Welcome Wings

This time of year brings fluttering wings to historic #Charleston, as we see scores of butterflies darting through colorful gardens. The species we see most often on my walking tour of downtown Charleston are the yellow-winged Cloudless Sulphur, the Black and Yellow-winged Swallowtail, and the orange-winged Gulf Fritillary. These creatures thrive on the nectar of late Summer blossoms such as Lantana, probing with their needle-like probiscus as they flutter from petal to petal. There colors come from tiny scales that absorb the heat of the sun to provide extra energy for migrations that take these delicate bodies thousands of miles. Seemingly vulnerable to birds and other quick-moving predators, the natural color of the butterflies acts as an instinctive warning to other creatures, suggesting toxicity found in plants with similar colors that animals know to avoid. Fortunately, the color patterns provide enough defense to assure that these wonderful wings will provide an eye-catching spectacle each year. <img.src=”Charleston Natural Resources” alt=”Butterflies”

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