Monday, September 16, 2013

Macro Monday - Pipevine Swallowtail

Here is another Pipevine Swallowtail. They are the most numerous butterfly in my garden just now and therefore are the most often photographed.  Like many butterflies the pattern of the upper surface of the wings is different than the underside.

From above the upper wings are black and the lower wings are black with an iridescent blue or blue-green sheen and a border of white dots.  The degree of iridescence depends on the angle of the light falling on the surface.

The underside is dark with 7 orange dots along the border of the lower wings.  A better view of the underside can be seen in my Macro Monday for last week.  Although numerous, the pipevine swallowtail is a challenge to photograph because they just won't hold still.  They flit from flower to flower and when they stop to feed on nectar they continue to flutter their wings.

When I was a kid in high school many of my friends lived on farms or ranches in the area.  Many of these kids were in the 4H club and had interesting projects.  I would like to have tried to raise a lamb or calf to show at the fair but had no place to keep it in town.  So my interest gravitated to an entomology project and I began to collect insects.  Over the 3 years of participating I constructed paraphernalia to catch and mount the many varieties of insects and display them in glass topped cases.  The end result was entered in the fair to compete for prizes.  After all these years I find myself stalking butterflies again, this time with a camera instead of a net.  I can tell you that it is easier to catch a butterfly with a net than it is to get close enough to snap its picture.

more Macro Monday


Jama said... [Reply to comment]

It's a beauty!

Gemma Wiseman said... [Reply to comment]

Incredible contrast between the upper and lower wing patterns. Stunning photos.

Huldra said... [Reply to comment]

Wow.. So beautiful and vibrant :)

Hannah said... [Reply to comment]

Beautiful butterfly photos. I appreciate how hard it is to capture them, I haven't succeeded in photographing any this year except the super friendly Skippers. The black body with white spots is so elegant.