Wednesday, October 8, 2014

gray hairstreak ~ 10/08/14 ~ Cooper Molera Garden

female gray hairstreak nectaring/mud-puddling on blue passion flower
female Strymon melinus pudica nectaring/mud-puddling on Passiflora caerulea

edited 10/29/14 - Honestly, I don't know how to label this activity.  Nectaring or mud-puddling? Drinking?  Her proboscis is obviously extended and in use on the flower in the first photo, but that's not where the nectar is located on the passion flower.  And, it's commonly reported that only males engage in mud-puddling to produce a nuptial gift (except female CA sisters).  Btw, mud-puddling is not limited to mud puddles.  Butterflies can get nutrients from sweat and poo, too, basically any moisture with salts and amino acids.  No kidding, hence why I've been preoccupied with poo, lately.  I have yet to witness this activity in person, and I'd love to.  I believe any moisture with sugars, even fruits and sap, constitutes nectaring.  I could be wrong; definitions seems so arbitrary sometimes.  Is the sepal sweet or salty?  Oh, to be a butterfly and taste with your feet!  I know she's a female, because her abdomen top is gray; males are orange. 

As a side note, Butterflies of Orange County states the females have "reddish" abdomens.  This is incorrect.  Other than a handful of errors to keep an eye on, UC Irvine's site is a relatively decent local resource for butterflies, of which there are not that many good ones that don't just steal information from printed books.

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