Viceroy Butterfly (Limenitis archippus)
Koogler Wetland and Prairie Reserve, Beavercreek, Ohio
"We kill all the caterpillars, then complain there are no butterflies.” - John Marsden
Whatever you do, don't confuse this butterfly for a monarch. It can be difficult to tell the difference as their wings are almost identical. However, one easy detail to find is the black lined curve that crosses the viceroy's postmedian hindwing. This line is clearly visible in this image.
An early career shot and a fairly lucky one at that. I had been making my way across Koogler's boardwalk where I found at least a dozen butterflies floating around. Patience will reward you in this instance. I slowly moved closer and closer as the viceroy pollinated with the flower. Timing is also crucial as the better image to take is when their wings are outstretched. The warm-colored evening light was just icing on the cake. One thing to notice is the "injuries" this butterfly has obtained in the clipped wings. One can wonder what this featherweight living thing has been through.
© 2017 Ryan L. Taylor Photography. All Rights Reserved.
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