Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Checkered white butterfly

with 27 comments

Checkered White Butterfly on Greenthread Flower Head 3272

Some people are said to have a checkered past, and the butterfly that entomologists call Pontia protodice is said to be a checkered white. The yellow flower head that this one is on is called greenthread because of its green and thread-like leaves (which aren’t visible in this photograph). Over a year ago I showed a picture of the butterfly known as the common checkered skipper, but this is the first appearance here for the checkered white.

Today’s photograph is from April 13th on the edge of U.S. 183 near Loop 360.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 22, 2015 at 5:39 AM

27 Responses

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  1. Nixon had a dog named Checkers. We’ve enjoyed some Red Admirals lately. Do you get them around you? They are very wide-spread.

    Jim in IA

    May 22, 2015 at 7:05 AM

  2. You are showing off now, Steve. 😉 A beautiful flower and butterfly in the one shot. How do you get these critters to behave so well? Beautiful composition and combination of colours here.


    May 22, 2015 at 7:43 AM

    • Speaking of showing off: my charming personality and handsome appearance beguile all my subjects into behaving well.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 22, 2015 at 8:09 AM

      • Well now, I was going to suggest that but thought it may make you blush. Obviously not! 🙂


        May 22, 2015 at 8:12 AM

        • As some people in the United States say: you left an opening big enough to drive a truck through. What fun!

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 22, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    • By the way, greenthread is one of the most common wildflowers in central Texas. It often forms good-sized colonies, and at least some greenthread plants can usually be found flowering from spring through late autumn.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 22, 2015 at 8:44 AM

  3. Beautiful. It’s checkered white with yellow leggings.


    May 22, 2015 at 9:07 AM

    • I assume the yellow is a coating of pollen.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 22, 2015 at 9:14 AM

      • And, here’s one of my slightly checkered comments which has nothing to do with butterflies. My sister was clearing out boxes and found 2 paintings and 3 prints by a Bill Bates. 2 of the prints we had given to our parents for their 25th wedding anniversary. The artwork portrayed Fiji and Fijians. We struggled to remember anything about the artist and his connection with Fiji but thanks to Mr Google, we now remember. Bill Bates was for a short while a cartoonist in Fiji and we loved his cartoons. What we didn’t appreciate then, but do now, is his connection to Texas and Austin, Texas. http://carmelbythesea.com/Bill_Bates.htm So how about that? A little bit of Texas and Fiji giving pleasure and happy memories in a tiny suburb of Cairns.


        May 22, 2015 at 11:25 PM

        • That’s quite a worldwide connection. When I took Eve to California for the first time, in 1989, one of her favorite places was Carmel, where Bill Bates settled. Even stores and little shopping centers there are decorated and landscaped and made to look picturesque. I see from the first video in your link that Bill Bates grew up in Tyler, a town in northeast Texas, and that he attended the University of Texas; if he went to the main branch, then he was in Austin. I’ll confess, though, that until now I don’t believe I’d ever heard of Bill Bates (unlike Bill Gates).

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 23, 2015 at 2:51 PM

  4. Another butterfly I always wanted to see, and posed so nicely on a yellow flower. That makes for a nice morning greeting from you, my Texas friend 🙂


    May 22, 2015 at 9:31 AM

    • Texas is a land of butterflies, but after three weeks of almost perpetual overcast here, if you could send us some sun, we’d appreciate it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 22, 2015 at 10:13 AM

      • I thought of you this morning, when I was awakened by the sound of rain. If I do see the sun, I’ll send it your way.


        May 25, 2015 at 10:08 AM

        • The weather forecast is calling for some brightening tomorrow, so maybe the forecaster (or more importantly the weather itself) heard you. Actually Texas had been in a drought so we needed the rain and people here aren’t complaining. The plants are flourishing, so that works in my favor. In fact I’m aware of two species that seem confused by all the rain and are flowering months ahead of their normal season.

          Steve Schwartzman

          May 25, 2015 at 10:17 AM

  5. Ah, the butterfly emerges.

    Raewyn's Photos

    May 22, 2015 at 5:08 PM

  6. Spectacular photo, Steve!


    May 22, 2015 at 9:40 PM

  7. Pretty amazing, these shots are so hard to get right and you make it look so easy; the detail is stunning.

  8. That’s a very lovely butterfly on a lovely flower. The yellow adds some nice warm color with the duller yet beautiful Checkered-white.

    Steve Gingold

    May 24, 2015 at 2:09 PM

    • This checkered white seems faded, so it’s good of you to notice how the yellow adds color to the scene.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 24, 2015 at 9:28 PM

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