Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Eggcellent Gulf Fritillary Butterfly

It's been windy and that makes it tough for butterflies - not to mention tough for butterfly photographers.  But the butterflies were out and so was I.  With Heart's "Dog and Butterfly" was playing in my head (click here to listen with me), I did my best to photograph this Gulf Fritillary butterfly as it flew and fluttered in the windblown vegetation.
The lovely Agraulis vanillae - Gulf Fritillary butterfly with its distinctive silver-spotted abdomen and orange wings with silver spots and black markings.
Very photogenic, so I obliged.
This may very well be the adult butterfly from the caterpillar that I showed a photo of a couple of weeks ago here.  In fact that rock below (really it's a piece of concrete from an old piling) is the same one pictured earlier.
It was fluttering around in a very suspicious manner.
Its flutterings made me think that it was in egg-laying mode, so I took more photos hoping for an action shot.
Not still for long, I got a blurry view of the underside as it hovered briefly before changing direction.
Off again to investigate some nearby plants.
She found something promising...
Getting ready.
and possibly deposited an egg.
Is that an egg? or an illusion?
Still on the chase, I followed her as she dropped onto a low plant.  Click on the photos for the big show.
I snapped away as she lingered on the leaf.
And there!  The abdomen makes contact with the leaf.
She remains in place a few seconds longer.
She moves back and it looks like there is a single yellow dot on the leaf.  Is it an egg?
Congratulations - you have an egg.
A single yellow egg in the middle of the leaf.  And just take a look at the leaf below the egg-bearing leaf. Sure looks caterpillar-eaten to me!  Someone was here earlier.
No dog, but an eggcellent butterfly.  I see a walk in my future to check on caterpillars ... 


10 comments:

  1. Lovely butterfly Wilma. Yes those eggs are so small you are lucky to find them. Eggcellent.!
    I don't think I have ever seen any.

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    1. Thanks, Roy. It would be hard to spot an egg if you hadn't seen it being laid! Fun to watch.

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  2. A magnificent series of photos Wilma. Congratulations. Beautiful flutter.

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    1. Thanks, John! There are lots of lovely flutters around here. Too bad they are rarely still long enough for a photo op!

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  3. What a stunning butterfly....The under-wing is simply amazing!

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    1. It is a beauty, for sure. They often nectar with good views of the underwing. I will try to get some images with those views and post them. Didn't see any on my walk this morning, but it may have been too early for them.

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  4. Great stuff Wilma, especially capturing the egg. You're beginning to compete with Marc and Warren now.

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    1. I wish! I'm still way out of their league. But thank you for the lovely compliment. I was pleased to get the egg shot. :-)

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  5. Your best is absolutely incredible. What amazing photos!

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    1. Glad you like them, Mitchell. :-) No roses ...

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