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Anise Swallowtail on Lupine --  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com



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Anise Swallowtails are common springtime visitors to Oregon's rural landscapes.  They're also adapted to city life in places where their food plants are abundant:  anise, fennel, Lomatium, and Artemisia.  They are strong fliers and seldom stay still for long when feeding, so you'll work hard to get a picture.  This one had just emerged from the chrysalis late in the day, so the wings were fresh and undamaged, and the butterfly was still sluggish and unafraid of people.  I was able to coax it onto my finger and place it on several different kinds of flowers for a variety of poses.  This was one of the best.  As the sun set, I moved it to the safe shelter inside the leaves of a lupine plant.  

The full detail view shows the gorgeous orange eyespots on the hindwings.  These are thought, along with the tails, to lure predators away from the butterfly's body to a less vulnerable part of the wings.  It's common to see older butterflies missing a tail or two and to have wing damage there resembling bites from birds.  

Click here to see a list of plants for attracting butterflies to your garden in the Portland, Oregon area and Columbia Gorge. 

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Info:  Chromira digital print of 36MP digital capture, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper

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