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Butterfly Patchwork


Start Month:
Catherine  Howell

Joined February 2008

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Sizing Information

  • Printed to fit A3


  • Tough wire binding and hanger
  • Stunningly sharp digital printing
  • Start the year with the month of your choice
  • 200gsm satin art paper with a tougher cover


Artist's Description

This is an assortment of beautiful butterflies that I photographed from March 2010 to October 2010.

My favorite photo is the Monarch on the cover. It seemed to be hugging the flower.

In this calendar you will find, The Queen, Black Swallowtail, Giant Swallowtail, Tiger Swallowtail, Frittilary, and Monarch Butterflies.

Thanks for looking!!

Remember, when you purchase an RB calendar it is like you have purchased 13 high quality art prints.

Butterfly Info:

“Gulf Frittilary”

The Gulf Fritillary or Passion Butterfly, Agraulis vanillae, is a striking, bright orange butterfly of the family Nymphalidae, subfamily Heliconiinae. These were formerly classified in a separate family, the Heliconiidae or longwing butterflies, and like other longwings this species does have long, rather narrow wings in comparison with other butterflies. It is not closely related to the true fritillaries. It is a medium to large butterfly, with a wingspan of 6–9.5 cm (2.4–3.7 in). Its underwings are buff, with large silvery spots. It takes its name from migrating flights of the butterflies sometimes seen over the Gulf of Mexico.

“Monarch Butterfly”

The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae), in the family Nymphalidae. It is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies. Since the 19th century, it has been found in New Zealand, and in Australia since 1871 where it is called the Wanderer. In Europe it is resident in the Canary Islands, the Azores, and Madeira, and is found as an occasional migrant in Western Europe. Its wings feature an easily recognizable orange and black pattern, with a wingspan of 8.9–10.2 centimetres (3½–4 in). (The Viceroy butterfly has a similar size, color, and pattern, but can be distinguished by an extra black stripe across the hind wing.) Female Monarchs have darker veins on their wings, and the males have a spot called the “androconium” in the center of each hind wing from which pheromones are released. Males are also slightly larger.

The Monarch is famous for its southward migration and northward return in summer in the Americas which spans the life of three to four generations of the butterfly.

“The Queen Butterfly”

The Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) is a North and South American butterfly in the family Nymphalidae (the brush-foots) with a wingspan of 2.75–3.25" (70–88mm). It is orange or brown with black wing borders and small white forewing spots on its dorsal wing surface, and reddish ventral wing surface fairly similar to the dorsal surface. The ventral hindwings have black veins and small white spots in a black border. The male has a black androconial scent patch on its dorsal hindwings.

This species is possibly a close relative to the similarly-colored Soldier Butterfly (or “Tropic Queen”; Danaus eresimus); in any case, it is not close to the Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus) as was long believed. There are about 10 recognized subspecies (Smith et al. 2005). As with other North American Danaus species, it is involved in Müllerian mimicry with the Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) where the two co-occur.
Life cycle:
Females lay small white eggs singly on plants in the milkweed subfamily (Asclepiadoideae), including Mexican Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, Desert Milkweed, and Sandhill Milkweed. The egg hatches into a black caterpillar with transverse white stripes and yellow spots, and three pairs of long, black filaments. The caterpillar feeds on the milkweed and sequesters chemicals that make it distasteful to some predators. It then goes through six instars, after which the larva finds a suitable spot to pupate. The adult emerges 7 to 10 days afterwards. D. gilippus has multiple generations a year.

Along with Monarchs, Queen butterflies are susceptible to infection by Ophryocystis elektroscirrha, a protozoan parasite.

“Black Swallowtail”

The (Eastern) Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) also called the American Swallowtail or Parsnip Swallowtail, is a butterfly found throughout much of North America. It is the state butterfly of Oklahoma. There is an extremely similar-appearing species, Papilio joanae that occurs in the Ozark Mountains region, but it appears to be closely related to Papilio machaon, rather than polyxenes.

The Black Swallowtail has a wingspan of 8 to 11 cm (3.1 to 4.3 in). The upper surface of the wings is mostly black. On the inner edge of hindwing is a black spot centered in larger orange spot. A male of this species has a yellow band near edge of wings; a female has row of yellow spots. The hindwing of the female has an iridescent blue band.

