Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pipevine Swallowtails and a Skipper

I mentioned Pipevine Swallowtails in the previous post about Spicebush Swallowtails. Pipevine Swallowtails are the hardest to photograph I've experienced, except for Sulphurs, who close their wings while they nectar and fly very fast so they're impossible to catch in flight, unlike some of the dark swallowtails who laze along, almost posing.

I've spent hours trying to capture Pipevine Swallowtails and they fail to ever pose or hold still. Their favorite maneuver is to nectar on porterweed, moving around the tiny clustered blooms while I wait patiently for the right moment. They fly away just when I think they are moving into position. Of 100 pics, probably a quarter of them are of empty flowers, no insects.

I'm going to post these three tiny pics just to show the brilliant color of a Pipevine butterfly.

This little Skipper stayed still on Pentas with Lemongrass in the background, for two poses. I haven't identified him past being a Skipper.

Gulf Frits are busy everywhere today, they become more plentiful toward fall.


  1. Nell Jean, I love the black and blue butterfly, both moving and still. I've never seen one where I live in CA. Your stretch of land is lovely, as is your blog.

  2. What a beautiful neon blue on its lower wings. Another beauty!

  3. I think I have these here too-and had no idea what they were. I get confused with all the swallowtail butterflies. Glad you finally captured some shots. It's such a pretty blue with that black.

  4. Hi Nell Jean. I gotta question for you if you dont mind. How do I create a new different blog?

  5. Nell, you have managed to capture quite a number of butterflies here and they are all great shots.

  6. You and I are kindred spirits when it comes to butterflies. One of my favorites is the Pipevine Swallowtail -- I'm trying to raise larval plants for the caterpillars, and a couple of the new little guys made it to become butterflies!


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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