Lorquin’s Admiral

Photo © Karen Straus/San Diego Audubon Society

Fun Facts:

* Their wingspan can be as small as 2 inches wide. On the other hand, Monarch butterflies have a wingspan of up to 4 inches.

* They have brown-black wings, with a row of white spots across it. The forewings have orange tips.

*Named after Pierre Joseph Michel Lorquin, a French naturalist, who made important discoveries on the natural history of the terrain.

This butterfly is perched on a willow tree. It may be a male waiting for a female, or a female laying eggs on the leaf tips. Willow is a “host plant” for this butterfly: when the eggs hatch, the caterpillars use their strong jaws to munch on the leaves. They grow fast for 2-3 weeks, then each forms a chrysalis, and emerges as a butterfly. The butterfly can eat only by sipping liquids. It unrolls its proboscis and uses it like a straw to suck nectar from flowers and water from mud puddles, since the water contains minerals. It will even sip from bird droppings and animal scat, which contain nutrients. The spiky projections on the catkin are the “fruits” of the female willow flowers. They contain tiny seeds, each attached to a bit of fluff so the wind can carry it away.


What weird things do butterflies like the Lorquin’s Admiral consume?

Click for the answer:

Butterflies often consume the dung of other animals in order to get the amino acids and salts that they are unable to get from flowers and nectar.