Corrente

If you have "no place to go," come here!

Plantidote of the Day 2012-08-29

Kathryn's picture

Buddleia and Butterflies

Buddleia davidii

Butterfly Bush

and

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.

Monarch Caterpillar

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.

0
No votes yet

Comments

Submitted by YesMaybe on

We don't get them down here in central america, though. But, yeah, some bugs can be hard to get pictures of. Butterflies especially so if you want to get a shot of their wings from above like the one you got, because they tend to fold them up when they stop fluttering around.

Submitted by YesMaybe on

I'm not a CIA operative working with the drug cartels to torture as many people as possible. I used to live in the US, but that was on a student visa. My more permanent abode is in Costa Rica, which is where my insectidote pictures were taken (well, the ones I've posted so far, I also have a few bug pictures from my time in the US).

Submitted by lambert on

I'd like to hear more about your experiences in Costa Rica (much like mine in Thailand, and perhaps with the same set of motivations?)

Submitted by YesMaybe on

My family moved here (from a certain militaristic jewish state) when I was a child. We've always lived in the capital, and it's really not very interesting. Costa Rica (or at least its metropolitan area) is 100% Americanized. Or consumerized, capitalisticized, or whatever it is. When I went to study in the US there was zero culture shock. Hell, there was more culture shock for people coming from Europe.

insanelysane's picture
Submitted by insanelysane on

With all the strife and war and climate scares, to find a scene unfold like this gives me confidence that some things in the world are doing alright. Love finding these photos here every day. It's a good way to start my day.
TY

Submitted by lambert on

There's something to be said for pure pleasure....

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

We just planted our first here in Arizona and the past week we have found three HUGE green caterpillars eating it. These things look like tomato hookworms - all green, but without the horns. And when I mean big...I mean big. Any idea what they are?

Oh, I once stumbled across a couple of mating critters - two rattle snakes - but I ran away screaming.

Kathryn's picture
Submitted by Kathryn on

Besides hornworms, luna and polyhemus moths, Got a picture? Do they have spots or any other marks?

coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

What I can't understand is how this beast got from point A to my Butterfly Bush. We have tons of birds (our local neighborhood Road Runner has been in residence of late) looking for a juicy meal - but suddenly, there are three on the plant.

We held a Tuesday Kill Session and dispatched them (thank you Mr. Obamney for permission to kill American insects without probable cause!) - and I spread Critter Ritter all around the base of the plant in hopes of deterring other green icky caterpillars from climbing aboard!

Kathryn's picture
Submitted by Kathryn on

Did you hear the cicada whine behind the video? It's been so loud and intense here for the last month.