Who Loves the Red-Spotted Purple?

Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

America’s most beloved bird? It’s got to be the bald eagle. With tens of millions of birders, the bald eagle enjoys oceans of love. The Telegraph just reported that 20-somethings are increasingly taking up their ‘binis’ and looking for birds.

America’s most beloved butterfly? Easy again, the Monarch butterfly. Thousands of Americans are rearing them, visiting the central Mexico mountains where they overwinter, and planting milkweeds in their home gardens. Other beloved Americans butterflies? Eastern black swallowtails, Giant swallowtails and Pipevine swallowtails.

Why do blogs, NABA, Xerces and many state’s departments of conservation/environmental protection work most vigorously to protect monarchs and many swallowtails? I expect that we generally agree that they are large butterflies, very colorful butterflies, visit home gardens regularly and enjoy c that lend themselves to home development.

Chew on this? Why are butterflies that are found on moist trails, and rarely nectar on flowerheads, little loved? Here, a fine Red-spotted purple. Often seen on trails from New England to Florida and across the south to New Mexico, few hesitate to shower love and admiration for Red-spotteds.

Will tastes change, and the time come that sees the Red-spotted purple butterfly becomes the Golden retriever of the butterfly diversity? Or will Red-spotteds forever be “a butterfly.”

Jeff

5 thoughts on “Who Loves the Red-Spotted Purple?

  1. I personally love the red-spotted purple. I received the image of one (on a trail) on an important day in my life. However, I think people tend to see them less – as most tend to look for butterflies on nectar plants and not trails. Also, my photo has a similar appearance to yours. A fine photo but doesn’t have quite the thrill of a beautiful butterfly AND a beautiful flower together. Unless, of course, you love red-spotted purples.

    Like

    • As with other butterflies, Red-spotted purples ask nothing of you, so long as your honor their desire to be to themselves. They do prompt admiration and awe, when there are so fresh, and rich sunlight reflects from that contrast of purplish/blue and sheer black. All that to say that you have fine taste, Mary.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. these beauties are almost whimsical in their comings and goings…put out that rotten fruit and they sip side by side with yellow jackets, emperors and stink bugs! lifting off to circle when brushed by other wings and darting back as soon as a spot opens on their preferred oozing bit. when that fruity ooze emits that slightly fermented smell, they seem to waiver a bit, stagger even but are never far
    folks are learning that these butterflies that rarely visit the blooms we so vigorously cultivate are just as shimmering in the garden as the more dramatic, but need other enticement to visit and stay where they can be enjoyed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They sure are like the very best family, judgeva, as they come, visit briefly, and are then on their way. Even on the trail, they allow modest approach, but then they are off a short distance, when the gaze or questions (‘So, when are you getting married?’ / So do you have a ‘friend?’) encroach! Funny how they shoulder up to yellow jackets and stinkbugs and emperors and viceroys and hackberries, but not to . . . us. I guess they know that we . . . . Thanks for sharing.

      Like

  3. Love red spotted purples. They are sap sippers from our oak tree or they find the over ripe figs we cannot get to.

    Like

Comments are closed.