Tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus)

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Butterflies are cool looking insects and they do a great job at pollinating flowers. But I find them challenging to photograph, especially since I don’t have a super fancy zoom lens or a tripod. Unlike bees, they won’t let me get too close without taking off, and they don’t always keep their wings wide open long enough while resting on flowers. Oh, and they love to stay on flowers that are out of reach, so I can’t photograph them from a good angle.

Still, I was pretty lucky to find this beautiful, yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly (more formally known as Papilio glaucus) a few weeks ago. Somehow, it landed on the same kind of bright pink flowers I photographed that bee fly the same day, even though those bushes were in different areas of the botanical garden. Those flowers must be tasting delicious. The first flower cluster this tiger swallowtail butterfly picked didn’t make for a great picture, but he did help me out a bit as he kept hopping from flower to flower.

Tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink flowers
Tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink flowers

This was much better already than the first picture I took.

Yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly drinking nectar
Yellow tiger swallowtail butterfly drinking nectar

This tiger swallowtail was nice enough to display its beautiful wing markings for me to take one last picture of it quickly before it took off.

Close-up of a tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink flowers
Close-up of a tiger swallowtail butterfly on pink flowers

Are you a butterfly fan, or do they creep you out?

Butterflies: Tiger longwing (Heliconius hecale)

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This is the last post of my series on butterflies. The other butterflies I photographed recently are the orange julia, the paper kite butterfly, the giant owl butterfly, and the postman butterfly.

The tiger longwing butterfly is quite pretty and from the photos I could find on the internet, the patterns on its wings can vary a bit from one butterfly to the other. Even though the colors are overall the same on the inside and outside of the wings, the amount of orange and white featured on each butterfly can change.

I like the butterfly I managed to capture because it really looks like tiger stripes on its wings. The colorful background is a nice to the frame. What’s your favorite butterfly out of the whole series?

Tiger longwing butterfly (Heliconius hecale)
Tiger longwing butterfly (Heliconius hecale)

Butterflies: the orange julia (Dryas iulia)

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After featuring the paper kite butterfly, the giant owl butterfly, and the postman butterfly, it’s time to make room for the orange julia butterfly (Dryas iulia). And guess what? It’s orange!

I love the color combination between the orange butterfly and the pink flowers that surround him. This little guy know how to look his best! Remember you can click on the photo for a larger view.

Orange julia butterfly (Dryas iulia)
Orange julia butterfly (Dryas iulia)

Butterflies: the postman butterfly (Heliconius Melpomene)

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If you missed my previous butterfly showcases, take a look at the paper kite butterfly and the giant owl butterfly.

The next butterfly I spotted at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Butterfly Jungle this week is the postman butterfly (Heliconius Melpomene). I actually knew about this little guy before I saw him because he’s in one of my son’s favorite books on insects. Both the postman caterpillar and the butterfly are poisonous so birds usually leave them alone. The postman caterpillar even features long spikes all over its body, so I’m not sure who would want to eat it anyway. If the book is correct, postman butterflies really like passion flowers. That’s about how much I know about this guy!

Remember you can click on the photo below to see it in a larger format.

Postman butterfly (Heliconius Melpomene)
Postman butterfly (Heliconius Melpomene)

Butterflies: the giant owl (Caligo memnon)

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Yesterday I shared the photo of a paper kite butterfly, the first good photo I took while at Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park a few days ago. Today I’m sharing the second picture: it’s a giant owl, and once you see the pattern on its wings, you’ll understand why.

The giant owl butterfly is very large and the inside of its wings display a beautiful light metallic blue. Unfortunately the giant owl butterflies I saw that day all stood at rest with their wings closed. It was impossible to catch them in flight because of the amount of people in the enclosure.

Here’s a nice side angle of the giant owl butterfly, featuring some big owl eyes! Remember you can click on the photo to see a larger view.

Giant owl butterfly (Caligo memnon)
Giant owl butterfly (Caligo memnon)