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Author Topic: ((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))  (Read 3662 times)

John Koerner

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((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))
« on: October 07, 2013, 05:00:54 pm »


The Atala
(Eumaeus atala)

I have been in Florida since 1999, and have combed through no telling how many different forests, swamps, scrub communities, etc. ...

So, of all places to find the fabled Atala, it was right outside of a gas station up in Jupiter

But, hey, I am not complaining

Enjoy,

Jack
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 08:32:44 pm by John Koerner »
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dhancock

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Re: ((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2013, 09:23:25 pm »

Nice picture, not that I know anything about butterflies. :) I love how sharp the hairs are on the butterfly. Great job!
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John Koerner

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Re: ((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2013, 09:35:48 pm »

Nice picture, not that I know anything about butterflies. :) I love how sharp the hairs are on the butterfly. Great job!

Thank you very much. I actually posted a 1200 px photo, which really shows the clarity, but this forum here shrinks the image automatically I guess.

These butterflies were actually on the verge of extinction in Florida at one point, but are now making a comeback. However, now that I finally found one, truth to tell, as subjects they are duck soup. They just sit there and let you fire away :) They are rather slow-moving, they sit and rest a lot, and were actually in a group. There were at least 20 all over this one particular tree ... so I am guessing that tree had something to do with their reproductive cycle.

Attached is a larger image. It's still not as clear as the full-res .tiff, of course, but it's better than the forum-shrunk version above.
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wolfnowl

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Re: ((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2013, 09:53:37 pm »

Quite the catch!  Thanks for sharing it!!

Mike.
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John Koerner

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Re: ((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2013, 10:04:54 pm »

Quite the catch!  Thanks for sharing it!!
Mike.


Thanks Mike :D
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: ((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2013, 03:40:04 am »

Wonderful photo.

John Koerner

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Re: ((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2013, 07:51:11 am »

Thank you.
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PeterAit

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Re: ((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 10:30:42 am »

Terrific shot of a lovely creature!
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Peter

"You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts" -- D.P. Moynihan

John Koerner

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Re: ((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2013, 11:54:35 am »

Terrific shot of a lovely creature!


Thank you Peter :)
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John Koerner

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Re: ((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2013, 02:47:58 pm »

Epilogue:

In a bit of serendipity, I returned again to the gas station "park" area today where I found this one, and a woman happened to be admiring them also.

She told me why they're so prevalent in that spot, and that is because of the Florida Coontie plant that is there (their native hostplant), which is why they were there in swarms. Apparently, the Florida Coontie was ravaged by us humans, for commercial reasons, which is why the Atala almost went extinct: it didn't have the food needed for its reproductive cycle.

But now, with this awareness of the importance of the Coontie plant, many biologically-aware gardeners and landscapers are purposely planting this plant as edging and trim, not just because it looks good in that capacity, but also with the specific intent on bringing the Atala back around ... which adds even more beauty to the local gardens ... and which has changed the Atala's status from "endangered" to "imperiled" which is great!

Because of this woman, I was able to find and photograph all life stages of this butterfly ... eggs, larvae, chrysalis ... and have the complete set now, which I may share later. Truly awesome last couple of days  ;D

Jack


.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 02:50:17 pm by John Koerner »
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framah

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Re: ((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2013, 03:36:35 pm »

Great!!! Now go home and plant some Coonties!!!


2 years ago, some milkweed caught hold in the field behind my  store and each year, I go out and harvest the seeds and throw them around the field and where ever I can find an open field. Gotta keep those Monarchs going!!
« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 03:38:13 pm by framah »
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John Koerner

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Re: ((( The Holy Grail of Florida Hairstreaks )))
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2013, 11:57:31 pm »

Great!!! Now go home and plant some Coonties!!!

2 years ago, some milkweed caught hold in the field behind my  store and each year, I go out and harvest the seeds and throw them around the field and where ever I can find an open field. Gotta keep those Monarchs going!!


Great point, Framah, and good for you! You can bet that my girlfriend and I will be planting Florida Coonties this weekend 8)

If anyone wants to read the full story, and see more photos, they can click here to read my brand new blog post on the full details :D

Jack

(PS: This will also show Thierry Legros the difference between a point-n-shoot and a true macro lens, as I used both in my documentation.)
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