Monday, June 06, 2005

Butterfly wrangling

A Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) was attracted to some moisture on a cardboard box. I believe he was newly emerged, since he looked nearly perfect and wasn't too afraid of me.



His close-up.



He seemed very thirsty.

I had an idea.

I dipped my finger into a puddle then snuck up slowly.



Ta-da!



His feet were very sticky. This really tickles.



I taught my husband how to do it too.



The admiral sunbathed for a moment before he left.



Red Admirals are common and widespread: Guatemala north through Mexico and the United States to northern Canada; Hawaii, some Caribbean Islands, New Zealand, Europe, Northern Africa, the Middle East and Asia! I imagine that they do so well because the caterpillar's food plant is the nettle.

More info here, here, and here.

19 comments:

Sawadu said...

Hello! Great photos! Our butterflies are just starting to come out up here in New Hampshire -- I also found a dragonfly nypmph "shell" in the pond the other day and saw that the dragonflies are out & about, too. Ah, summer!

I just found your blog & am lovin' it! Thank you, thank you, thank you for being another person who uses scientific names of plants & animals you mention!

Ron Sullivan said...

Lovely! And it must have been so much fun.

yllstonewolf said...

can there be a better way to spend time?? then allowing that lovely little shard of stained glass to drink from your finger?

jojo said...

Ohhh! Great pics! We just saw our first monarch of the season yesterday, and though I love them, I'm partial to the Tiger Swallowtail.

Dave said...

Very nice photos. I was also interested in seeing news in the first link of a citizen science project to track their northward migration.

Rhodent said...

Great pictures once again! I wonder what Jasmine would have done if the butterfly had discovered her wet nose!?!

Rhodent said...
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Maktaaq said...
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Maktaaq said...
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Maktaaq said...

What a great idea...butterfly wrangling...

Rurality said...

Thanks everybody. Rho & Maktaaq sorry your comments were posted 2 or 3 times!

Rho she would have eaten it, for sure! She got in trouble yesterday for uh, "helping" us repot some plants. :)

jerry said...

Hey, nice capture! I'll have to remember the sugar on finger trick. I took a photo of a butterfly a few years back that seemed to stay on my hand for quite a while. Only after taking a couple shots did I notice that I had accidentally trapped a foot between my fingers...

As Sawadu reports, I saw our first butterfly here in mid-New Hampshire a couple days ago.

jenni said...

Wow, those are so beautiful. can't beleieve how tame they are--amazing.

Maktaaq said...

Oh, no, Rurality, I erased my comments twice. Kept making spelling mistakes and it bothered me too much not to delete them and try again.

Butterfly said...

Wow! Wonderful pics!

Postcard will be on it's way shortly...

mira said...

These are the butterflies I used to play with as a child in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. None of them were afraid of people it seemed, as long as your finger was moist. Not trying to burst any bubbles, but maybe all of that species aren't that afraid of people. I don't know, I'm not a butterfly expert.

Rurality said...

Thanks all. Butterfly I'm going to steal your postcard idea very soon. :)

Mira after hearing that I'm going to try again next time I see one of these! I guess I just never tried to play with them before, so I hadn't noticed. (Just call me Dances with Butterflies LOL.)

Sunidesus said...

Those are beautiful shots. Sigh... I really gotta spend more time outside instead of in front of my computer!

Ericka said...

Very cool picts. When my best friend was on her honeymoon in Hawaii, she and her new hubby went on a tour. The guide took them to a particular spot, had them sit down, and poured a bit of sugar water in their hands. They have pictures of butterflies the size of dinner plates feeding from their cupped palms. Neat!