Monday, 25 October 2010

Butterflies and Moths (13): Painted Lady of the Peloponnese

Painted Lady at the archaeological site of Messine in Greece, early autumn 2010
Helen of Troy may have had the face that launched 1000 ships, but the Swallowtail and Painted Lady were the butterfly species that caught my eye at the amazingly extensive archaeological site of Messine (sometimes written as Messini) in the western Peloponnese.

Messine: part of the site, with its olive and lime trees
The site of Messine in Messinia, not far from Kalamata (of olive fame) was a fruitful haunt in this respect. The Painted Ladies flew among the white scrubby flowers, flitting in and out of the Swallowtails, who clearly enjoyed the same vegetation.

End on!
I found some interesting web pages about butterflies, including the Painted Lady and Swallowtail, on the Gerald Durrell Zoo site. I particularly enjoyed the quotations. You may like them, too. The link is here, and the Jesrsey Zoo Ark Gallery is here.

Feeding time
You can watch an amazing life cycle video of the Painted Lady here. Like other butterflies, they belong to the class of Lapidoptera: lepidos means 'scales' and ptera means 'wing' in Greek as the wings are made up of scales. 

I love the unfurling plants
Painted Ladies have a row of four 'eye spots' on the outside of each wing, plus a smaller dot. You can just about make out these eye spots in my photo below. The American Painted Lady has two large eye spots and the West Coast Lady does not have any at all.

A change from thistle nectar, which is often a favourite foodstuff


You might like to check out other 
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3 comments:

Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely, Painetd ladies are such beautiful butterflies.

Mary said...

What a great place to visit! I bet you took 1000's of photos :-)

kanak7 said...

Enjoyed going through these photos. I'm getting acquainted with butterflies from cooler climes and they're all so pretty! What fun it must've been clicking away at these beauties at a place of such historical significance.