Thursday, March 05, 2009

Cassius Blue (should have been posted 19 December 2008 -- still catching up!)

Judi found tiny chrysalises from an unknown species on her red powderpuff bush and took them into protective custody. Eventually, three Cassius Blues emerged. This is a very tiny butterfly -- the smallest of all the members of the butterfly family -- and a very fast mover. We had to temporarily sedate one in the refrigerator to able to get these pictures. These butterflies have a total wingspan of maybe an inch -- did I mention they were tiny? -- but they're very beautiful:



The literature says that the plumbago bush is the host plant for this species, but we've never seen them near Judi's plumbagos. On the other hand, they're always fluttering around the red powderpuff, and we've watched them lay eggs there. It seems that the red powderpuff is an undocumented (or at least I can find it documented) additional host for this species.



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