Following a tip from Jon McIntyre we visited the John J. Sablatura Park just west of Banquete, Nueces County, Texas on January 26, 2020. Jon had told me that he had seen hundreds of
Definite Patches Chlosyne definita in the park, but we were stunned to see how many were flying - we estimate a minimum of a thousand individuals on the wing, and there could have been twice as many!
Here is one on the ground:
- and here is a mating pair:
Here another male is attempting a "menage a trois"!
- and then it got Caligula-esque!
Here a final instar (?) caterpillar is looking for a place to pupate:
Then Sheridan noticed some chrysalises on the low beams surrounding the kiddie play area:
so I walked around it on the inside and then on the outside, counting the chrysalies; there 431 chrysalises on the beams around this play area:
There follows a series of images of chrysalises at various stages of the pupation process - I don't have the knowledge to put them in the correct sequence, or to identfy those (if any) that have been parasitized; hopefully someone can advise me:
I think that this is the correct normal sequence:
- while these seem variants that may have "gone wrong" - ?:
a colorful beetle has found a chrysalis case:
Here a f
emale is still straightening its wings having just emerged - and already a male has found it:
Sometimes things go wrong - here a male has emerged in a deformed state, still dragging around its chrysalis:
- but the Force is strong in this one, and having sluffed-off the chrysalis, it heads towards the mating melee...
- and gets in on the action!: