Tag Archives: Butterflies and Moths

Who, me?

A Gold Dust Day Gecko with a moth in its mouth

Most predators, on land and in the ocean, have a relatively poor success rate when it comes to snagging prey. Even when they’re successful, there’s no guarantee they’ll get to savor their prize.

I don’t know whether this Gold Dust Day Gecko was the one that caught this moth because, an instant after the capture, two or three other geckos swooped down to snatch it. There was a flurry of bodies and this one emerged from the scramble with the moth firmly stashed in its jaws. This look suggests it was guilty of robbery.

A spiky passion vine butterfly caterpillar

A Passion vine butterfly caterpillar on a passion vine in Hawaii
A Passion vine butterfly caterpillar on a passion vine in Hawaii

This is a caterpillar with a message and the message is ‘Back off.’ This is illustrated by the orange and black coloring and black spikes, which in this case conveys that these caterpillars are poisonous. Fortunately, I wasn’t hungry at the time so no harm done. Passion vine butterfly caterpillars, on the other hand, seem to be permanently hungry. Whenever I see them they’re munching leaves like old time video game characters.

Posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Past Squares – Spiky.’ See more responses here.

Fiery skipper butterfly on aptenias

A Fiery skipper butterfly feeds on an aptenia haeckeliana flower
A Fiery skipper butterfly feeds on an aptenia cordifolia flower

I often see fiery skipper butterflies on what I know as ice plants. I thought the different color flowers were just variations within the plant but, while they’re members of the same family (Aizoaceae), they’re different plants. At the top is an Aptenia haeckeliana with its yellow flower. To the left is an Aptenia cordifolia with a magenta flower.

It’s a different butterfly on the two flowers, but both are fiery skippers.