American Lady at BBBPatch

American Lady butterfly (ventral) photographed by Jeff Zablow at the Butterflies and Blooms Habitat in Eatonton, GA

Why are so many southern butterflies so richly colored? We’ve already noted that with Viceroy butterflies, and I’ve noticed that, frequently, in my field work in the South. This American Lady butterfly flew into view at the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat (BBBPatch) in Eatonton, Georgia. Battle stations!, for this one was very sweet in its orange/brown, white spots, blue hindwing trailing spots and deep black markings.

Not a Painted Lady, that’s for sure. Why? See that isolated white spot on orange/brown field in the outer center of each forewing? That ID’s American Ladies.

This one fascinates too, for those light orange epaulets on the black fields at the front edge of each forewing.

You’ll forgive I hope for our being some distance from this baby, but on trails, American Ladies forbid approach. Honest.

Jeff