caterpillars

Things that fly….

Great Blue Heron

I posted this in my “Project 365” page as my photo of the day.  He did not appreciate the paparazzi!

Here’s the rest of the story.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

I didn’t scare him away for long. He came back the next day.  And the next, and the next.  Fishing is good on our canal!

I was trying to get a good photo of this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail as it flitted from blossom to blossom.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Then came across this one that was happily posing for me.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

I know that this is a “skipper”.  I did some research in my Audubon book and on the Internet and I think it’s a Long-Tailed Skipper.  There are a bunch of them on this bush right now.  Must be a good time for them!

Long-tailed skipper

Long-tailed skipper

Long-tailed skipper

My Audubon book calls this a Palamedes Swallowtail. Although I think I’ve seen it referred to as a Eastern Black Swallowtail.

Palamedes Swallowtail

Palamedes Swallowtail

And then I found three caterpillars on the milkweed.  I’ve always assumed that they are Monarch caterpillars. But this year I discovered that the Queen butterfly’s caterpillar also uses the milkweed for it’s host plant and we had a few of them this year. So I did a little research.  According to the Texas Butterfly Website, the Queen caterpillar has one “set of antennae and two sets of filaments, while Monarchs have one set of antennae and one set of filaments.”  These guys definitely have three protuberances.  Queen?

caterpillars

caterpillar

I never find the chrysalis.  But I do know the difference as butterflies. Hopefully I’ll be there to get some snaps!

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