Thursday, July 10, 2008

A butterfly drama--photos and story by Murray Head

Hi Marie,

Yesterday whilst photographing butterflies in the park I noticed some interesting behavior. Here was this Yellow Swallowtail calmly sipping some sweet flower nectar ...

...when all of sudden a pair of Sulphurs started dive-bombing her.

She was unfazed... but I was curious as to why they did that... Jealousy? There were plenty of other flowers around if they were thirsty.

Murray Head

PS from Marie:

From the color, I would guess the species is the Orange Sulphur [
Colias eurytheme].
Confirmation of the ID and possible explanations
of the odd behavior of these butterflies are welcome.