Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Orange you glad?

Remember that old knock-knock joke about bananas and oranges?  No?  I won't get into that here (you're welcome!) but I was reminded of it recently.

I have posted plenty of times previously on Gardenista (my old/now defunct garden blog) about how much I stink at identifying butterflies, moths, wasps, any fauna smaller than the palm of my hand is potentially a total mystery to me.

And yes, I know about sites that specifically help folks figure out what they've got flittering around their outdoor spaces.  I try using them, typically only to find I have a photo of something that looks a lot like this and a little like that but exactly like neither one of them.

It could be I keep stumbling across juvenile specimens that have not yet reached full coloration or developed mature markings.  That would be its own kind of purgatory wouldn't it?  Trapped for all time trying to admire, much less wrangle a bunch of teenaged bugs?  They'd all be staying out late, mouthing off, speeding around, knocking over whatever young male bugs knock over since they can't topple mailboxes.

Or not.

At any rate, after spending over an hour roaming around the interweb, trying to identify this specimen I caught slaving away over the lantana, I am ready to call it quits.  Without further ado, this guy:
Orangeus Mysterioso
Double click for a larger version - didn't help me one bit with ID but it did make me feel I was trying harder.
Isn't s/he pretty?  I sure thought so.  

Shhh - now I'll share a little secret with you: Worst part is the sneaking suspicion I already figured out what kind of flutterby this is in an old post on Gardenista but now I'm simply too peeved to go wading back through to check.  Stubborn can be a tough place to inhabit.

If you know what type butterfly this is feel free to say so in the comments.  Even an educated guess will do.  Extra style points if you can make up something plausible sounding enough to pass for factual.  You'll probably at least fool me (granted, a low bar to clear at the moment).  


Tina said...

It looks like a Gulf Frittilary butterfly. Passion vine is its host plant (where it lays eggs) and where the larva are nourished before they become butterflies.

Tina said...

Too early in the morning--Gulf Fritillary

TexasDeb said...

Tina! Nice of you to drop in and even nicer to have potentially solved our mystery so early on. Thank you! That was the direction I was going with my guesses but couldn't find a photo that matched exactly enough to make the call. I appreciate your weigh-in.