11 April 2010

Final Four; Southern Dogface

In the three hours we spent birding and butterflying Warbler Woods, you probably wouldn't think we had a week's worth of posting material! We could, but we'll spare you. These next photos are a bit tricky, bear with me: Southern Dogface (Zerene cesonia) is the butterfly below... all 1.5 of them.

Those angles aren't stellar but they show you what we saw; a confusing jumble of too-many-wings for one butterfly, but not-enough-wings for two. As best we can tell, the male Southern Dogface was "snacked" mid copulation by either a dragonfly, or more likely, a bird. This is a bit distressing for the observer because this means the female is now dragging around extra weight. And unable to detach from the male's body, she's unable to lay eggs. So somewhere there will be a very happy bird who will snack on a bug-and-a-half when she goes.

Morbid, eh? Next post won't be.

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