Monday, August 10, 2020

Butterflies Imbibing Minerals by McDowell Creek

What are you seeing on your walks in nature?  Send comments, photos, or videos to betsy@audubonofkansas.org   Here are some things we're seeing:


Large butterflies--like Monarchs and swallowtails--often use McDowell Creek as a flight corridor, sailing past us, here one second, gone the next.  

But smaller butterflies have been landing on the shore, where they appear to be imbibing minerals from the mud and stones.    Here are some of those visitors.  Check out their amazingly long and agile proboscises (butterfly "tongues"):

The caterpillars of these butterflies need a variety of food plants:

Wild Indigo Duskywing:  Legumes, including the marvelous prairie plant, Blue Wild Indigo

Silvery Checkerspot:  Species in the Sunflower Family (Asteracea), including Echinacea and Rudbeckia

Red Admiral:  Nettles

Question Mark:  Elm and Hackberry

Pearl Crescent:  Species in the Sunflower Family (Asteraceae)

Silver Spotted Skipper:  Legumes

Eastern Tailed-Blue:  Legumes

All of those food-plants are growing at Bird Runner Wildlife Refuge.   So butterflies--we hope to see you again next year!

What are you seeing on your walks in nature?  Send comments, photos, or videos to betsy@audubonofkansas.org


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