Here’s a Brushfoot butterfly that I met on a trail in Mt. Meron in the HolyLand (Israel). I was on a trail I had hiked several times over the years. Many of the butterflies I had seen on that wondrous trail were new to me, and some were ‘Protected’ butterflies, few in number or now found in limited habitat. June was the month.
When this mystery one appeared and landed on this rocky outcrop, some 2/3 up the northern face of Mt. Meron, I blossomed with excitement. I knew I’d never met this one before, and I knew, as happens, I might not meet it again for years, many years. The usual ‘Comments’ are anticipated: I’m too far away from this magical butterfly or We’d need a dorsal image of its wings to make an ID!
It is what it is, and I do want to know what it is. Much time pouring through Dubi Benyamini’s field guide has not left me with that.
This time, I hope that Israeli butterfly authorities Yaron or Oz or . . . .
Yesterday I was pleased to be in contact with a respected photographer of Israeli/HolyLand butterflies. He wrote well of an image that I shared with y’all, the recent image of Pararge aegeria aegeria. That left me feeling good, and led to my spending some time remembering my 13? 15? or so trips to Israel, and the unforgettable field work I enjoyed there, all of it alone, as usual, with nary a soul to reminisce with.
Recent family events have saddened me, although my life ahead, well it promises much happiness and joy! Having so accomplished a photographer as Yaron share positives, even at this point in my rich, unique life, that meant much to Jeffrey L.
Not quite a rare as Pararge, this Lasiommata megara emilyssa male is a fine example of his species, and you have no idea how cautious I was to make this approach to him, on that high trail on Mt. Meron in Israel’s Upper Galilee. Who too hiked this mountain? King David? Jesus? Joshua? You?
This one has long baffled me. I met it on Mr. Meron in June. It flew onto that fav trail of mine, and landed. I’d never seen it before, and with its wings tightly closed, I couldn’t see its upper (dorsal) surface. After much study of my Israeli butterfly field guides, and examination of butterfly images online, I think, maybe, that I can identify this challenger.
My present thinking is that this is a Hyponephele Iycaon libanotica, first named by Staudinger in 1901.
Why wasn’t I closer you might ask? I was shooting as usual with my Canon Macro- lens, and after capturing this image, I Ohhh so cautiously moved closer, only to have it . . .
I’d seen this tiny butterfly several times, this one on that favorite trail of mine on Mt. Meron. Every time I’d meet one, that name challenged. True we were not too far from Capernum, Tiberias and Yom Kinneret AKA the Sea of Galilee.
A man named Guerin (with an accent on the e) chose the name in 1849. When there, in the HolyLand, Israel, meeting this butterfly led me to trying to picture what the area looked like in 1849?
Guerin named this little flier Azanus Jesous. This is the butterfly with the name, that name uncontested for these 171 years.
Me? I’m looking forward to you offering feedback. I await you.
I went there in June, that my plan well before I flew to the HolyLand, Israel. I wanted to see this butterfly, this Very Rare, Protected butterfly. Apharitis Cilissa flies in June only, and only in the Upper Galilee. I went to Mr. Meron, stayed in a SPNI Nature field house, and when I worked the trails on SPNI’s refuge reserve, I found them!
They’re tiny, gorgeous in the Middle Eastern sunlight, and finally, after following them (my timing was perfect, for I found a fresh flight of them), I met this one, I’m thinking a female. Nectaring on a pretty bloom, she moved her wings to and fro, as some do, and here we have much to see. She exposes her richly hued upper wing, and we see so much of her detail, including her tails and the metallic spots on her wings, they excitingly reflecting the strong Middle Eastern sun.
Little doubt have I that Jesus and the Prophets made similar treks, from their nearby homes, to see A. Cilissa and to be motivated and moved by the magnificence of G-d’s creations.