Monday, November 8, 2010

Fritillary Euthanasia

Injured Gulf Fritillary on Pentas
Injured Gulf Fritillary
Proboscis partially uncurled
  The silver flash from the folded wings of the Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) is usually a welcome sight, but there was something odd about this one clinging to my Pentas.  His behavior was wrong: he lingered too long and he didn’t startle as I passed.  The next morning, I found him on the same plant, dangling precariously from the magenta blossoms.  This did not bode well.  Was he dead?  Was he too cold to be active yet?  At the same moment, another Gulf Fritillary hurried through the garden, spreading his pumpkin-orange wings as he paused to sip from the cosmos.