Category Archives: Butterflies

Zebra Swallowtail Among Arrowleaf Balsamroot

photograph of a zebra swallowtail butterfly feeding on arrowleaf balsamroot nectar

Hiking past a large patch of Arrowleaf Balsamroot, I noticed a Zebra Swallowtail drifting from flower to flower collecting nectar and unwittingly spreading pollen in the process.

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Great Spangled Fritillary 2

wildlifehub

photograph of a Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly feeding on nectarI was hiking through a woodland meadow, wondering how many ticks I was feeding as I waded through chest high vegetation, when I spotted several butterflies sipping nectar from a patch of wildflowers.  This Great Spangled Fritillary was one of two feeding from a small group of flowers.

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Banded Hairstreak

photograph of a banded hairstreak butterfly on wild flowers

This little Banded Hairstreak was busily drinking nectar when I encountered it in a forest meadow.  I didn’t seem to mind me taking photos.  In fact, it didn’t even seem to notice I was watching it.


Great Spangled Fritillary

photograph of a great spangled fritillary butterfly on a wild flower

I came across a couple of Great Spangled Fritillaries in an open woodland meadow in Central Virginia as I hiked there in late May.  Even if you’re not a butterfly fan, you have to love the name of this species. 🙂


Pearl Crescent

photograph of a pearl crescent butterfly on white and yellow flowers

This Pearl Crescent butterfly rests peacefully in a bed of white and yellow flowers.  According to “An Instant Guide to Butterflies” by Pamela Forey and Cecilia Fitzsimons, male Pearl Crescents patrol their territory and will fly at other butterflies and insects.


Mourning Cloak

photograph of a mourning cloak butterfly on purple flowers

This Mourning Cloak butterfly stops to rest and feed in a patch of tiny, purple wild flowers.  I encountered it while hiking with a friend this spring in the Great Dismal Swamp near Suffolk, VA.

 


Pipe Vine Swallowtail

Searching for good photographic subjects on Big Walker Mountain, I happened upon a group of these large, blue and black butterflies.  My friend James Shelton, who is quite the amateur entomologist, tells me this butterfly is a Pipe Vine Swallowtail.