Papilio laglaizei at the NHM Butterfly Exhibit. These are amazing mimics of Alcidis agathyrsus (Uraniidae) which are noxious (did not know this until now). Taken 11-05-11
Lepidoptera as you know has always managed to amaze me in some way for years. Every year as I discover how truly amazing they are they never fail to continue to make me speechless. This is one of those times.
Last couple of days I was reminiscing about past visits to that blessed exhibit of mine (ohh yes it's "mine" it's one of my sanctuaries now ^^) I was remembering a rather interesting butterfly that I couldn't remember exactly what it was. Only that it looked remarkably like one of the Uraniids and it was a Papilioniid within the genera of Papilio.
So naturally I got to researching. Blowing up my photos of their epic collection (you need to actually add some of those Uraniids) I went searching until I found it. And then I did research. Provided.......there's practically nothing on them.
There's only one live photo of an individual (cannot post without permission) all the rest are pinned specimens. Gorgeous yet not as they would be when they're in their prime obviously.
This lack of info has naturally led to questions:
1. What's their status? (Common, Uncommon, Threatened etc)
2. Is anything known of their biology (both the moth and the butterfly)?
3. Being that Papilio laglaizei is a mimic of apparently toxic moth what do the moth larvae eat that makes them so noxious that a butterfly would want to mimic them and not another moth?
4. Do the two ever interact with each other in anyway? Do they ever cross paths?
5. Are there any other Papilionidae that mimic any Heterocerans (Moths for you "non scientific people")?
And anything else on them really. There are many other moths that mimic butterflies.....so much so you'd almost have to wonder.........^^
More research is on the way with the whole mimicry ring with butterflies mimicking moths and moths mimicking butterflies.......because this is just fascinating as hell and it leaves me speechless on how convincing they are.
Even on their own.......Uraniidae in general are probably the most colorful and stunning moths on this planet. Smh.........God I cannot get enough!
I cannot express how beautiful these are!! This is my first time seeing any of the Cassidinae and I've always wanted to lay eyes on any of these as they're some of my favorites of the Chrysomelidae and lo' and behold I get this beauty as a firstie. ♥♥♥♥
I also found 2 Psyllobora vigintimaculata or Propylea quatuordecimpunctata.......Idk which they're so tiny. I tried to get pics but it was just blech. >_< All of these bad boys were observed on the leaves of Keolreuteria paniculata. *^^*
Is this a coincidence? I'm no expert on the Chrysomelidae or the Coccinellidae but is it a coincidence that they were found on the same tree? Or is it just "diversity"?
Input is greatly appreciated. And after today I've learned I need to pay more attention to the leaves and not just the flowers of various plants & trees. Lots of hidden treasures. Lots of research is underway now. Long time no see *^^*
The 2 ladybugs were on the underside of the leaves and "allowed" me to observe them before either flying off (in the case one individual) or walking onto the upper side of the leaf (in the case of the other individual) which I find odd.....isn't it supposed to be the opposite as walking to the upperside of leaves might put you in the sight of potential predators?
Once again I must learn more. This is fun!
Must go fill in post now since I'm behind in some.....life's been busy. Love you all! *Kissies*
So after the last few days of March being backwards (it got cold very quickly) my beloved has returned slowly but surely. Also after today being quite hectic I needed a moment of relaxation.
I find it wonderfully ironic that whenever I'm in need of something to calm me down they always seem to make an extra special appearance. As if they know I need cheering up. How this is possible Idk......but I'm forever grateful.
Not only the butterflies (observed Pieris rapae & Polygonia comma) but the BIRDS!! Ohhhh my goodness they were just BADASS today.