Same visitor, different view, additional colors and patterns
The edge-on view of the red admiral, Vanessa atalanta, that you saw in the last post emphasized the red-orange coloring on the butterfly’s dorsal surface but gave no hint of the ventral side’s colors and patterns. Now you get to see them, just as you once again get to see an antelope-horns milkweed, Asclepias asperula. By the way, this is not just the same species of butterfly as last time, but the same individual. Date: April 11. Location: TX 71 west of Austin.
Although butterflies fly mostly rightside up, once they land they seem at home in whatever orientation makes it easy for them to draw nectar from flowers. At the time I took this picture, that meant upside down.
(Before today’s two pictures, a red admiral appeared once in these pages, when it was a small element in the lower-left corner of a panorama showing a resurgent wildflower meadow. In that photograph the butterfly was on a blackfoot daisy, but the picture coincidentally gave pride of place to antelope-horns milkweed.)
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman