Tiny Mating Butterflies Continuing their Species

Mating Azure Butterflies photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Infrequent it is that you happen upon such a scene. Sure you’re out in the field, searching for butterflies. You’re expecting to find individual butterflies, and 99.99% of the time that’s what you find, single butterflies. Rarely do you find a pair of butterflies, coupled together, mating.

When I do happen upon a pair of joined butterflies, my first reaction is one of ‘Oops, didn’t mean to interrupt or bother you.’ They are engaged in something very important, the continuance of their species. Most of their sisters and brothers, born of the same egg laying mother, were taken by predators. their persistence and mating is critical, each year and the next. That acknowledged, I usually stop to score images of them, for you to see.

This pair of tiny Spring Azure butterflies were along Nichol Road trail in Raccoon Creek State Park, some 8 hours west, bye car, of the George Washington Bridge spanning New York and New Jersey, USA.


Horace’s Duskywings Coupling

Duskywings Indelicata photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek Park, PA, 5/05/08
May 5th on Nichol Road trail in Raccoon Creek State Park. I almost missed seeing this. Male and female, after completing their appraisals of one another, now successfully coupling. Minutes went by. They remained motionless.

Provide butterflies and all other creatures with undisturbed habitat, fostering the host plants their caterpillars feed on, and the nectar or alternative food (scat, fruit, sap) that nourish the adults, and they will replenish their numbers. No need for corporate, or volunteer or government intrusion. Just don’t destroy the land they call their home, don’t indiscriminately release pollutants to the air and water, and … voila! generation after generation of amazing and beautiful butterflies.

No instruction manuals or how to videos, or coaches were to be seen. Vital, necessary behavior, after the ravages of a long, hard winter of zero degree temperatures.