By in Pictures

Zebra Longwings

This is one of my favorite photos, and not so much for the quality, but because I remember the wonder and thrill I had when I spotted this scene. I could not understand why these zebra longwing butterflies were clustered together, but I grabbed my camera before researching why. Grabbing the camera is always a first.

What was happening was one of the most common scenarios in nature--males vying to be the first to mate with the female. The zebra longwing female had not even emerged from her chrysalis, but they were ready and waiting. In this photo they appear peaceful, but it was far from peaceful. It was a frenzied ordeal. Each male in the cluster was doing its utmost not to lose its place, while other males were flying to and fro in a panic.

Just another normal day for Mother Nature. She was probably just hemmin' and hawin' while I frantically worked to get the perfect shot.

Two Tourists Photo

This is the shot I got of the male victor. He is copulating with the female still inside the chrysalis. Two Tourists Photo

Image Credit » Two Tourists Photo

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paigea wrote on July 23, 2014, 12:30 PM

That is a great photo. I have never seen that scene in nature so far.

LoudMan wrote on July 23, 2014, 1:06 PM

It sounds like us Humans. LOL! A half-dozen guys trying to hump the leg of one, lone female. We are all sexual beings.

trisha_1.618 wrote on July 23, 2014, 1:14 PM

Exactly my thoughts while I watched the crazed males! LOL!

trisha_1.618 wrote on July 23, 2014, 1:16 PM

It was my first experience also. I did not know what was happening. After taking pictures, I ran into the house and Googled it. I should have guessed. HA HA!

AngelSharum wrote on July 23, 2014, 2:47 PM

Nice capture. I've never seen that particular type of butterfly before.

trisha_1.618 wrote on July 23, 2014, 3:49 PM

It is Florida's state butterfly. They are quite pretty.

AngelSharum wrote on July 23, 2014, 3:54 PM

I'll have to keep my eye out whenever we visit Florida then. Maybe I'll spot one some day.

Ellis wrote on July 25, 2014, 5:06 PM

What lovely creatures...good picture too..

trisha_1.618 wrote on July 26, 2014, 6:50 PM

Thank you

Torialou wrote on October 23, 2014, 9:09 AM

Aw what beautiful butterfly's, I have never seen this species before. There are so many pretty butterfly's isn't there, so diverse. I really like the one on the single one upside down, it really shows off the pattern. Well taken, most of my shots of butterfly's when we went to a butterfly house were all blurred from movement.