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Our Favorite Guests

Each year, beginning in early March, hundreds of interesting guests arrive for their annual visit. They’re here to enjoy the various types of plants and flowers growing in our yard. Visitors are encouraged to climb up, crawl over and consume some varieties. Many stay for about a month during summer, aside from the final generation that hibernates through the winter as chrysalides.

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12 Responses to “Our Favorite Guests”


  1. December 12, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    You should check out the work of chiara albertoni on my blog, her jack in the pulpit painting is amazing …love your post

  2. December 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Great photos! I especially dig the ones of the caterpillars and the battus polydamas as it unfurled its wings (images 4,5 & 8,9).

    Good work.

  3. December 13, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Wow, this is in your yard? I can never catch that sort of thing going on, maybe I’m too focused on the plants themselves to look at the insects in the yard. Anyways, this is really cool. Also I love the jellyfish in your last post- I have a picture I’ll have to send you that I took at an aquarium in Oregon of some ruffly jellyfish. They look so ostentatious and fantastic.

    • December 13, 2011 at 11:28 am

      Yeah, who needs National Geographic or the Discovery Channel when this type of thing is going on outside, right!? To be truthful, the average backyard lacks the possibility of an encounter with a jaguar or an impala (animal or vehicle) that a Nature program offers, but makes up for this with over 16 ‘bagrillion’ biting insects per square meter and the chance to have a firsthand encounter with malaria or west nile.

  4. December 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Great work here! Love it. And I love the Caterpillars. Great post! 🙂

  5. 9 Ash
    December 13, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Love the chain-of-events photos you have here!

  6. December 14, 2011 at 4:01 am

    Nice Aristolochia. Here’s an A. grandiflora species that I photographed and propagated in Panama. Cool flowers. If you open them up you can find a bunch of flies captured in this internal chamber. A. gradiflora smells somewhat like excrement, thus its ability to attract flies. they’re not carnivorous, they just capture insects so they get covered in pollen and then release them upon flower decomposition. The insect then flies, covered in pollen, to another flower.

    • December 14, 2011 at 10:43 am

      Thanks! You’ve cataloged so many amazing specimens, I spent nearly an hour browsing through all of them. What an incredible collection! Apparently, there is some debate over the classification and invasivity of A. littoralis (some sources refer to it as A. elegans). Many consider it highly invasive, being fatal to the caterpillars of Ornithoptera euphorion and O. richmondiaand, and claim it displaces native A. tagala species. From an evolutionary standpoint, I wonder how an effective method of pollination in some developed into a useful source of nutrition in other varieties. Also, there seems to be some disagreement over the smell – as some describe it as foul, resembling rotting meat or excrement. I have never noticed a bad odor. It has a pungent aroma, reminding me of musty socks and artificial chocolate with a hint of a citrus-like chemical smell. If you want a repulsive odor, look no further than Pseudocolus fusiformis and other stinkhorns. There is no question when one is growing nearby!


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