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Tuesday, September 06, 2005


For a week or so now, I've noticed the yellow jackets harassing the painted lady butterflies. I thought at the time that perhaps it was the aggressive nature of the yellow jackets combined with competition due to the growing shortage of flowering plants. Maybe that's true, but I've seen now them hunting the funnel web spiders and now the butterflies. I was out shooting butterflies when I first noticed the rapid fluttering about a foot from my right ear. When I looked I saw three or four yellow jackets swarming on a butterfly. One seemed to chase off the others and began to feed. Soon, others came back, the struggle knocking the body down from branch to branch. By the time the body fell to the grass below, the dominant yellow jacket focussed on removing the head of the butterfly. Gruesome. I I'm entering this in the "Scary" theme of MacroDay's weekly competition. Not so for the subject, but rather because getting in the midst of the yellow jackets was nerve wracking. Posted by Picasa

3 comments:

Julio said...

Just beautiful

Lady of the House said...

Sounds prett creepy. Poor butterfly.

Hypatia said...

Thanks Julio! I really hesitated to put this one up, but it kept affecting me and then the theme for MacroDay gave me the final push to post it.

Hey Lady of the House! Thanks for coming by. It was creepy, but I think mostly due to my feelings towards yellow jackets. :) Butterflies do seem to meet rather violent ends.