Does She Hear?

Painted Lady Butterfly, photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

In the field, during those early years of seeking butterflies, I always became silent when I sought to make my approach. Silence ruled until I finished shooting, and only then would I talk. Some 10 years or so later, I abandoned that, and now I will speak to you, in normal voice, while I am at my usual 18″ away from a butterfly. One in 20 butterflies appear to flee when I begin talking to you. Nineteen of 20 do not react to my speaking.

This fresh, gorgeous American Lady butterfly riveted my attention, and on my approach, on that gravely road in Raccoon Creek State Park (southwestern Pennsylvania). I placed my feet down as gently as I could as I got closer to her (presuming this is a female), knowing that she could easily sense the vibrations I produced on the trail. She fled several times, alway flying in a lazy loop, to return within about 3-4 minutes. I was patient, and got this.

Some months ago, I recall reading something about butterflies, it sharing that they can hear. Can they?

We are a large enough group to expect that you can weigh in here, and share on whether or not butterflies can hear?

Jeff

Bergamot Bloom

Bergamot Bloom photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania 7/31/14
There were thousands of these flowerheads that day in August 2014. I returned to Doak Field, morning after morning. I was anxious to see who I’d find there. I also enjoyed being in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and the irony that only one person was there to savor the color, aroma and peace of that place.

Winged beauties made sure that I was not alone. Butterflies, moths, bees, flies and ruby throated hummingbirds flew in good numbers. Wasps silently patrolled for unsuspecting victims. Praying mantises kept their statuesque guard, and spiders hid to await their meals. Continue reading