We had a lot of choices for “Bug of the Week” today, but this beauty won the contest.
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.
The butterfly is the California sister, Adelpha bredowii. Can you see the orange tube that is its mouthpart probing the ground?
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.