Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Karen Bartelt sent some “some lepidoptera from Illinois.” Her notes are indented:

Giant swallowtails (Papilio cresphontes) courting in my backyard yesterday.  They flapped around the house for at least two hours. It was very difficult to get both of them in focus!  Finally, she landed on some ironweed (Vernonia sp).
More sex.  Orange sulphur butterflies (Colias eurytheme) mating at Jim Edgar-Panther Creek SRA near Beardstown IL.  Males are always orange; the females can be orange or white like this one.  They flew around while mating, but finally landed.
Cloudless sulphur (Phoebis sennae) on purple coneflower (Echinacea sp) in my backyard.
Luna moth (Actias luna) that I rescued from a McDonald’s drive-thru ordering kiosk.  We hung him on some foliage in our yard (maybe canna lillies) and wished him well finding a mate.
Common buckeye (Junonia coenia) from last fall in East Peoria IL on goldenrod (Solidago sp)

And reader Michelle Pearce sent a species of antelope I didn’t know existed. Look at those yellow legs! This species from southern Africa is very sexually dimorphic: males and females have different colors, and only males have horns.

I attach some pictures of nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) taken on two different occasions at game parks in KwaZulu Natal and the Waterberg. I am painting these attractive antelope at the moment and noticed that they haven’t appeared on WEIT yet! I show an old male, young male, female and fluffy-tailed youngster, I think.

Old male:

Young male:


Fluffy-tailed juvenile:


  1. rickflick
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Nice lepidoptera shots. The luna is certainly spectacular.

    It would be nice to see your paintings of the antelope Michelle. The patterning here is very unusual.

    • Posted September 10, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink


      I also made a design:

      • Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Wow! That is neat! How did you print it?

        • Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

          It’s available as print-on-demand at Redbubble.

          • Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink


            • Marlene Zuk
              Posted September 11, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

              OK, now that I started looking I can’t stop. Your nudibranchs are particularly lovely. You just don’t see enough nudibranch art, in my opinion.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Excellent work. The brushwork is lively and spontaneous. I notice the antelope does not have yellow legs in the painting, and in the design they are a softened yellow. This I would take to be artistic license. The work is given certain harmonies by shifting tones. Scientific representation is pretty much tied to a one-to-one correspondence while art emerges from an interpretation.

  2. Hempenstein
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Cool antelopes! (Perhaps a further subject for Why Are They Striped?).

  3. Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Insects! Yeah! Those are good pictures of the giant swallowtails. And I really like seeng ironweed around. Leps love ’em.

    I thought the nyala looked a lot like the kudu (greater or lesser), and the link implies that they are indeed related.

  4. Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Beautiful post, thank you.

  5. Karen E Bartelt
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Love the antelope!

  6. Mark R.
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the Butterflies and Antelope. Very lovely.

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