Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Regal Fritillary

The Regal Fritillary has a unique relationship with Fort Indiantown Gap.  You see, this butterfly feeds on arrow leaf violets.  These violets like to grow in disturbed habitats - places where the soil is churned and turned over fairly frequently.

This habitat is in short supply in much of the nation.  However, military vehicles with tracks, like tanks, are great at creating it.  Once the Fritillaries were found at the Fort, the military began special conservation measures to ensure they continue to have a home.

One of their firing ranges is now more or less dedicated to the Fritillary.  We were never in unsafe areas, obviously, but signs like these did kind of raise the hairs on the back of your neck.

Here are a couple more of my Fritillary pics:

As you can see, these were not particularly shy.  They enjoyed their butterfly weed while many lenses snapped around them :)  

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