Variegated Fritillary Butterfly

Variegated Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

Mosquitoes were wolf-packing me as I moved along the dikes of this one-time rice farm. I was paying the price for my adventure. Savannah National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, is just a 25 minute drive from Tybee Island. I spent my mornings at this lush refuge, followed by lazy August afternoons at the beach, and then evenings exploring Savannah. If OFF had been 100% protective, this trip would have been perfect.

We’ve posted dorsal images of Euptoieta Claudia. This shot offers a view of the ventral wing coloration and form. The seriousness of this butterfly’s focus on eating nectar is one of several reasons for concluding that it’s a female. The wildflower is likely a Verbena. Clarification from one of my readers would be greatly appreciated.

Variegated Fritillaries favor the same habitat as do Gulf Fritillaries. Both butterflies are strikingly beautiful; bejeweled, if you will. I was so busy moving with my camera from one Variegated Fritillary to an equally comely Gulf Fritillary that I only later realized that my shield against mosquitoe bites was partially successful.

That’s what I love about Fritillary Butterflies. When the table is set with nectar-pumping wildflowers, these Brushfoots can be easily approached and photographed. They value the sweet nectar, and single-mindedly devour it. So find a fresh Fritillary, follow it to a nearby suitable bloom and follow our suggested Technique approach. It’s all worth it when eye-candy such as this butterfly is yours to enjoy and remember.



Hibiscus Flower

Hibiscus Flower photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Phipps Conservatory Outdoor Gardens, PA

Here we will discuss both a puzzle and a warning. The flower is a vivid red Hibiscus flower produced by a Hibiscus in the Outdoor Gardens of Pittsburgh‘s Phipps Conservatory.

Which shall we confront first, puzzle or warning? Are these questions soley my own, or have others noted them also?

The warning first. Do not spend any (yes, any!) time posted at Hibiscus flowers, awaiting the arrival of butterflies. After having done so many times, I have never seen a butterfly fly to Hibiscus. Skunked 100% of the time. Despite how much I wanted to photograph winged beauties against the background of hibiscus of different colors, zilch, nada! Photoshop has never been an option.

The puzzle? Why don’t hibiscus flowers attract butterflies? Why is such a spectacular flower not a butterfly destination? Next, who does pollinate these flowers? I’ve logged in my time, without question and not seen butterflies, bees, flies or wasps wiggle around in hibiscus. Of, course we only photograph in the morning, and usually stop by 11-11:30 in the morning. Do they do pump sweet nectar at all? Afternoons? Nights for moths? Bats?

Over all, we post to educate here. Butterflies do not travel to all flowers. Some flowers appear to never feed butterflies, no matter how much we think that they ought to.