Plantidote of the Day 2012-08-29
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)
Two Monarch Butterflies mating on a purple Butterfly Bush. You know, I feel for YesMaybe -- Insectidotes are wayyyyyyyyy harder than Plantidotes; those little creatures flit around and never stay still. But I find that I am noticing them more, the insects that thrive in the garden. Today it was to my absolute joy, finding a Monarch horde. Ok, well a few dozen at least. Several were mating and as I was filming that I thought, oh yeah there's a lot of Milkweed around here -- I bet there are caterpillars... and yep, all I had to do was look down and they were there. Below the fold, the larval action and racy video.
The video is shaky and takes a bit to focus, all I have is a small Fuji finepix pocket camera. Also I am rather short and that butterfly bush was 7 ft tall. This is me holding the camera at arms' length over my head.
I think the pic above shows the male monarch because you can see the pheromone spots on the hind wings pretty clearly. He was also the bigger of the two.
Butterfly Bush, originated in China, came to the US in the 1890s. An invasive shrub with an arching habit, grows up to 15ft. Honey scented and a favorite of bees and butterflies , there are over a hundred cultivars and a few dwarf varieties.