Battus philenor (Pipevine Swallowtail)

I finally lucked out and found a late instar Battus philenor. This guy was walking along a trail, presumably looking for a good spot to pupate. I persuaded it to walk on a stick for a brief period to pose for a couple of portraits and then left it where I found it.

The orange and black coloration exhibited by Battus philenor are considered aposematic coloration, warning would-be predators of their distasteful nature. This distastefulness is due to the sequestering of aristolochic acids that are found in their host plants of the Aristolochia genus.
A wee bit of gentle prodding coaxed the cat to evert its osmeterium, a defensive organ that is used to dissuade predators and/or parasitoids.

Spring Ephemeral of the Day – Trillium flexipes

I’ve been fortunate enough to find time to get out this spring and add some spring ephemeral wildflowers to my photographic list. Englemann Woods NA near Wildwood, MO has been a great place for this along with other nature observations. Today’s photo is Trillium flexipes. It is one of the white trillium that can be somewhat confusing to identify properly. I found a number of associated common names, but ‘nodding trillium’ seems to be the most commonly used.

Nodding Trillium
Camera settings: f/7.1, 1/25 sec., ISO-640, 90 mm focal length. Used Canon’s 90 mm tilt-shift macro lens with ~7° right tilt.