Portraits of Wildflowers

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Archive for June 15th, 2014

An ailing butterfly

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Ailing Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly 1730

On the April 27th field trip to Bastrop State Park led by botanist Bill Carr I came across this ailing pipevine* swallowtail butterfly, Battus philenor, which fluttered about near the ground and didn’t seem able to fly away. That behavior, along with its faded and bedraggled appearance, probably meant that the insect was nearing the end of its life. Notice the swallowtail’s rolled-up proboscis.

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* You saw a pipevine flower in the last post. As Geyata Ajilvsgi notes in Wildflowers of Texas: “Although this plant is common, it is rarely found in flower, for usually larvae of the pipevine swallowtail butterfly… keep it eaten to the ground.”

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 15, 2014 at 6:00 AM

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