Saturday, July 26, 2014

Black Beauty

     Black swallowtails bring beauty and joy wherever encountered.  This is a photo essay of one of nature's most attractive insects on a variety of nectar sources taken in a span of just a few minutes.  This is a fantastic year for butterflies in the Kansas Outback as its been a great year for many flowering plants providing both host plants for caterpillars and food for the adults.  Enjoy!

A male black swallowtail on Baldwin's ironweed.

This male swallowtail is enjoying some canna nectar.

This swallowtail shows the attractive undersides while on a prairie sunflower.

The male black swallowtail exhibits larger yellow spots on its upper wings than the female.

A Wheel bug is one of the Assassin bugs and is stalking a Black swallowtail caterpillar.  Poised to strike for several minutes, it decided not to attack, proving the value of the key defensive feature of the foul-tasting Black swallowtail larvae.

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