We came from here: The thread "July 2015 Butterflies, Moths & Larva"
in Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum
Since everyone liked the Zebra Longwing and Mexican Flame Vine banner the other day, I decided you get to look at this as your thumbnail for the entire month!
Now that that's out of the way, August has always been a month of mixed feelings for me. I had to go back to school, the summer heat had become unbearable, but also it's my birth month! That's right folks, but not until the end. August 31 - mark your calendars now! Oh, and my birthstone is peridot which is a butt ugly gemstone.
But butterflies are my flying gemstones and I managed to see a few before it started raining again. For like, the 10th day in a row. I'm going to start building an ark soon. Or at least take pictures of all the cool fungi growing around here to share on the Fungi forum. The Skippers were out early today. I find that the smaller butterflies tend to show up before the larger ones. Except Zebra Longwings. They come out at some weird times. I usually have to chase them to bed. Anyway, I think this is a Eufala Skipper; that's what I guessed when I submitted it to BAMONA. I'm sure they're still shaking their heads at me, wondering if I'll ever get a Skipper correct.
I've had a pretty good population of Long-Tailed Skippers around. In the first picture, doesn't this one's abdomen look swollen? It hadn't just emerged because it was flying around but I wonder if it's a female with eggs?
The Zebra Longwings were on the porterweed, too. I'd have to go back through my photos, but I swear I've seen this exact butterfly before. Notice that piece missing out of the wing? I'm certain I've seen this one before.
I counted four Duskywings at one time. When they can't get their Spanish Needle fix, the head for the porterweed. Some of them seemed like they were just trying to dry themselves out. It's weird seeing butterflies basking this time of year. It's normally so hot they don't need to.
A Spicebush ST flew by and this was the only shot I could get. And yes, those are my red pentas. I know they look a little pink in the picture, but they're red. What is it with the red ones?!
So, we get Dorantes Skippers here which look just like Long-Tailed Skippers except they lack the turquoise sheen on the top of the body. I think I saw one today (missing tails). My book says the Dorantes has a dark, broken line on the underside of the wing whereas the Long-Tailed isn't broken. I submitted this to BAMONA with a guess that it's a Dorantes. It wouldn't open its wings all the way but I don't see any turquoise. But I'd really like to be able to tell the difference just by looking at the sides because they don't like to open their wings - either of them!
If you're looking for Gulf Frit eggs, they do lay on the leaves, but they really like the new growth and those little tendril things that passion vines have. And yes, they lay eggs upside-down!
And then you get Gulf Frit cats. I don't have many right now. My Passiflora has buds and flowers on it! Do you know how weird that is for August?
Zebra Longwings also love the firebush.
And I had some more Gulf Frits flying around. Which is weird because if I don't have the caterpillars, who does? Seriously, there's some passion vine that grows naturally on the dirt road between my street and the next street. Here's a Gulf Frit on porterweed and one chilling on the Spanish Needles.
And here's a shot of another Duskywing on the porterweed.