Sunday, September 17, 2006

Diana

Saturday, 9-16-2006 12:15 EDST

The Girl finally held still for me. This is a classic Diana Fritillary female from Whites Creek gorge in Roane County. She's a beauty even if she's already showing the wear and tear of a short adult life.

3 comments:

  1. My screenname means "butterfly" in Slovene. Hopefully the ravages of Ivermectin and other systemic pesticides/parasitcides will be more well know as to their impact on butterfly populations. Great photo!

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  2. Metulj? Butterfly? Your sensitive side is showing.

    The Diana is a listed species of concern in Tennessee and My yard is totally outside of its current accepted range. Spraying for gypsy moths has been tragic for the Diana, but methods are changing and that's good. I believe White's Creek to be a more than just special place that still harbors many species that have been impacted by the short sighted activities of man and corporation. It deserves protection of some sort greater than I can provide.

    Steve

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  3. Steve,
    This is wonderful! Now that you have this confirmation, I wonder what the chances might be that the specimen in our earlier discussion might be the "White's Creek" color morph of the male Diana.

    Best,
    John

    That comment is from my friend and Board of Directors associate John Tullock. Here's his book which you should own for the pictures if nothing else:
    http://www.amazon.com/Growing-Hardy-Orchids/dp/0881927155


    After seeing several others, I think the earlier one is a variant of the Purple. I've been referred to some other books and web sites and the Purple is one of those bugs that intergrades with closely related species. It's the "Tennessee" way after all, to breed with relatives.

    I've seen several individuals with color variations that bridge the gap from the first picture and the pretty specimen in Audubon.

    I'm with you, however, in thinking there's something up with the so called dimorphism in the Diana's. I see the "males" earlier in the summer and have seen none recently. These boys and girls are definitely getting together and making babies so why don't we see them at the same time? Wouldn't a simpler answer be that they are around at the same time and we just haven't figured it out?

    Steve

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