22 August, 2010

Purple Coneflowers and Butterflies

Butterflies love purple coneflowers.  In an earlier post I had photos of the Eastern Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly on coneflowers and mentioned that sometimes one can find females that are dark brown instead of yellow.  That is what crossed my mind when I saw this butterfly.  But this one turns out to be a male Black Swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes. 
He is a little worse for the wear and is missing most of his tails; you can just see a bit of the left tail in the photo below. You can also get a glimpse of the underside of his wings showing the characteristic orange and blue pattern of this species.
This bumblebee tried to chase the meadow fritillary, Boloria bellona, away, but the fritillary held fast.  That must have been one tasty flower!
It seems to be missing part of its right hindmost leg.
This is the first time I have noticed the lovely common buckeye, Junonia coenia, in our garden.
It has 6 eyes visible on the top side of the wings.
The 6 eyes and the 4 orange bars make for a very handsome butterfly.
The purple conflowers attract many other insects and I have even seen a hummingbird feeding at the flowers.  Even after the flower is gone, the seed heads attract quite a few birds.  Hard to go wrong when you have purple coneflower in your garden!

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  1. So delicate, and so beautiful. I love seeing the different butterflies you have to ours.
    The Swallowtails really are spectacular; and the Common Buckeye, very handsome.

  2. I'd love to see a Swallowtail butterfly, there's only one small area in the British Isles where they survive and it's in the Norfolk Broads area in the county of Norfolk.

  3. Hi Wilma,
    Wow the whole set is superb but the last three pictures are splendid. I love the contrast between the flower and the butterfly!

  4. Beautiful butterflies, especially the Common Buckeye. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Wonderful series - I am just beginning to learn my butterflies - it doesn't make sense to me, but I find them harder than birds.

  6. Keith -- thank you. Funny how knowing that a species common in one's own area is rare or non-existent in someone else's area makes it easier to appreciate what you have!

    David -- the swallowtails are always special to see.

    Chris -- thank you. Something about the lighting for the buckeye makes it look almost velvety.

    John -- glad you like them. thanks for letting me know. :-)

    Chris P -- I know what you mean. Some of the key features for the butterflies are downright minute! But they are fascinating and beautiful.

    thanks to you all.


  7. Yes that Buckeye is certainly a colourful specimen Wilma.

  8. Some very different butterflies to what i'm used to seeing on both the UK and Japan.......

  9. Dont you just love Butterflies Wilma, is there any end to their variation ?

    I love that Common Buckeye !!

  10. Hi Wilma, it's lovely to be visiting again :) What beautiful butterflies even with tails missing! I do love butterflies and it is so nice to see the ones in other parts of the world which we will never see here. The Common Buckeye is very handsome!

  11. Hi Wilma,
    Just to give you an answer about the geyser and the mud hole, both are of freshwater and are about 100-120°C... The only active geyser we have is the one I showed pictures off, Strókkur. We used to have another big one named Geysir just few meters away from Strókkur, blowing at 100m, but it stopped some years ago.
    These geothermal areas usually do not have any Geyser but just mud hole, really hot, and most of the time are fantastic to visit. We do have several places like that around Reykjavik too..

  12. Roy - the buckeye did seem pretty fresh with good sharp colors.

    Stu - isn't it fun to see the butterflies that are commonplace inother locales?

    Shy - glad to see you making the blog rounds again! thanks for stopping by and admiring the butterflies.

    Chris - thanks for more details on the geysers and mudholes. They make for some very impressive scenery!

    cheers all,

  13. You have a wonderful blog and wonderful photos.


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