Nature: Butterflies and Moths

The Sonora Blue 索诺拉蓝/ Philotes Sonorensis 红斑青小灰蝶 (Family Lycaenidae, Blues, Coppers and Hairstreaks)

This is the only little blue butterfly we have with such bright red spots on the blue wings. This gives this butterfly one of the best disguises against enemies. Watch one of these little blues as it wings its way through a meadow. You see the bright reddish-pink spots on its wings flashing in the sunlight like dots of fire. Then the butterfly lights on a leaf or stem and folds its wings over its back. Even if you actually see this happen it is hard to believe in such a sudden change. Where there was a dashing, brilliantly colored butterfly a moment before, now is only a drab little creature, almost invisible among the plants where it has lit. What an excellent bit of camouflage!

There is one unusual difference between the little blue butterflies and the hair streaks, both our smallest butterflies. The blues are found mainly in temperate regions, often in the far north and on the tops of high mountains. But the hair streaks, on the contrary, are found mainly in the tropics, only a few of them wandering into the northern regions. It would seem as if the cold blue colors of the blues rhyme with the ice of the north, while the warm reds, purples and browns of the hair streaks rhyme with the warmth of the tropic jungles.

The little Sonora Blue would seem to be in between both in colors and geographic location, for it has bright red dots and is found abundantly in southern California and northern Mexico.

 

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