Back in March I found a lovely large orange sulphur butterfly. At the time I speculated it might lay eggs on our desert fern.

desert-fern-butterflyThis week I found this faded specimen. It looks pretty worn.

desert-fern-butterfly-2It even has slight tears in the edges of its wings.

Regardless, it was obviously a female. How did I know?


butterfly-egg-sulfur-desert-fernBecause she was laying eggs on the desert fern tree. Yes, that white speck is a freshly-laid butterfly egg.

Will the eggs hatch? It is awfully hot and dry. Only time will tell.


desert-fern-chewed-leavesAlthough I found evidence that something had chewed on the desert fern leaves, there was no sign of a caterpillar. Possibly the caterpillars hide during the day, but I think it is more likely they fell victim to the paper wasps constantly searching our plants. The wasps specialize in catching caterpillars to feed to their own offspring.