The other butterfly that seems to be doing great in our area of Maryland are the red-spotted purples. They are smaller swallowtails than the most prominent swallowtails in our area – the tiger swallowtails. They can look a little like the dark morph of the tiger swallowtail but they are smaller and a closer look at the markings show they are different. There was a red-spotted purple caterpillar that hatched on the black cherry plant where the Brookside staff had pinned the cecropia moth cocoons back in April. The moths emerged…and the red-spotted purple caterpillar grew, pupated, and emerged as a red-spotted purple. Now – in September, I am seeing lots of these butterflies. They seem to like country roads and gardens. I saw several at Brookside Gardens over the past few weeks.
And at the north tract of the Patuxent Research Refuge….along the road and in the visitor center parking lot.
I didn’t get out of the car to identify and photograph the butterflies flitting on and over the road to Belmont Manor and Historic Park…but they were the right color and behavior.
It’s great that we have some butterflies that are apparently doing well even if the Monarch butterflies don’t seem as prevalent this year in our area.