Monday, June 14, 2010

A lepidopteran pit stop

A frequent migrant in June is the elegantly-named butterfly Vanessa (Cynthia) cardui (L., 1758), passing over Malta from North Africa on the way to cooler European climates. The following pictures, taken yesterday in Santa Venera, show a very small sample of hundreds of individuals feeding on the nectar of cultivated plants, before continuing their journey. They seem to prefer the Lantana shrubs above anything else, though this may be because of the flowers' bright yellow colour - purple-flowered Lantana shrubs were hardly visited.


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