The top picture shows the (slightly blurry) Malachite butterfly, new to the exhibit. Both the wing pattern and color remind me a bit of polished stone. In the bottom shot is the Queen in repose. She's looking a bit like the Viceroy, in terms of size and color, but is actually the same genus as the Monarch. Both the Monarch and Queen caterpillars dine on milkweed, making them toxic to nosh on to potential predators.
Beyond visiting the butterflies, I took a few minutes to look in at the orchid & carnivorous plant exhibits. Here are a few plants that caught my eye--
|Groovy pattern on bottom petal|
|Bananas, not yet ripe. :)|
|One lone lily in the pond.|
Back in the 70s, I think most of us around these parts went through having a Venus Flytrap as a house plant phase. What I didn't realise then was that there were other carnivorous plants out there in the world. The pitcher plant is one such creature. We have two different sized versions at the Conservatory. The wee ones probably only catch insects, but the large one has been known to snare a mouse or two!
|Small pitcher plant|
|Frog/mouse-sized pitcher plant.|
There are downward facing interior 'hairs' located in the 'pitcher' that make it virtually impossible for an ensnared critter to make its way back out once in. *cue ghoulish music* Digestive juices break down the food very slowly. If one peeks in, one can often see remains of partially digested lunch.