Freyeria Trochylus in the HolyLand

Freyeria Trochylus butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

This one wasn’t one of the Israeli butterflies that I ‘tabbed’ in my Dubi Benyamini field guide. After all, it’s been nearly 8 years since I’ve been on the lookout for this HolyLand tiny flier, and I was resigned to never getting a good image. Well, as so many of you know, never say never.

March 2016 was a fine morning. Drove my Hertz rental to Ramat Hanadiv, about 7 miles from Rachel’s home. North of Tel Aviv and Netanya, it is almost shouting distance from the Mediterranean Sea. Parked in their large parking lot, and headed to the trails. Their nature reserve is huge, and these trails often tantalized me.

Then, Whoa! what’s that little beaut on this orange flowerhead? Freyeria trochylus trochylus. They fly much of the year, and the map shows their range to include much of Israel north of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The thing you have to know is that though a butterfly may have an extensive range, their habitat may be limited across that large expanse. Not only that, but you are often skunked when you try to find them. It’s all timing, being in the right place at the right time, and, if I may say so. Luck!

So here we share together Freyeria, a pretty little butterfly, in the Land of Milk and Honey (and fantastic oranges and tangerines).

Jeff

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