Butterfly and Bug

I was lucky enough, after a morning swim at R’s last week, to be outside with the camera when this gorgeous butterfly flew into one of his flowered bushes. The zebra longwing butterfly (Heliconius charitonius) was designated the official state butterfly of Florida in 1996. The butterfly is found throughout Florida in hardwood hammocks, thickets, gardens, and particularly in the Everglades National Park. Zebra Longwing 8.9.14Zebra Longwing 2 8.9.14   And now on to something more dangerous, though I didn’t know it at the time. This is from wiki: Although Gray (1835) mentioned the defensive secretion of Anisomorpha buprestoides, the first account of its effect on humans that could be located was by Stewart (1937), who wrote about an incident in Texas: “The victim was observing a pair of Anisomorpha buprestoides . . . with his face within two feet of the insects, when he received the discharge in his left eye. . . The pain in his left eye was immediately excruciating; being reported to be as severe as if it had been caused by molten lead. Quick, thorough drenching with cool water allayed the burning agony to a dull aching pain. The pain eased considerably within the course of a few hours. Upon awakening the next morning the entire cornea was almost a brilliant scarlet in color and the eye was so sensitive to light and pressure for the next forty-eight hours that the patient was incapacitated for work. Vision was impaired for about five days.” Symptoms gradually disappeared and there were no lasting effects. Albert (1947) described a similar but less severe incident. Two-stripe Walkingstick 8.9.14 sm I wasn’t very close to the one below, standing outside the pool enclosure and shooting up at it from about six feet away. This is what is called a two-stripe walkingstick. But the ones below? They were on the south side of the house, and I was easily within a couple feet of them. I’m thinking I got lucky, because I wasn’t using the viewfinder, as usual, which would have protected my eyes. I was zeroing in through the display window, meaning my eyes were right thereMating Walkingsticks 8.9.14 sm Look closely at the picture. There are two walkingsticks, small male on top of female. They were mating, and that is possibly why I escaped injury. I will be more careful in future! Have a great week! Be careful of the bugs in your yard because you never know. Heh.

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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15 Responses to Butterfly and Bug

  1. Helena Stone says:

    Gosh, those pictures are gorgeous. I can’t even begin to understand how you manage to capture it all, especially something as flighty as a butterfly. I’m in awe and grateful you share the beauty you encounter here for me to enjoy.

    • Long practice of chasing living creatures around. 🙂 That first shot, where it’s perched on the very top of the flower? Caught it as it was taking off. Luck has as much to do with photography as camera knowledge and experience.

  2. Thanks for the lovely pictures! There’s a great video going viral of a kid with a butterfly that landed, I found it over at Huffington Post, this: huff.to/1ovLwAy or you can search for it if you don’t want to click the link (I wouldn’t blame you). I saw it on TV & searched “butterfly boy” on Bing

  3. Allison says:

    The butterfly shots are amazing! I love the second one, I’d title it “Coming in for a Landing.” heh 🙂 The lantana, at least I believe it is lantana, is beautiful.

    I never would have thought the walking sticks were so dangerous either.

    Have a great week!

  4. When I was about 10, a walking stick got on my skirt. My grandmother couldn’t figure out why I was jumping around and screaming. Of course as a child, I was terrified of any and all ‘bugs’ but flies and fishing worms.

  5. Jaycee Edward says:

    I was just gonna’ ask if all walking sticks can hurt you. I don’t see them often here in Ohio, but every now and then I spot one.

    • I suggest looking up your local variety. I had no idea until I did the research. I got on the phone to R and told him, too. “I pick them up with my fingers,” he said.

      Uh… no. Gotta be careful.

  6. A.M.B. says:

    Great pictures! How common are injuries due to walkingsticks? They’re fascinating to look at–from a distance. 🙂

  7. W. Lotus says:

    That is one gorgeous butterfly.

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