nectar contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids. These same alkaloids also are converted into pheromones by the males and used to attract females
~ Pipevine Swallowtail or Blue Swallowtail ~
The Pipevine Swallowtail or Blue Swallowtail, is a swallowtail butterfly found in North America and Central America. The butterflies are black with iridescent-blue hind wings. They are found in many different habitats, but are most commonly found in forests. The black or red caterpillars feed on Aristolochia species, making them poisonous as both larvae and adults, while the adults feed on the nectar of a variety of flowers. The butterfly ranges from across United States to Mexico and onto Guatemala and Costa Rica. It rarely strays into southern Ontario. In the United States, the butterfly is found in New England down to Florida west to Nebraska, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Oregon.
The pipevine swallowtail is seen from April to October in the northern portion of its range and from February to November in the southern portion. There are two broods in the north and three or more in the south.
~ Spicebush Swallowtail or Green-Clouded Butterfly ~
Spicebush Swallowtail or Green-Clouded Butterfly, is a common black swallowtail butterfly found in North America. It has two subspecies, Papilio troilus troilus and Papilio troilus ilioneus, the latter found mainly in the Florida peninsula. The spicebush swallowtail derives its name from its most common host plant, the spicebush, members of the genus Lindera.
The family to which spicebush swallowtails belong, Papilionidae, or swallowtails, include the largest butterflies in the world. The swallowtails are unique in that even while feeding, they continue to flutter their wings. Unlike other swallowtail butterflies, spicebushes fly low to the ground instead of at great heights.
The spicebush swallowtail is found only in the eastern US and southern Ontario, but occasionally strays as far as the American Midwest, Cuba, Manitoba and Colorado. While still larvae, spicebush swallowtails remain on the leaf of the plant on which they were laid. As adults, the butterflies do not limit their flight geographically and instead are motivated mostly by availability of water and nectar and mates within the species' range.
This primarily black swallowtail is normally found in deciduous woods or woody swamps, where they can be found flying low and fast through shaded areas. Females tend to stay in open plains while males are typically found in swamp areas
~ Monarch Butterfly ~
The Monarch Butterfly or simply monarch is a milkweed butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. Other common names depending on region include milkweed, common tiger, wanderer, and black veined brown. It may be the most familiar North American butterfly, and is considered an iconic pollinator species. Its wings feature an easily recognizable black, orange, and white pattern.
The eastern North American monarch population is notable for its annual southward late-summer/autumn migration from the United States and southern Canada to Mexico. During the fall migration, monarchs cover thousands of miles, with a corresponding multi-generational return north. The western North American population of monarchs west of the Rocky Mountains often migrates to sites in California but has been found in overwintering Mexican sites as well. Monarchs were transported to the International Space Station and were bred there.
After a ten-fold drop in the population of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last decade, a 2016 study predicted an 11%–57% probability that this population will go quasi-extinct over the next 20 years.
~ Tailed Emperor ~
The Tailed Emperor is a large butterfly by Australian standards that occurs in a variety of habitat types. The uncommon but widespread butterfly is found in northern and eastern Australia, where it occurs predominantly in the warm and subtropical coastal regions. It is a resident species where its food plants, certain legumes and Kurrajongs, are native. The larval food is the foliage of certain native and introduced tree species. The native species include Wattles, Illawarra Flame-tree, Lacebark or White Kurrajong, Kurrajongs and Celtis species, while the Black Locust or False Acacia is an exotic species that is also favored. Adults may feed on the sap of trees, rotting fruit and moisture from dung. These fast, strong flyers are mostly seen in the dry season. Males frequent hilltops, and establish territories, by perching head down, some 3m up in trees, while they move the hind wings up and down. Two or more generations may be produced annually.
~ California Dogface Butterfly ~
California Dogface Butterfly, is sometimes placed in the related genus as Colias eurydice. This species is endemic to California, and is California's State Insect symbol. The California dogface butterfly has been the state insect of the U.S. state of California since 1972. Its endemic range is limited to the state. California was the first state to choose a state insect — and thus, to choose a butterfly — though most of the other states have now followed, and many even have both a state insect and state butterfly. This species i s listed as the California State Insect here Adults feed on flower nectar. They are said to be especially fond of purple flowers.
In the California chaparral and woodlands habitats of the Santa Ana Mountains in Southern California, the adult California dogface butterflies can often be seen nectaring at roadside thistles: such as the native Cirsium hydrophilum and Cirsium occidentale, and introduced invasive species Cirsium arvense.
These butterflies fly very fast, are difficult to approach unless they are nectaring at flowers; it is a challenge to get a photograph of them with their wings open
~ California Sister ~
California Sister, is a species of butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. They are common in California, but can also be found in western Nevada and Oregon, as well as in northern Baja California. The upper surfaces of their wings are dark brown to black with wide cream white bands dissecting both wings and two orange patches near the tips of the forewings. The underside is variously colored with browns, blue, orange, and white. A. californica is unpalatable to predators and is part of a large mimicry complex. The usual host plants for the larvae are the canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis) and the coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), as well as other species of oaks. This diet makes a californica unpalatable to predators, which might explain why so many other species have formed a mimicry complex around it.
The adults are commonly found flying near the upper branches of oak trees or perching near small streams and canyons. Males are commonly seen engaging in mud-puddling in moist ground, typically in mid-morning. Both sexes also feed on nectar from flowers (though this is rare), as well as drink from rotting fruit, sap, and animal droppings. Depending on seasonal conditions and elevation, the species produces one to three generations annually, usually from March through November. The main brood flies from late March into October, and adults may sometimes last through the winter months.