In the southwestern United States, yellow forms predominate in the subspecies Papilio polyxenes coloro.

After mating, small, yellow eggs are laid, typically on garden plants from the carrot family, Apiaceae, including dill, fennel, Queen Anne’s lace, and parsley. They are also found eating bishop’s weed. First instar larvae grow to about 1.5 cm (0.59 in). long, resemble bird droppings and are dark black with a white band in the middle and have spikes, with a light brown-orange ring at the base of each of the spikes in the dark region (spikes are white on the white band). Later instars grow to about 5 cm (2.0 in) and are yellow-white and black banded with yellow spots around every second black band. They have short, black spikes around some of the black bands, although these tend to disappear as the larva nears pupation.

The Black Swallowtail caterpillar has an orange “forked gland”, called the osmeterium. When in danger the osmeterium, which looks like a snake’s tongue, everts and releases a foul smell to repel predators.

The Black Swallowtail pupae may be green or brown, but not depending on its surroundings or what it has pupated on. The color of the chrysalis is determined by a local genetic balance which ensures that majority of pupae will blend in.

“Tiger Swallowtail”

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) is a species of swallowtail butterfly native to North America. It is one of the most familiar butterflies in the eastern United States.

Two species, the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio canadensis) and the Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio appalachiensis), are very similar to P. glaucus, and are hard to tell apart. The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail has a wingspan of 7.9 to 14 centimeters (3 to 5.5 inches). The adult male is yellow, with black “tiger stripes”. There are two morphs of adult females, a yellow one and a dark one. The yellow one is similar to the male, except there is a patch of blue on the hind wing. In the dark morph, the yellow areas are replaced by dark gray or black.

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail can be found in much of the eastern United States. It is generally common throughout its range, and can be found in various habitats, such as woodlands, woodland openings, woodland edges, fields, open areas, rivers, creeks, roadsides, gardens, urban parks, and city yards.

The female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail lays her green eggs singly on host plant leaves. Young caterpillars are brown and white, mimicking bird droppings. Older caterpillars are green, with two black, yellow, and blue eyespots on the thorax. It is also spotted with light blue on the abdomen. The caterpillar will turn brown just before pupating. It will reach a length of 5.5 centimeters (2.2 inches).8 The chrysalis varies from a whitish color to dark brown. It is usually patched with green and other dark markings.

“Giant Swallowtail”

The Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) is a swallowtail butterfly common in various parts of North America, particularly the south and east. With a wingspan of about 10–16 cm (3.9–6.3 in), it is the largest butterfly in Canada and the United States.

An adults wingspan is about 100–160 mm (3.9–6.3 in).2 The body and wings are dark brown to black with yellow bands. There is a yellow “eye” in each wing tail. The abdomen has bands of yellow along with the previously mentioned brown. Adults are quite similar to the adults of another Papilio species, P. thoas.

The mature caterpillar resembles bird droppings to deter predators, if that doesn’t work they use their red osmeterium. Older instars take on the appearance of a small snake with a fake head and eyes. The coloration is dingy brown and or olive with white patches and small patches of purple. Fruit farmers often call the caterpillars orange dogs or orange puppies because of the devastation they can cause on their crops.

Adult females lay their eggs singly on the surface of the host plant, this egg is bright orange and darken with time. The caterpillars then eat and grow to about 2 in (5.1 cm) before changing into a chrysalis. The chrysalis stage is variable but usually takes approximately 10–12 days, although in the fall they may stay in the chrysalis stage over winter and emerge in the spring.

Giant swallowtails fly from Late May-August, but in some areas of the southern United States such as Texas and Louisiana, they may be seen as late as October. All giant swallowtails have a distinctive flight pattern which generally looks as if they are “hopping” through the air. Females tend to beat their wings slowly but move quickly. Because females have such large wings, each wing beat will carry it a long way. Males however, tend to have more of a darty flight and beat their wings rapidly but move slower than females because their wings are smaller and each beat doesn’t carry them far. Giant swallowtails in general fly fast and high.

“The giant swallowtail in my calendar allowed me to stroke it’s wings and stayed very still as I photographed it.”

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Artwork Comments

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