August 6th, 2012
Observing Butterflies and Moths
Posted by F&S
On Friday, we told you about our recent farm inspection. While we were driving around on the Kawasaki, we observed a lot of butterfly activity on a particular plant and of course, we stopped to take pictures for this blog.
1 Francesca, why are you stopping the Kawasaki at the beginning of the Linden Allee?
2 Sharkey, do you see what I see?
3 There are butterflies all over the buckeye trees!
4 Oh, I see them, Franny! Those look like Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterflies!
5 They get their name because of the tiger stripes on their wings and because they have long 'tails' at the bottoms of their wings, just like a swallow bird.
6 The Tiger Swallowtails work hard to drink the nectar of these small flowers and in the process, they pollinate the plants.
7 Once pollinated, these flowers will turn into a fruit that contains a shiny brown nut-like seed known as a buckeye.
8 The buckeyes form inside a capsule that looks like this, but they won't be ready to harvest until late September.
9 These buckeye plants also attract moths. Many species of moths are nocturnal, but not this one. Moths differ from butterflies in body shape, wing coloring, and that they form a cocoon and not a chrysalis for metamorphosis.
10 You know, Sharkey, many people consider moths, and not butterflies, to be pests. However, butterflies can be pests, too! Butterflies lay eggs on host plants that hatch as caterpillars and guess what? They eat the host plants!
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