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Queen of the blue mistflowers

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Gregg’s mistflower (Conoclinium greggii)

It has been a while since I posted anything on this blog, and so now we can compute just how long “a while” is.

Of course, this picture was taken several months earlier when I was fooling around with a different camera and lens, and trying to transfer learning between one of two systems (in alphabetical order: Canon and Nikon) without recourse to written instruction. This picture appeared on at least one Native Plant Society of Texas blog, and reappears in these pages because it is quicker and easier than processing some other photo.

Sad to say, the result shown here was probably more a matter of luck than transfer of skill. But it is skill in choosing native plants appropriate to the region that results in the Queen (Danaus gilippus) and Monarch (Danaus plexippus) butterflies that have been seen recently. I did manage to get a shot of the Monarch, but haven’t gone after the Queens yet – it has been windy, and they rarely stay still for long. Why a Monarch is in my neck of the woods in mid-July seems to be one of those outliers to the norm mysteries for which the answer may never be known for sure.

Queen Butterfly – Danaus gilippus

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Queen Butterfly - Danaus gillippus

Queen Butterfly – Danaus gillippus

In contrast  to the Viceroy Butterfly that was shot 2 weeks ago, this Queen Butterfly was located in my front yard just  morning. You can see in this view the loose arrangement of white dots across the top of the wing and the lack of the horizontal black line across the hindwing. It isn’t very noticeable, but part of the “black spot” on the lower wing can be seen with a white dot in the middle of it.

The black spotwhich is more vixible in this other picture with spread wings, is used to attract members of the oppsoite sex.   Note also that when it spreads its wings out that the inner side of the wing doesn’t have the mosaic-like   “staned glass” effect of the outer wings disappears.

Queen Butterfly- Danaus gilippus

Queen Butterfly- Danaus gilippus

Queen on Gregg Mistflower

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Queen on Gregg Mistflower

Queen on Gregg Mistflower

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Danaus gilippus, Queen Butterfly is shown here on its favorite flower, Conoclinium greggii or Gregg Mistflower. The Queen gets a toxin from the flower that makes it unpalatable to birds and other predators.  The Monarch Butterfly also feeds upon this Mistflower and derives a similar benefit.

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