Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest. Part Two. Swallowtails and Pierids.

Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest. Part Two. Swallowtails and Pierids.

Butterflies are exquisite creatures, simply breathtaking, but they don’t obey the rules of beauty. They can often be found in the strangest, ugliest places.

Swallowtails are beautiful butterflies that come in a variety of colours, from a jet black with either scarlet or emerald edging to soft turquoise with black edging and many more. Their hind wing has a tail-like projection that gives the butterfly its name.
They feed from the nectar in flowers, but could also be found on the perfumed soaps we used for washing up. An ugly backdrop of tatty steel pads, worn brushes and scruffy sponges only accentuated their delicate, extraordinary beauty.
They also came and settled on my hands and arms when I sat by the river. Taking moisture with their long black tongues or proboscis and tickling my skin with their three pairs of cotton-thin legs.

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Pierid butterflies were also attracted to the washing up equipment left by us on the harbour decking. They often came in flocks.
Small and pale yellow/yellowish-green in colour with tiny eyes on the wings, the pierids resembled European Brimstones. They feed on nectar in flowers.
Apparently Pierids were called the ‘butter-coloured’ fly by early British naturalists, thereby giving these insects their common, collective name.

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The proper name for a flock of butterflies is a swarm or rabble. How strange…can’t think of a worse description for creatures of such delicate beauty.

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