Sunday, July 7, 2024

Harvester Butterfly


Behold the Harvester butterfly! Click to enlarge. Its wingspan is just over an inch. It has black and white ringed antennae and white-ringed eyes. It sits with its wings closed over its back, so we see the underside, which is orange-brown with darker spots edged in faint white. This is the first Harvester I've ever seen, although I have been looking for years. The small, uncommon butterfly is famous for being the only strictly carnivorous butterfly we know of. In its caterpillar stage it eats aphids, scale insects, and treehoppers. Female Harvesters lay eggs in colonies of these insects, so when a little Harvester caterpillar hatches, it is surrounded by tasty prey. 

The Harvester was sitting on a low branch overhanging this pretty pond. Nice place he's got there, eh?

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