Bug of the Month August 2018: Red Spotted Purples

Subject:  Red spotted purple butterflies
Geographic location of the bug:  Shohola Lake, PA
Date: 07/30/2018
Time: 03:48 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  These butterflies were alighting on one spot of gravel road by Shohola Lake.  It looks to be coyote scat (hair & bone fragments, pawprints seen in mud nearby).
They allowed me to approach slowly and I was lucky to get these shots.  They are truly gorgeous.
How you want your letter signed:  Paula K

Red Spotted Purple

Dear Paula,
Thanks so much for sending in your wonderful images of Red Spotted Purples “puddling” on coyote scat.  We have decided to make your submission our Bug of the Month for August 2018.  Though butterflies are generally thought of as pollinators that visit flowers, they will often visit more unsavory substances, including puddles of urine, scat, putrefying flesh, rotting fruit and mud puddles to ingest salts and minerals found there.

Red Spotted Purples

Dear Daniel,
I’m honored to have my photos chosen as Bug of the Month!  And now I know about “puddling.”
Some years back I send you photos of mating buck moths from Shohola Lake, PA.  It seems a great place to find interesting insects. And as I wrote back then, your site is a natural treasure!

Thanks for your kind words Paula.  We located your image of mating Buck Moths in our archives.  It is hard to believe that was 11 years ago and we are still going strong.

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