Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Dainty Blue

Yesterday I pulled one of my "see-if-I-can-photograph-all-the-various-insects-that-are-feeding-at-my-aromatic-asters" marathons. I'll be sharing quite a few of those with you over the next couple posts (Yeah! for native plants!!!), but I wanted to post this one right away.


This is the western pygmy-blue butterfly - the first one I've seen in my yard. (In truth, it's the first one that I've ever seen where I paid enough attention to it to identify it.) There are apparently 2 pygmy-blues, an eastern and a western species. They are the smallest North American butterflies! Note that the aromatic aster blossoms are generally about 1 1/4" in diameter, from petal tip to petal tip....


In this second photo, you can see a little bit of the underside of the wings, which looks very different from the topside, but is quite pretty in a more understated sort of way. The blurry thing to the right of the pygmy-blue is a honeybee on a nearby bloom.

According to Kaufman's butterfly guide, the western pygmy-blues are common in salt marshes, desert salt flats, and disturbed alkaline areas. We are a little east of their normal range, which corresponds fairly well with the dryer regions of the southwest - I guess our summer from hell made them feel right at home.

1 comment:

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

I don't track the rain when our rain gauge isn't out but I do note snow and stuff still. Last winter was dry! More and more people are finding different barrels to use for rain water. I think it's great. We even have a group here who gets them from the local Pepsi distributor and get the spouts, etc. Then people pay a small fee to get them and have guidance putting them together.

I haven't gotten the recording harvest thing down yet. Ha! I do have a list of what I put into the freezer, etc. It's hard to keep track of all the peas I ate while standing in the pea patch too. :-)

I was tickled to find the caterpillar. I was at http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/

Have a great Sunday!