This pair of Julia Butterflies was the highlight of my day! The male is
the darker orange one at the top. His proboscis is tasting my finger, as
though he wasn't busy enough all ready!
(Image below is a different pair)
Here's a close-up view of the butterfly tasting my finger, and if you
look carefully you can see the tiny claws on the end of its legs.
This next two photographs are the same image, a smaller full view, and closer
view of the middle of the image. I liked the way the Julia Butterfly's
eyes look like soccer balls.
See how the female Julia Butterfly is lifting her abdomen while the male
flies nearby? I've seen them do that twice. Once they mated, the other
time they didn't, at least not while I was still watching. The pair
on the left didn't, but the pair below did. The large pictures on this
page are the pair I found today all ready engaged; I didn't observe
their behavior before they began.
These last three pictures are a Julia pair that I ran after with my
camera as they flew together trying to get away from me.
The photos of
them in flight are a bit blurry, but they're good enough to show that
when they fly joined, the male tows the female behind him:
Once butterflies begin, they don't separate until they're done, even if
you disturb them. They fly together to a safer perch to finish. It seems
a bit rude, but it's a good time to hold them.
Once again, I'm out of space before I'm out of photos and story. I wish
all butterflies were this cooperative! Click to visit
Julia Butterflies 'Birds and the Bees'