We here in the USA have a butterfly that we see nearly everywhere, one that is so familiar that we hardly notice it. The Orange Sulphur flies in meadows and gardens. Seeing a fresh one? A real pick me up, no?
In the HolyLand (Israel) a closely related yellow flies, the Large Salmon Arab butterfly (Madais fausta). It too loves to nectar on wildflowers and on garden blooms.
This male was seen north of Tel Aviv, in the village of Binyamina. I was visiting family there, and took a walk along farming roads, along the edges of orange, tangerine and grapefruit orchards. He was intent upon nectaring, and tolerated my Macro- approach some. Was it hot? Yes, some 91F Middle East hot, but the rewards for me were real and loved.
Where must you go to encounter this sweetness of a buttterfly?
To find this guy, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas?
Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and northern Florida?
Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru?
Norway, Sweden, France and Austria maybe?
Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar and Thailand?
Egypt, Lebanon, Syria (or has war extirpated them) and Israel.
Japan, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and China?
Me? I met him in Israel, in the wine-producing village of Binyamina, Israel. Anaphaeis aurota, on a day in June, he nectaring furiously on these camphor flowers. Me? Shooting away . . .
A bust out! butterfly for me, 7,000 miles from my home, there he is, I found this one and some others. The Blue Arab butterfly, Colotis phisadia. Tel Aviv? No. Jerusalem? No. The Mediterranean coast? No. Galilee? No. Golan? No.
To see this unusual ‘white’ butterfly, you had to travel in Israel, to its eastern borders, at the Dead Sea, or to the eastern Sinai desert, where for sure you’d be kidnapped by who knows what terrorist group, or by just as interesting locals.
Me, I took a train from Binyamina, Israel south to Beersheva, then a bus to Ein Gedi. I stayed several days in the SPNI field houses there. I hiked from the field house where I stayed to this Wadi (sizable dry river bed). Along the side of the wadi I found them, Blue Arabs. Sooo difficult to approach, nearly impossible to get a good macro- image, and the sun pouring down hot all the time.
I wanted my own images of the Blue Arab. I had hoped that you’d enjoy seeing a butterfly that is different, and that won’t come to you. You’d have to come to it, in the boiling sun, in wadis far, far from Madison, Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, Frewsburg or Silver Spring.
Congrats! for you’ve seen the uncommon Blue Arab butterfly. Other places to see them? Jordan, that Sinai ( again, loaded with terrorists ), and Saudi Arabia.
Photographing this butterfly was another Birthday present for Jeffrey. It’s November 27th, one day before my Birthday (B- because I love birthdays) and the farm roads surrounding Binyamina, Israel provide another gift for the Birthday boy! And it’s Lang’s Short-Tailed blue Butterfly, or more properly, Leptotes pirithous.
This male flew in from the tree breaks along the dormant fields and went straight for just about the only butterfly food trough around, Camphor weed.
One of several species of Blues in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon, Leptotes Pirithous are a delight as they fly in to feed. They graze flowers with singular purpose. When your approach with a camera is skillfully made, Lang’s Butterflies are quite tolerant and even cooperative. A little more head to the left please! and there he goes, pleasing you to no end. He’s a classic pookie!
On May I fly to Israel. My to-do list is topped by photographing on Mt. Hermon and seeking excellent photos of the Two-Tailed Pasha in the North. Any help you might offer with the Pasha, would be very appreciated.
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.
- cloverlawn butterflies (abutterflyrelease.wordpress.com)
- Butterfly words (journalwritershandbook.wordpress.com)