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.


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.