So I’m sporting my son’s camo crocs tromping through our sun-parched grass with a bag of garbage in each hand (a glamorous image, no?) when these butterflies stopped me in my tracks.
a. because I rarely see butterflies in our yard (yellow-jackets, on the other hand, are annoyingly frequent visitors lately).
b. because there were two of them that were um,well attached.
Miss nosey-pants Riley inspected and said they were just taking a “nap” but my curiosity was piqued.
First, I looked to see what species of butterfly they are. They are Tiger Swallowtails (super common) or Pterourus glaucus if you want to get uber-nerdy about it. The male is the larger of the two and has more blue on the hind wings.
Next, I googled “how do butterflies mate?” Cause I legitimately had no clue. Well, I had a clue…just not the specifics.
Maybe it’s the teacher in me, maybe it’s my fascination with God’s amazing creatures, or maybe I’m just bored today and neglecting the mountain of laundry???
Whatever the reason, I had to know.
According to www.kidsbutterfly.org:
Male butterflies find females by sight, and use chemicals called pheromones at close range. If the female accepts the male, they couple end to end and may go on a short courtship flight. They may remain coupled for an hour or more, sometimes overnight. The male passes a sperm packet called a spermatorphore to the female. The sperm then fertilize each egg as it passes down the female’s egg-laying tube.
Now I know.
I’ll just tuck that little nugget away in case I’m ever on Jeopardy and the question comes up.
Alex Trebek: Susan, you were first to buzz in.
me: What is courtship flight?
Are you sorry you stopped by today?