I saw 9 different species of butteflies in my garden today! (Not including hairstreaks, blues, sulfurs and whites.) 1 - A beautiful Giant Swallowtail was nectaring for quite a while in the garden, unfortunately I wasn't able to get a picture of it. 2 - A Tiger Swallowtail visited. 3 - Quite a few Monarchs were flying around, as usual. 4 - A female Black Swallowtail came and laid some eggs. One while I was standing right by it and I could see the egg pop right out of her abdomen.
Black Swallowtail egg
5 - A Question Mark hung out on the rotting banana for a while. I didn't get a picture though, it's wings were pretty beat up anyway. 6 - Silver Spotted Skippers were flittering around everywhere. 7 - Hackberry butterflies were all over the rotting bananas too, sometimes 3 at a time! 8 - A Red-spotted Purple flew over my head and I followed and found it resting in the creek behind our house. This was the first Red Spotted Purple I saw at home this year. It was beautiful, but I wasn't able to get a picture of it. 9 - Spicebush!! First I saw a dark colored swallowtail that I thought may have been a Spicebush Swallowtail, but I couldn't get close enough to tell for sure. But it made me think I should check my spicebushes for eggs. Didn't find any eggs, but I did find 3 tiny Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars! One on each of my 3 bushes! First I've had on them!
Early instar Spicebush Swallowtail on spicebush leaf Later I went and checked the sassafras patch in the nearby common area for Spicebush larva. Didn't find any, but I did find definite evidence there had been one there. I found one leaf torn and folded over with silk webbing in it. No caterpillar though. Either it moved on or was eaten. Later still, another dark swallowtail stopped by, this time I was able to get close enough to see that it definitely was a Spicebush Swallowtail! Earlier in the day while volunteering at the Butterfly House, I saw the usuals - Monarch, Spicebush Swallowtails, Red Admiral, etc. Also saw a Buckeye, very briefly too.