Mariton: Butterflies and Blossoms

July 20, 2011

Even though I mowed one meadow this week, the other three are thriving.  One of the meadows is full of Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa).  The butterflies are loving it.  Carole Mebus visited and these are some of her great photos of flowers and butterflies.

This Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor) is a great find.  It’s main food plant is an ornamental Pipevine (Aristolochia).  It also uses the native Dutchmen’s Pipe (A. macrophylla).  I haven’t found either of these plants at Mariton, so it must be utilizing another plant for food.  We have been seeing Pipevine Swallowtails occasionally for the last few years.

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is a very common plant here, as is Sassafras  (Sassafras albidum).  These are the major food plants for the Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus), and we see lots of Spicebush Swallotails at Mariton.  It is fairly easy to see the differences in these similar looking butterflies when they are photographed posing on a flower.  However, I still have trouble telling them apart when they fly by quickly… and butterflies can really move when necessary.  (All photos by Carole Mebus.)