New Butterfly for Donna

by Donna Lewis

It was a great day last week for seeing new things in my garden.  It’s a reminder that to see these beautiful living things, you must always be looking for them.

So after I saw the new Black Swallowtail caterpillar , I walked around in my garden and a fast moving butterfly landed right in front of me. I looked down to find something I had never seen!! It was a Julia male butterfly. They are a brush-footed butterfly (Nymphalidae).

Julia Heliconian (Dryas iulia)

This group of butterflies occur worldwide except at the polar ice caps. They are generally some shade of orange, which is  why they are sometimes mistaken for a Gulf fritillary (my second photo), which was on a zinnia at the same time the Julia was. They were both just a foot apart. Lucky for me I was outside with a camera.

Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)

Brushfoot butterflies all have reduced fore legs that are useless for walking, hence their name. Butterflies in this group include: Admirals, Fritillaries, Checkerspots, Crescentspots, Anglewings, Leafwings, Painted Ladies, Tortoisehells, and Longwings.

The Julia caterpillars feed on passion flower leaves.

I will look for their caterpillars, now that I have the adult butterfly here.

Keep your eyes peeled Master Naturalists, it’s all out there.

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