Sunday, July 15, 2007

Just Butterflies

I visited the Minnesota Zoo yesterday with my brothers and nephew. During our visit we took a walk through their butterfly exhibit. Here are some highlights.

Outside the exhibit they had these large and beautiful butterflies (kites?) hanging from the ceiling.

I think this one was called a Blue Wing.

Spicebush Swallowtail


Pipevine Swallowtail

Zebra Longwing

Giant Swallowtail

This is another longwing - Julia Heliconian

Common Buckeye

Another of the longwings - Erato Heliconian

One more of the longwing butterflies - Banded Orange Heliconian

The exhibit also featured moths, but we saw only this Luna Moth on the ceiling screen.
More information on butterflies may be found at Butterflies and Moths of North America


Larry said...

You had me there for a moment.-I thought you took all these pictures in the wild-beautiful photos!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Larry,
That would only be something I could dream about. It was a magical place.

All of the butterflies and cocoons in this exhibit were purchased from butterfly breeders (did you know there was such a thing?)

I was told that even if these butterflies lay eggs that hatch a caterpillar and turn into another butterfly, they can never be released in the wild.

The other cool thing was that a lot of the plants they had in the exhibit for the butterflies, I also have in my yard.

MOM said...

What pretty butterflies, they are so delicate and colorful what is it about these creatures?
Thank you for taking pix of this exhibit. I hope to see more pix from the zoo.

RuthieJ said...

Hi Mom,
I do have bunches of other pictures and when I get a chance I will get some copies printed out for you.

ABQ-B-Fly Guy said...

Most of the butterfly exhibits around the country purchase from butterfly breeders around the world. I love the pictures from the exhibit...we have one here in ABQ I need to visit. Thanks for sharing.

Mary C said...

Hi Ruthie - I just checked out the link you gave on Butterflies and Moths of North America - excellent web site. Loved your pix of all those beautiful creatures. It looks like another great day with the family. Thanks for sharing.

Jayne said...

What beautiful butterflies! Oh to be able to really see these in the yard!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Ron,
I have so much to learn! BTW, your Monarch waystation posts reminded me that I had book-marked their site last summer and never did anything more with it. Last night I registered my site and sent my money in this morning. Hopefully, I will be another new certified Monarch Waystation shortly!

Hi Mary C,
I had that Butterflies and Moths website marked also and forgot about it. It's such a good resource for looking up moths or butterflies I'm unable to identify with the field guides I have.

Hi Jayne,
Keep your eyes peeled. I think in the South you have a much better chance to see some these butterflies that are smart enough to not venture this far north.

Mary said...

The common buckeye is my personal favoriate. I'd love to see so many beauties at once! Amazing. Great photos, too! I've used that link a few times. I like it because it can give you a geographical selection.

RuthieJ said...

Oh Mary, it just took my breath away. I could have spent a couple hours in that little butterfly house.
I've only seen a buckeye once at my place and I never really was able to appreciate how beautiful their colors are until I looked at this picture.

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

Hi Ruthie,

I'm pleased to see that you're interested in butterflies too! I have had so many because of the addition of the extra flowers this year that I have started a butterly album. I don't have all the photos posted because I'm having the Dickens of a time identifying them all. There is one in my post:

I THINK it is an anise swallowtail, although it doesn't exactly look like the identifying photos I see on the web. Any ideas?


I'll be posting a lot more soon.

The "ranch" reminds me of a kit I bought when my son was in pre-school. We raised monarch butterflies and took them to his pre-school to release. After that, the fields were FILLED with monarch butterflies that were never there before!

--Robin (Bumblebee)

RuthieJ said...

Hi Robin,
I'm fairly positive you've got a Tiger Swallowtail there....I posted a comment at your site.

I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures of your butterflies. I have found (on the advice of other bloggers) that even when I can't identify an insect or bird I'm taking a picture of, studying the photo once I get home against my field guides works out really can enlarge the photos to look closer at distinctive field marks.