Panola Mountain State Park posted a photo of a butterfly today on Instagram and asked for someone to identify it. You know I had to tell them! The first photo I have given you here is of the Gulf Fritillary showing the front wings. The next photo is of the back wings...sometimes, depending on how the light hits it, the back wings look silver, like looking into a mirror but get the light just right and you see all those lovely spots with an "eye" looking at you. Can you see it? Once you see this and recognize it, you will always know that it is a Gulf Fritillary butterfly. (The "eye" is a defense mechanism. If a predator tries to grab it by the "eye", it might be able to get away! And that eye should intimidate them, it looks pretty big, doesn't it?)
Also, butterflies love this flower...it is a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) and we grew them from seed. They are very easy to grow, just need to water them and care for them daily, that is all!
Worth it though, to get the butterflies to come to us! (The stalk of the flower can be very tall...think of Jack and the Beanstalk and you will get the idea...but the flower is rather small, like the size of a zinnia.)
Bright orange butterfly on a bright orange flower! Wonderful color!Hope Panola Mountain State Park will see this post!