A. jesous . . . in the HolyLand (Israel)

Azanous Jesous butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

Azanous Jesous butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

Our paths crossed in 2013, while I was working that fabulous trail on the slope of Mt. Meron. I was seeing butterflies each of the mornings that I stayed there, and many were . . . lifers. Israel. The HolyLand. Rachel was now living there for 5 years, met Uri, married, and was Happy!

This tiny beaut flew in and began nectaring. I had no idea what it was. That’s a downside of shooting film, for this one was very quickly vamoose! and over the course of a morning of shooting, looking, watching my footing, I forget details that I saw earlier. Looking by the way across the north, right into Lebanon, into the stronghold of Hezbollah, a very, very bad bunch of boys.

When my slides returned from being processed by Dwayne’s Photo, and flipped open my A Field Guide To The Butterflies of Israel (Dubi Benyamini) and found this butterfly . . . Azanous jesous. Jesous? ID’d in 1849 by Guerin, I to this day consider this name. ?.

What did Guerin, with an accent over the ‘e,’ have in mind? Any feedback much appreciated.

Mary? Sylbie? Jim? Cathy? Curt? Joe? Kim? Kelly? Nancy? John? Robert Michael Pyle? Jeffrey? if, I’ve left you out, please feel free to . . . .

Jeff

 

Azanus Jesous (Mt. Meron)

Azanous Jesous butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

She was seriously nectaring just steps from the trail. I knew that I had seen this species before, doing just about the same thing at agricultural roads north of Binyamina, Israel. This immediate beauty flew several hours north of Binyamina, along the slope of Mt. Meron. As throughout most of Israel her overall experience was beautiful weather and zero human conflict.

When we posted this species earlier, we were impressed with the eye-popping number of visits that followed. Lots of folks wanted to see this one, first identified and named by Guerin in 1849. He named it A. Jesous. Today is December 25th.

A tiny butterfly, they sport many black spots on their hindwings, and a curious brown streak on their forewings. Their caterpillars are tended/protected by ants. Seen in early June. Some species maps show their northern limits to be just south of where I was, but there she was on the mountain.

What’s in a name?

Jeff

 

Azanus Jesous Butterfly

Azanus Jesous Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Binyamina, Israel

This ventral (underside) view of this small and very pretty butterfly complements our dorsal image post. She’s fully occupied, drinking nectar from Camphor weed. Her hindwing eyespots feature striking little silver-blue scales. A very nice touch on an already beautiful butterfly.

This image and other Binyamina, Israeli butterflies are satisfying for us to photograph. We walked the agricultural field roads, camera in hand, expecting minimal success. We were rewarded by finding young and active butterfly populations, despite the November dates.

What are these butterflies common names? We continue to wait for feedback from Israeli friends and family.

Azanus Jesous and Azanus Ubaldus are among the most viewed of all of the 187 posts on wingedbeauity.com. The most obvious reason for that remains something of a mystery.

Jeff

Azanus Ubaldus Butterfly

Azanus Jesous Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Binyamina, Israel

In the last year I’ve walked down streets in Pittsburgh, PA; Savannah, GA; Irvine, CA; Brooklyn, NY; Jerusalem, Israel and New York, NY. People watching is quite interesting. I always see an infinite number of faces, shapes, dresses, types of walk, etc. You never know who you will see next. Will they exchange glances? Will they greet you with a “Hello!”  Will they reciprocate your joy of living, joy of experiencing live in its fullest, and for the near future, joy of your freedom from chaos, mayhem and evil?

So it is when you move through a habitat to find and photograph butterflies. You already know most of them, and they don’t vary much from one to the next, until? Well this female caught my eye while I was photographing the site of an 800 year old, excavated synagogue in Ein Gedi, Israel. It was a tiny butterfly; her proboscis was actively collecting nectar from this bush, and she tolerated my careful approach. Azanus Ubaldus populations are found from the Dead Sea south to the tip of the Sinai Peninsula and then along the western coast of the Sinai (D. Benyamini, A Field Guide to the Butterflies of Israel). Moments later, she is gone!

The feeling of satisfaction that follows an encounter with a butterfly I’ve not ever met before is . . . Well you know the feeling. We all experience it, however it is triggered in each of us.

Jeff

Azanus Jesous Butterfly

Azanus Jesous Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow

The butterfly flew onto a dry wildflower stalk, just several feet to my left. She was tiny, and she was all decked out. The butterfly caught my eye immediately, as I am now trained to notice wing movement. I am also wired to note unique butterflies.

With her coffee colored wings, the Greek Offshore islands blue coloring, the spot on each forewing, her perky posture, the milk-white outer edges of wing, and that richly shaded body with it clown-like abdomen, who could not appreciate this siren, posing on a farm road in Binyamina, Israel?

What butterfly species was she? Field guides are just to heavy to lug into the bush, but now we know that she is a female Azanus Jesous.

Found in western Israel, Gaza, northern Israel and the western and southern shores of the Sinai Peninsula, this example is an especially fresh example. Good. Ah, such successful fieldwork.

Jeff