Most Lampides Boeticus are inactive at this time, but December 3rd in this oasis is a very suitable habitat for a butterfly species that flies from February through November in most of Israel. This Long-Tailed Blue Butterfly is nectaring on shrub plants, not far from Wadi David in Ein Gedi.
In a now familiar scenario, I approach and he flees. I approach again and he flees. With the last approach, the butterfly is goooone. Three days spent in this unique destination did produce satisfactory photographic work for me.
The Long-Tailed Blue Butterflies that I have seen throughout Israel evidence little if any wing damage caused by predation. Do some enjoy Luck! in life? Hmm? Though they flee from my approach, you would think that formidable predators would have already enjoyed this tasty morsel. Or is this butterfly a tasty morsel? Is it bitter tasting, because of it’s diet? Unlikely, when the Lampides Boeticus host plants are a variety of legumes.
Just yesterday I read of a new body of research, suggesting that insects have not, notice, not, evolved to thwart bird predation. For how long have we been lectured to that the need to evade birds was the great force behind prey evolution? These biologists have extensively tested this theory, and found that there is a much more likely vector of insect (butterfly) adaptive evolution. Spiders. Their research has left little doubt for them, that butterflies and others have changed to improve survivability in a natural world of countless species of spiders. Now that’s something to consider.
I invite you to have a look at our other posts of Long-Tailed Blue butterflies?
- UF study shows spiders, not birds, may drive evolution of some butterflies (eurekalert.org)
- Don’t step on the butterflies! (utsandiego.com)
- Of Burrowers and Butterflies (meanderingsabound.com)
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park set to unveil ‘Butterfly Jungle’ tomorrow (swrnn.com)