845.684.4206 debra@debracortese.com

slides of emerging Zebra Longwing Butterfly and the males in waiting

 

Raindrops were glimmering through the morning fog and an odd looking creature was hanging from the bamboo leaves next to my driveway. As my family and friends know, I can never resist a closer look at something that moves, makes a sound or has an unusual shadow, shape, or smell.

The “creature” turned out to be three Zebra Long Wing Butterflies. Two males, sexually aroused and not so patiently, waiting for the young female to emerge from her cocoon. I originally thought they were either dining on some other unknown creature or assisting the young lady in unfurling her wings, but further research* suggested that mating with a newly emerged female is part of the dance of life for these butterflies. The female releases a pheromone as she is unfurling her virgin wings and the males have excellent pheromone sensors. This also made sense as to why so many other males were fluttering around the same branch practically knocking the perched males off the bamboo branch.

Of course, since today was the first day of Social Media Club South Florida’s 30 day blog challenge…
this would be my topic – with images and oh yes, even a new design based on the Zebra butterflies. Well, about 7 hours later (I did accomplish other things in this time and realize it is essential to pare this way down for future posts, but as often happens, the project took on a life of its own) I’m finally putting all of the pieces together and getting this on my blog!

I invite you to share the beauty, power and magic of your garden or neighborhood in a comment with a photo on this post, or by email to debra (at) debracortese.com

Enjoy the beauty, power and magic of nature every day!
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*Susan Leach Snyder has provided a great resource on Zebra Long Wing Butterflies (the official Florida state butterfly) on the Conservancy of Southwest Florida website.

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