Sunday, August 06, 2017

Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly

It was a distinct pleasure to observe and photograph the Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly in my front yard garden on Friday, August 4, 2017 at about 1:05pm.

Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly - Leesburg, FL
For more than a year, since I installed my front yard garden in Leesburg, Florida, I have observed numerous butterflies. The most abundant butterfly I have observed has been a Swallowtail. However, this is the first observation and subsequent photography of one so large.

Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly - Leesburg, FL
This Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly was seemingly intoxicated with my burgundy Penta plant. I easily captured nearly two dozen photographs.

Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly - Leesburg, FL
The better photographs were taken from my front yard garden. I didn't know whether the butterfly would stay put on the Penta plant or fly away if I came closer.

Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly - Leesburg, FL
When I stepped into my front yard garden, I noticed a very large Monarch Butterfly just arrived and was flitting around the front of the garden near the Mexican Petunias. As I approached to take just one photograph of the Monarch, it flew to my right near the 3 Firecracker plants and then seemed to fly off.

Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly - Leesburg, FL
I am trying to improve my butterfly photography and think I might have a better chance of top-notch photographs if I use a better camera, such as the Nikon D5300. These photographs were all taken with the Fuji Finepix V10 -- that is a fabulous little digital camera that I have had for a very long time!

Underside of Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly
Underside of Adult Giant Swallowtail Butterfly - Leesburg, FL
The giant swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes Cramer, is a striking, wonderfully "exotic"-looking butterfly that is very abundant in Florida. ~University of Florida, Entomology and Nematology Department

If you want to read some interesting facts about the Giant Swallowtail Butterfly, you must check out UF's site. "The osmeterium of fourth and fifth instars contains a highly noxious, pungent mixture of chemicals (40:60 mixture of isobutyric acid and 2-methyl butyric acid) that smells like rancid butter."

Did you know that "the larval or caterpillar stage can be considered a pest due to its habit of feeding on the foliage of most Citrus species."


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