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A second Diana Fritillary!

Posted by butterflymomok (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 4, 11 at 23:27

As I was looking at the photos I took tonight, I noticed that the wear patterns on the Diana were different than the photos I had from Monday. So, there is a second female in the garden.



I've included both photos so you can see the differences. Last night, I photographed both butterflies. I just thought the butterfly was getting from one side of the garden to the other really quickly!

I wonder if this increases my chances of getting eggs? : ) It would probably be better if a male was hanging around.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: A second Diana Fritillary!

That's beyond great, Sandy! The butterfly in the top picture is fresher, doesn't have the tatter on the left wing that the individual in the lower picture does.
I guess these two females were as big as usual, as big as tiger swallowtails?
I love the baby blue coloring of the females, spring azure blue, just a MUCH bigger butterfly.
Congratulations, and I sure hope you find little cats in a few weeks!

RE: A second Diana Fritillary!

Chances are she is already mated. Most females mate within 24 hours of emerging and then continue reproductive diapause until late summer. So, it is possible these females may lay eggs without the presence of a male.
Here's hoping!

Here is a link that might be useful: Reproductive diapause in Fritillaries

RE: A second Diana Fritillary!

Thanks for the info, Elisabeth. I had forgotten about the diapause in Fritillaries. I never see the Diana males and females at the same time of the year, so that makes sense.

Normally Dianas do not come this far west, but we've had a couple of new county records this year--one in the county west of mine, and in central Oklahoma, which is quite a ways from their normal habitat.

Sherry, yes, these are very large. They are the largest butterfly in my garden at present. The ETSs have been absent lately. I don't know if there will be another generation around later. I need to read up on life histories. But, this is not a normal butterfly year with all the heat. I haven't had my Monarch colony this year, which I normally have from mid summer through migration. And the Sulphurs are few and far between. Even the skippers are down in numbers. But, I won't complain when I can enjoy the beauty of the Dianas.


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