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A New Butterfly on Tuesday

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No swallowtails emerging from chrysalises today–though one chrysalis seemed to be moving slightly this evening. However, I did see a new butterfly today, one I don’t remember ever seeing before.

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This butterfly was black/dark brown (depending on how the sun was hitting it) with pale stripes. It also had reddish orange spots on the underside of its wings near its body. I looked it up and learned that it is a Zebra Longwing.

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You can see how the Zebra Longwing got its name. Those wings are long!

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I also learned that the Zebra Longwing is the state butterfly of Florida. I’ve lived here a long time but I never knew it was our state butterfly! I don’t think I’ve even heard of it before.

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An interesting thing I noticed when looking closely is that this butterfly seems to have spotted eyes.

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One more of the Zebra Longwing.

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Swallowtail Number 2

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The second Black Swallowtail came out of its chrysalis today. It was sitting beside the chrysalis when I spotted it this morning.

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The butterfly stayed here for awhile, moving its wings.

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Butterfly looking up at the camera.

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One more of today’s Swallowtail. About 6 more to go!

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Anole on a tomato cage–I was using it as a support for the basil plants. The anole is a bit too big to hide behind that wire. He also couldn’t resist peeking out on one side.

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Same anole–side view. He’s a handsome fellow.

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Baby anoles on the fence. There are two in this photo–can you see them both? Their tiny bodies aren’t much wider than the fence wire.

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Swallowtail Butterfly on Sunday

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This morning I found that our first Black Swallowtail butterfly had emerged from its chrysalis. It was sitting on a plastic tray in the big raised planter that holds the parsley pots. The butterfly was sitting quietly, moving its wings.

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I watched as the butterfly turned and walked a few steps, still opening and closing its wings. A few moments after this photo the butterfly took flight and sailed off into a neighbor’s yard. There are still 7 or 8 chrysalises in the planter so we can expect more butterflies over the next week!

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Baby brown anole climbing on one of the basil pots.

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Lavender flowers.

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Saturday Photos

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Butterfly in the lantana bush. The other day there were lots of Gulf Fritillaries, but today there were Black Swallowtails.

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There were at least three of them visiting the bush at the same time.

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This one is a little Long-tailed Skipper.

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One of the tiny dragonflies that’s been visiting the basil plants. It’s maybe an inch and a half long at most.

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Gloriosa lily.

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Thursday Photos

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Our lavender flowers are opening. The buds were so slow to start opening that I was starting to wonder if they ever would!

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Black Swallowtail butterfly chrysalis, one of several on and around the big planter by the back door. I’m keeping an eye on them, hoping to see at least one butterfly emerge.

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I did see some Gulf Fritillary butterflies in the lantana bush in the backyard.

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One more Gulf Fritillary butterfly.

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Green metallic bee in the basil flowers.

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And another view of the green metallic bee.

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Fiery sky at sunset tonight.

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Butterflies on Wednesday

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I had several butterfly photos ready to post last night, and then got busy with other things and didn’t think about the butterfly photos again until this morning. So here are the butterflies today.

The big yellow and black butterflies I keep seeing are probably Giant Swallowtails rather than King Swallowtails. Giant Swallowtails seem to be much more common in our area. These butterflies have about a 4-6 inch wingspan.

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Another Giant Swallowtail.

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Two Black Swallowtails, one following the other.

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Common Buckeye butterfly.

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Common Buckeye with its wings open.

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Little brown butterfly. I’m not sure what this one is yet.

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Two for Monday

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The Black Swallowtail caterpillars all seem ready to move on in their journey to becoming butterflies. I counted 10 of them early this morning, and by afternoon all 10 had left the parsley. Some were wandering around, probably looking for good locations for a chrysalis, while others had already chosen spots and were busy working.

One thing I learned about these caterpillars is that when they get to this bigger size, they will show off bright orange/yellow “tentacles” if they’re bothered. They don’t do any harm, but it’s a little startling!

Here’s a caterpillar just sitting around.

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And here’s the same caterpillar immediately after I reached over and gently touched it.

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