Jun 24, 2010

What's this butterfly doing?

And what kind is it? I'm hoping some of you knowledgeable folks out there can tell me, because regrettably I don't know much about butterflies yet. The thing is this one was hanging out on my Aster chilensis but not moving, even when lightly prodded (by a gentle kitty paw).  Was it dying? Sleeping? Laying eggs maybe? I'd be incredibly supportive of any butterflies and moths who want to raise families in my plants--especially the Aster, because it's not like a few caterpillars are going to make a dent in my supply of that, no matter how hungry hungry they are.  (Aster chilensis spreads by rhizomes, and quite enthusiastically.)

I had to thank my little quadrupedal  gardening buddy for pointing this insect out to me.

I had to sort of keep my eye on him to make sure he didn't attempt to harass or eat our winged guest, and he was actually quite cooperative.  Also, he asked me to ask you to not hate him because he's beautiful:

Thanks for any info on the butterfly!  I hope I'm doing something right for it to have been there.


  1. I have no idea what it's doing, but I'm pretty sure it's a pipevine swallowtail:

    Also, I certainly know what you mean about the spreading tendencies of Aster chilensis!

  2. I vote pipevine swallowtail, too. If you go to my blog, and click on the "butterfly" tag, you can see photos of it laying eggs.

  3. Thanks for the ID, you two! I am still a rube when it comes to butterflies. Hope I get more in the yard. I'm so lucky to have had this guy, since I haven't even planted Dutchman's Pipe. This butterfly has inspired me and I will plant some in the fall for sure! Also, this all reminds me, I better go check on my Asclepias on this scorching day. I've had trouble getting Asclepias to take hold, but recently noticed I do have one hanging on. Hope it hangs on and hosts some Monarchs some day.

  4. It's possible that the butterfly had just emerged and needed to rest and dry her wings. I've seen footage of butterflies emerging, and they appear to eat the cocoon and then hang for awhile.

    You're lucky to have her visiting, whatever it is she's doing; she's beautiful!