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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Correction: I Do Feed On Nectar

Some mourningcloak (Nymphalis antiopa) are in flight now; not the ones pupating on our house and tree . . . some slightly earlier ones. They are strongly attracted to the melaleuca tree that just came into bloom, feeding on the nectar all day long. I remember now they have done this in past years. Nectar preferences in butterflies; another unsolved mystery: is the taste or nutritional composition of melaleuca nectar better for them, or do they prefer feeding at flowering trees because of other behavioral factors (safety, territoriality, love of high places?), or is their feeding on the melaleuca flowers is just a coincidence of timing and convenience . . . unknown, but documented.

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