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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Ghosts and Skeletons

This cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) got its proboscis caught on a spider web, and starved to death dangling from the oreganillo flower it meant to take a sip from. I created this apparition of its ghostly skeleton sipping nectar in the afterlife by turning the photo 90 degrees from reality.

Cabbage whites are really common around here since the neighbor has taken to growing lots of larval food plants for these butterflies to reproduce on: cabbages, turnips, kale, radish and the like. I think his intention was to grow food for himself, however. The adult butterflies feed on the nectar of a wide variety of plants, which is why they spend time in my (currently) cabbage-free garden.


Christine said...

wow! it's getting me in the halloween mood!


Why didn't the spider eat it?

vanessa cardui said...

Aydin that is a very good question. I'll have to ask her, unless she also succumbed to predation or another small tragedy of the garden. It's a jungle out there.

But seriously, I did not see a spider nearby and think it could have been abandoned web that snared the butterfly.