Little Empress

Reminder:  You can enlarge any of the photos in this blog by clicking on it.  Click again for a full-screen image.

I apologize in advance if two versions of tonight’s post show up on your computers.  Wordpress seems to be malfunctioning today, I’ve tried to post this blog once without success.  So, here’s a second try and a slightly different version.  The last time this happened WordPress decided to post both versions, hours after I wrote them.

Not all butterflies need to be big and showy in order to be beautiful.  Tonight’s subject is proof that a butterfly can be small and subtly beautiful as well.  This is an Empress Leilia butterfly.  No, I don’t know how she got her name.  This species is a southwestern species, seen this time of year in parts of Texas, New Mexico, southern Arizona and northern Mexico.  Some butterflies like to hang out by cultivated plants.  Tohono Chul Park and the Sonoran Desert Museum, with their butterfly gardens, are paradises for butterflies and photographers this time of year.  But, Empress Leilia is different.  This species can be found easily in the thorniest parts of the desert.

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As you can see, there’s nothing flashy about this butterfly with its burnt orange and deep brown upper wings and dark and white spots.

That said, its true beauty is apparent when it folds its wings.

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Then, the relatively dull upper wings are supplanted by an amazing mosaic of beige, white, and orange, and those dark spots on the upper wings reveal metallic blue centers.  Extraordinary.

Photos taken with a Canon 5Diii, 180 f3.5L Macro Lens, ISO 125, assisted by Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, f14 @ 1/160.

3 responses to “Little Empress”

  1. Sue says :

    This is even more splendid than the butterflies that are breathtaking when you glance at them-you make us see something we wouldn’t perceive on our own.

  2. Liesl Kii says :

    Nature’s designs are wonderful.

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