Monday, September 25, 2017

At the Conservatory

Question Mark 

Spicebush Swallowtale 


This is just a small sample of the beauty that was fluttering about the exhibit today. I was particularly thrilled to see the Viceroy as we haven't had any in for months. The above picture makes the Viceroy look like a piece of stained glass. Probably the coolest thing about the Viceroy is that its wing pattern has evolved to resemble the Monarch's wing pattern. In this way, the Viceroy is tricking would-be predators into thinking that it, like the Monarch, is toxic and, as a result, not good to eat. -pretty sneaky, Viceroy!

We have about four different types of Swallowtale at the exhibit currently. All are large, all are mostly black in color. One resembling our Spicebush in the middle photo above came to an unhappy end after it landed upsidedown on the surface of the koi pond. Our winged friend was lunch before you could say, 'I think that butterfly needs help'. -too bad as it was a particularly lovely specimen. 

The Question Mark, upon first glance, might be better called Rorschach Wing, but once it closes its wings a wee sort of reverse question mark 'tattoo' is visible. The mark looks more like the Turkish flag than it does a question mark. Maybe a re-naming is in order? 

Entrance to the Conservatory...the butterfly enclosure is in background, left. 


  1. I adore butterflies (and moths) and going to a butterfly farm is high on my wish list.
    Of the beauties you showed today I *think* that the Spicebush Swallowtale is my favourite, but I am applauding the Viceroy's cunning.

  2. We had a Luna moth at the exhibit a few months ago & it was so cleverly disguised as bright green leaves that it was hard to spot amid the foliage.

    The Spicebush is lovely. We have another butterfly at the exhibit called a White Admiral which sort of mimics the markings of the Pipevine Swallowtale (which I think is also poisonous to predators). Another cunning butterfly.


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