Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for June 2nd, 2014

Gray hairstreak butterfly on antelope-horns milkweed

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Gray Hairstreak Butterfly on Antelope-Horns Milkweed Flowers 3288

Another visitor to an antelope-horns milkweed flower, Asclepias asperula, along the Smith Memorial Trail in northwest Austin on April 29th was this little butterfly. It appears to be a gray hairstreak, Strymon melinus. Notice that at a hairstreak’s rear there are false antennae that typically move up and down when the insect is nectaring and can mislead a predator into striking at the insect’s rear rather than at its head. A butterfly can live with a chomp taken out of the rear of its wings, but can’t live with a missing head. A similar thing could be said of people, tales of a headless horseman notwithstanding.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 2, 2014 at 5:59 AM

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