No, I’m Not a Monarch!

Pearl Crescent Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, August 2014
Each day we learn more about animals. Dogs, we are now told, think. Cats do too. Those of us who spend considerable time amongst butterflies often wonder, do they, can they think? Problem solve? Do they flee because of instinct, or do they decide when and if to go?

Butterflies certainly might, if they can reason at all, exasperate, because we lavish so much attention upon Monarchs, Tiger Swallowtails, Coral hairstreaks, Giant Swallowtails, and pay little or no attention to the likes of this stunner, a shmeksy female Pearl Crescent butterfly  (Phyciodes Tharos). She was warming up her wings on a sunny August morning along a trail in Doak Field,  Raccoon Creek State Park, on the western side of Pennsylvania.

If she thinks, then she must puzzle over why she sets there, very attractively lounging on a verdant leaf, while anyone who goes by asks, ‘Hey, have you seen any Monarchs yet this morning?’

Jeff