Yep, these are Tropical Leafwing Butterflies, and I was thrilled to meet them at the National Butterfly Center. I always appreciate such times, and usually Thank G-d that I’m among the 1 in 500,000 Americans who have been blessed to see an uncommon butterfly. When the Tropical on the right opened its wings, and those Richly Orange hued upper wings produce big smiles, they do!
We’re viewing Tropicals because of something I’ve remembered. These 26 or so years of photographing butterflies have allowed me to meet another Leafwing no more than 3 times. I’ve seen Goatweed Leafwing butterflies in Mississippi and in Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. Each time it was early in the morning, and each time I was so Shocked! to happen onto a Goatweed, they resting on tree trunks, that I forgot (?) to start shooting, and instead gaped/gazed at those shy, elusive, fighter-jet quick Leafwings.
More, I cannot remember seeing anyone post a Goatweed Leafwing on Facebook, Word Press or anywhere else in the last 12 months. In the last 24 months!
So, next year, G-d Willing, I ask y’all to let me know if you have a reliable habitat where Goatweeds can be regularly seen? I’m no longer a NABA member, so I cannot poll that closed group for this, but I can hope that y’all can give me feedback. I lack a single Goatweed Leafwing image, and I want one. Seriously.