The Caper White Butterfly’s sharp whites and blacks reminded me of a gentleman, who is of the ‘1%’ and now in his tux and spiffy whites, has landed briefly at a fashionable bar in a fashionable hotel in a fashionable side of town. Other Anaphaeis Aurora sport slightly dated tuxes and slightly faded whites, but not our Caper White. He’s come to Binyamina to display his prowess and big-screen good looks.
Caper Whites are good subjects to photograph. When sipping on nectar from the Camphor weed, they pose briefly showing their left-side, then their right-side, and lastly, their dorsal wing surface. They might even show off their ventral (under) surface. Predictably, ten or so photographic exposures will be tolerated by the butterfly, and then it will shift position. It was a joy to capture not one, but two groups of exposures after chasing a whole bunch of Israeli butterflies (e.g., False Apollo, Plain Tiger and Large White) without a worthwhile image to show for it.
The population of Caper Whites in distant Ein Gedi was by comparison, very easily spooked and not easy to photograph. None of my Anaphaeis Aurora images down there at the Dead Sea warranted posting on this blog. So it goes.
Why then have we posted only males? The female butterflies were skittish. Nearly all left when I made my patented approach. Hmmm.
So here populations behave differently and gender behavior differed. Interesting?
This is our fourth post of Colotis Phisadia, otherwise known as a Blue-Spotted Arab Butterfly. Hours of travel and three mornings of dedicated pursuit yielded a good result. Residing in Wadi David at Ein Gedi, this is one dedicated butterfly.
The Blue-Spotted Arab Butterfly has spent much of this morning making his rounds, never flying too far from his starting point. In full rich color, he patiently waits for the opportunity to display his primacy and his genetic finery to potential mates.
The Wadi David at Ein Gedi was bone-dry. It’s inevitable that at some point we pause and ask, “How do these butterflies satisfy their need for water?” The sky drizzled rain drops the next morning, for just about five minutes.
For those of you who haven’t yet seen the three other posts of Blue-Spotted Arab’s, we photograph with a Macro Lens, using a hand-held camera. This is one tough butterfly to approach, especially in the Wadi. Our images were the result of much negotiation. The butterfly allowed us to approach within four feet, and we agree not to come one inch closer. A successful negotiation in the Middle East. Good.
The butterfly flew onto a dry wildflower stalk, just several feet to my left. She was tiny, and she was all decked out. The butterfly caught my eye immediately, as I am now trained to notice wing movement. I am also wired to note unique butterflies.
With her coffee colored wings, the Greek Offshore islands blue coloring, the spot on each forewing, her perky posture, the milk-white outer edges of wing, and that richly shaded body with it clown-like abdomen . . . Who could not appreciate this siren, posing on a farm road in Binyamina, Israel?
What butterfly species was she? Field guides are just to heavy to lug into the bush, but now we know that she is a female Azanus Jesous.
Found in western Israel, Gaza, northern Israel and the western and southern shores of the Sinai Peninsula, this example is an especially fresh example. Good. Ah, such successful fieldwork.
The Colotis Phisadia males have been already been posted. Happily, we can introduce this female Blue-Spotted Arab Butterfly. You might be wondering about the wildflower she is sitting on. It’s not known.
In my travel, males were much more numerous and available for photographing than females. The males spent many more hours flying and resting. She has different goals. Her primary one is eating nectar. We discussed how skittish this species is. It’s well and good that this one allowed a moderate approach by a photographer.
Females show a more pronounced yellow. Of the photographs we took, we prefer this image, with its display of both ventral and dorsal wing.
I miss those December mornings at Ein Gedi. Like any exotic habitat that you are lucky enough to visit, you never know what you’ll see one minute to the next. How do you know when you are so blessed? You know because you find yourself frequently checking what time it is, reluctantly acknowledging that morning is quickly slipping away. In the afternoon, there’s way too much sun to capture images of winged beauties.