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).
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.
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.