Bug of the Week: California Sister Butterfly

We had a lot of choices for "Bug of the Week" today, but this beauty won the contest.

California-sister-butterfly

We went hiking in Ramsey Canyon in southeastern Arizona. These butterflies were flying everywhere.

Finally we found some on the ground that were still enough for a photograph.

california-sister-puddling

The butterfly is the California sister, Adelpha bredowii. Can you see the orange tube that is its mouthpart probing the ground?

california-sister-puddling-2

The butterflies were performing a behavior known as puddling. They are thought to pick up minerals and/or salts from this behavior. Usually puddling butterflies are around actual water-filled puddle or damp ground. This one seems to be probing between rocks.

Butterflies consume a variety of materials besides nectar from flowers. Sometimes butterflies are attracted to rotting fruit (note: this post contains references to butterflies imbibing alcohol).

If you are not offended by graphic vernacular or photographs of butterflies eliminating urine, here is a post about butterflies urinating while they are puddling.

Just goes to show that if you want to attract butterflies, sometimes it takes more than pretty flowers.

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