Saturday, September 4, 2010

(Wild) Butterfly Magic

Anyone visiting the Tucson Botanical Gardens lately who is disappointed to learn that the Butterfly Magic event begins in October hasn’t been paying enough attention to the butterflies that are flying freely around the garden outside of the tropical greenhouse. I tallied twenty-two species over the past month, most of those seen in the last week or so. Here’s the list:

  • Pipevine Swallowtail, Battus philenor
  • Giant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes
  • Checkered White, Pontia protodice
  • Southern Dogface, Colias cesonia
  • Sleepy Orange, Eurema nicippe
  • Dainty Sulphur, Nathalis iole
  • Cloudless Sulphur, Phoebis sennae
  • Gray Hairstreak, Strymon melinus
  • Leda Ministreak, Ministrymon leda
  • Marine Blue, Leptotes marina
  • Western Pygmy-Blue, Brephidium exile
  • Reakirt’s Blue, Hemiargus isola
  • Fatal Metalmark, Calephelis nemesis
  • Palmer’s Metalmark, Apodemia palmeri
  • Gulf Fritillary, Agraulis vanillae
  • Variegated Fritillary, Euptoieta Claudia
  • Empress Leilia, Asterocampa leilia
  • American Snout, Libytheana carinenta
  • Queen, Danaus gilippus
  • Common Sootywing, Pholisora Catullus
  • Fiery Skipper, Hylephila phyleus
  • Orange Skipperling, Copaeodes aurantiaca

The TBG has a dedicated butterfly garden, but there is such a diversity of plants on the grounds that something is blooming somewhere almost all the time. Water and shade are also plentiful, which benefits both the butterflies and the comfort of human patrons.

Please visit the Tucson Botanical Gardens whenever you can. There is literally something for everyone, from a Children’s Garden to a Zen Garden, to the Tropical Greenhouse. You can even bring the dog on Tuesday mornings, or stay late on the Third Thursday when you can hear a musical performance.


  1. We have had a lot of Red-spotted purple this year, which is a mimic of the pipevine swallowtail.My best this last few weeks was a Eastern-tailed blue.We start tagging Monarchs next weekend.

  2. Hey, I know we can look 'em up- but it would be cool if you added photo tags so I knew which of the listed flutter ers is in each photo. (Yeah - we're always wanting something more free, huh?)

    Very nice photos. I'm particularly partial to the one I think mebbe is the Gulf Fritillary. And you DO make me want to come back to Tucson!

    Thank you for sharing, as always.


  3. @Laurel: The picture is shown right after its name on the list. So, Giant swallowtail, Leda Ministreak,....


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