Butterfly Diary 2016, Week 4 March 23, 2016October 1, 2016Posted in Animals, Blog posts, Butterflies, Plant PicsTagged atala hairstreak, blue morpho, Butterflies in Bloom, butterfly, clearwing, Dow Gardens, giant owl, gold banded forester, great orange tip butterfly, magnificent owl, Midland Michigan, paper kite butterfly1 Comment Today we had the largest paper kite any of us present had seen. Toward the upper left corner is a buckeye. When I first came in for my Butterflies in Bloom shift at Dow Gardens, there were several photographers set up in the conservatory. While one of them was focused on another butterfly, this one settled on his remaining equipment. The object of their attention was this gold banded forester. This great orange tip was content to sit on the emergence case for a while. Down below are some of our laminated ID sheets, which show some of our more common varieties. Once we topped 140, we gave up on listing them all because the photos would have been tiny. This is one of my favorites, because it is so different on the two sides of the wings. While the top is black with a greenish yellow, the underside has tones of brown, white, green and sometimes pink. This was a crasher, a blue butterfly that fell as soon as it emerged. I scooped it up and moved it to a less crowded spot. Within minutes it had opened its wings fully and was well on the way to growing strong. We had giant owls already, but now we have magnificent owls as well. They are slightly smaller but also differ by the yellow band on the wing. This blue morpho and two giant owls were deeply camped on this food dish. This was the first time I saw butterflies act territorial; many smaller ones got pushed firmly away by an owl’s leg. Can you tell it was a busy day for emergence? This atala hairstreak butterfly is perhaps our tiniest. Just a little larger is this Costa Rican clearwing (yes, cleverly named).