Black Tiger on Buttonbush

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (Black Form), photographed by Jeff Zablow at Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, GA

August, and the Buttonbush were going strong, at the edge of Pond 2A at Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge, in Juliette, Georgia. I’ve become a big fan of this wetland wildflower, and I stationed myself here, to enjoy and shoot what might fly in.

Battlestations! In flew this Shmeksy! female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly. She was not the familiar yellow/black Tiger Swallowtail. She was the less common ‘Black form’ female. I liked her from the start.

She shared large sweet Blue blazes, especially along the trailing edges of her hind wings. Those wings seemed outsize to me, and, she sported good sized orange spots. Though her forewings show that she eclosed days or weeks ago, her ‘tails’ are sizable and remain intact and there is some wear on her forewings, but not enough to diminish her beauty.

Favorites, together, on a near perfect sunny morning, in a very special National Wildlife Refuge in the central Georgia Piedmont. Best of all, I’m there to taste it.


A Stunning and Cover-Ready Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly

Red Spotted-Purple Butterfly at Raccoon Creek State Park

Ahhhhh! We can all relate to our relaxing friend here. Just as we so relish the thought of getting up on a beautiful morning, carefree, strolling out onto our inviting and beloved deck; gently lowering ourselves onto our favorite chaise and soaking in the morning’s tempered sunshine. Our Limenitis anthems astyanax too is luxuriating in the soothing bath of warming morning sun.

She too seeks to prepare for the day ahead and nurture her beauty for the admirers who may be met. With her remarkable red spots and white flashes at the forward ends of her forewings, her bright blue iridescence and her finely formed red-orange marks at the forewing apexes, she is a stunner and cover-ready!

We just posted the Pipevine Swallowtail butterfly the day before. Many who study butterflies believe that our Red-Spotted Purple butterfly is a mimic designed to cause predators to identify it as a Pipevine.

Interesting. Pipevine nectar at wildflowers, Red-Spotted Purples don’t. Red-Spotteds spend much of their time on the ground, Pipevines don’t. Hmmmm.