medium butterfly laying eggs on bean plant
September 25, 2009
I discovered this butterfly laying eggs on the two varieties of beans I have growing, a bush type and vine type. The bush type is planted next to a square of soy beans.
The insect is approximately 2 inches wide and their flight pattern is sporadic and jittery with a distinct blue color on her fuzzy bottom, with multi colored through primarily brown wings. I only got a good look while she was laying her eggs, perched on a bean leaf leaving behind a stack on pale yellow eggs (pin head size) on the underside of the leaf. I have found these stacks on the top, bottom, and sides of bush leaves.
Upon further investigation of the plants I discovered many catepillars or larvae nestled in leaf fold cocoons. These are also pictured they are yellow with dark (almost black) heads, two ‘big’ red eyes and tiny necks, tiny black feet closest to the head and yellow orange feet toward end, the larvae/catepillar is yellow in color and has an orange tinge at the rear.
I have included photos though I did not get a wing spread shot. In these you can see the eggs, larvae/catepillar, and butterfly resting on a bean leaf.
Sarsota, Florida zone 9/10 for gardening
Hi betty marie,
We applaud your powers of observation. You have photographed a Long-Tailed Skipper, Urbanus proteus. We are thrilled to have the photos of the egg laying process as well as the caterpillars. As your letter supports, the food for the caterpillar includes plants in the pea family. BugGuide has some wonderful images of this lovely species.