Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Gulf Fritillary - Closing the Circle

A while back, I posted some images of a Gulf Fritillary caterpillar and then later there was some egg laying activity. Gulf Fritillaries are vey common in this area.  The caterpillars feed exclusively on passion flower vine and I have seen the adults nectaring on various yellow and white composite flowers.  I finally saw and photographed 2 pairs of adults engaged in procreation.  Listen to Elton John sing while you continue reading about these free-flying butterflies ...

The first pair was head to head.
 They were intent on each other
 while I snapped away.
 One flew off and back
and then flew away.  
 I left at this point, to give them space.

In spite of their common name, Gulf Fritillaries are not true fritillaries.  They have an extensive range from the southeastern US through Central America and into parts of South America.  In the US, the range is expanding due in part to cultivation of passion flower as ornamentals in California and elsewhere.  In the US, the adults migrate to the south as winter approaches and overwinter in the Gulf states.  They are present in Belize year round and are very common here in Englishtown where several passionflower species are prolific.

The other pair, oriented tail to tail, was more advanced in their coupling.
They were completely oblivious to my presence
and soon fluttered away in tandem to complete the circle of life.

10 comments:

  1. Nice post Wilma and some lovely butterfly shots. Very entertaining!
    Still getting diverted to the App Store....

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    1. Hi Phil - thanks! No one else has mentioned getting diverted to the App Store; must be special for you. ;-)

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  2. Wow! Lovely images Wilma. So colourful.

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    1. Thank you, Roy. They are beautiful butterflies.

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  3. Hi, Wilma. The Gulf Fritillary is a rare visitor from the south here in Ohio. A few years ago, several were reported in southern Ohio and I had the pleasure of seeing one in my yard. I've been enjoying your posts of life in Belize. Please keep them coming.

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    1. Hi Steve - so they make it all the way to Ohio - interesting! Thanks for the words of encouragement; always good to know that someone is reading and enjoying out there. :-)

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  4. What a beauty. Excellent shots too.

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    1. Aren't they beauties, Keith! And thanks.

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  5. Just caught up with your posts after being away on Islay off the west coast of Scotland for 2 weeks, I don't always comment on your posts but they certainly all get read.

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    1. Glad you read them, David! Thanks for letting me know. Will you be posting about your holiday soon?

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