The Butterfly with the Name

Azanous Jesous butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Mt. Meron, Israel

I’d seen this tiny butterfly several times, this one on that favorite trail of mine on Mt. Meron. Every time I’d meet one, that name challenged. True we were not too far from Capernum, Tiberias and Yom Kinneret AKA the Sea of Galilee.

A man named Guerin (with an accent on the e) chose the name in 1849. When there, in the HolyLand, Israel, meeting this butterfly led me to trying to picture what the area looked like in 1849?

Guerin named this little flier Azanus Jesous. This is the butterfly with the name, that name uncontested for these 171 years.

Me? I’m looking forward to you offering feedback. I await you.

Jeff

Why Get Down With This Blue?

Eastern-Tailed Blue Butterfly II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

We see this ultra tiny blur of grayish-white, on a trail somewhere, or in our garden here in the Georgia Piedmont. Don’t we brush off the tendency to disregard this tiny butterfly, for almost each and every time this happens, we gather ourselves together and crouch down to see more. Is it an Eastern Tailed-Blue, or an Azure or maybe maybe an uncommon Blue butterfly?

While we are concluding that this one is an Eastern Tailed-Blue, we’re at the same time examining it for: fresh color, that pair of ‘tails,’ those pookie eyes matched with that snappy pair of striped antennae, those incredibly tiny legs, that look way strong enough to support such a diminutive body, and as here, a pair of very shmeksy! reddish-orange spots.

Next is the decision, with several fine images of Eastern Tailed-Blue Butterflies in the slide cabinet. Do we expose rather expen$ive Fuji Velvia 50 slide film, to try for quality, usable images of this comely beaut?

We were at Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio, and I sure did. Conditions were excellent, this butterfly posed so well, you never know when you will once again meet up with such a fine Blue and, who here has the strength to not try for a good shot of an exceptional individual?

Barbara Ann? Kelly? Curt? Melanie? Deepthi? Laura? Virginia? Jim? Cathy? Beth? Peg? Roxanne? Deepthi? Ken? Phil? Elisse? Leslie? Melissa Misconstrued? Joanne?

Jeff

Spring Azure Butterflies

Spring Azure Butterflys at Raccoon Creek State Park

May 17th on Raccoon Creek State Park’s Lake trail. A departure from almost all of our other posts, some will recognize what they see here and it will take a moment more for the majority of you?

Celastrina ladon is a tiny butterfly that flies early in the Spring (so its name) and is one of several Azure species found in the eastern tier of U.S. states.

On the trails that they prefer, it is easy to overlook them, as the fly away ahead of your approach. You will also encounter them as they fly over cut meadows, searching for clover and other small flowering plants. Overlook them and you are missing an intriguing butterfly, whose caterpillars, for example, are ant-tended. “Ant-tended?” Yep, their caterpillars are watched over by ants. Now why would ants do that? Azure caterpillars exude a sugary material and the ants value this unique source of nutrition, and so guard the caterpillars from harm’s way. And just how and when did that relationship get started?

That white material that these 3 are taking in through their proboscises? The uric acid in the waste dropped by a large bird. Huh? These butterflies that we see here are more than likely 3 males. Male Spring Azures spend most of their time flying. This extreme activity burns a great quantity of energy and causes much wear and tear of the proteins in their flight muscles. To replenish that energy and to replace those spend proteins…such butterflies need ready sources of the elements nitrogen, sulfur, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus,etc. So now you complete the puzzle. Why are these butterflies so focused on consuming the uric acid left by a bird? Neat huh?

In May and June Spring Azures begin to disappear from their habitat and the closely related Summer Azures take flight. Year after year after year.

So much to be learned about such a tiny, tiny winged beauty!

Jeffrey

Harvester Butterfly

Harvester butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Ah, the Harvester Butterfly. Undeniably one of my favorite butterflies.

This teeny, tiny butterfly is usually found on gravel covered trails that are close to running creeks or streams.

You spot a very small flier, approach slowly, and when you are close enough to make-out wing detail, you conclude with certainty, Ah, a Harvester!

They are usually loners and once you have successfully approached one, it will allow you to watch it.

Those wings! I love the rich coffee brown broken up by their almost haphazard white rings.

And those elfin eyes. Oops, I’d better stop here.

We’ve left no space to discuss how the Harvester differ from all other butterflies]?

Jeffrey