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.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
August Butterfly Bucket List- Zebra Longwing
I was trying to get some good wide shots of the beds the century plants currently dominate, when I spotted a dragonfly I didn't recognize. Off I went to get a photo (of course!) and while I was wheeling around it trying to get a good shot of any identifying marks, my attention was captured by a narrow winged strongly striped black and yellow blur in the background.
Heliconius-charithonia). I was elated! A sighting for August in the nick of time! In the spirit of the Bucket List, I decided it was time to fill in some gaps in my information on this wonderfully striped visitor.
According to the information on the BOMA page linked above, Zebra Longwings grow to a length of between 2 3/4 and 4 inches, wing tip to wing tip. Their preferred host plant is any one of the several varieties of passion vines. I found it fascinating that such a strongly patterned winged creature flies around leaving eggs and setting their cats loose on vines bearing one of the most striking flowers around.
Zebra Longwings are reported to have a set foraging route. They are considered "trap-line" feeders. That means since I saw one out on our lantana this afternoon, if I am observant I ought to be able to catch it visiting again tomorrow. And the next day. I like that idea - that the zebra and I have a standing appointment, if I wish to keep it.
Thanks to Anna for hosting this wonderful incentive to get out and take a closer look at who is flying in and dropping by. Be sure to visit her own August post and pick up the links to a whole host of great bloggers posting about their own butterfly experiences this month.