you may, or may not recall the two fortunate chrysalids I managed to rescue from the - now-razed - weed patch and the forested area and how amazed I was when one emerged, brilliantly orange in colour, the other, a duller shade of brown. Indeed so excited I was that I figured the butterfly may have in fact been exhibiting signs of industrial melanism and even wrote an entire post about it using the classic text-book study of the peppered moth. Turns out, of course, there was nothing exceptionally special with my butterflies (aside from the fact that they are extremely remarkable specimens for their kind) and I had decided to release them - away from where I found them, somewhere closer to home - in the hopes that they would exploit the overgrowth of passiflora vines which are ever threatening to creep into my own garden from the abandoned house next door. Of course, these are not the first butterflies of the Tawny Coster (acraea terpsicore) which I have released around here, and it is sad for me to report that of all the hundreds of these brilliant, lazy-flying orange butterflies I have released, thusfar not a single one has ever returned, not to make nurseries out of the passiflora vines, nor to make merry amongst the lantanas (which are currently in full bloom at our garden.) So imagine my pleasant surprise, today, when I opened the door to get to my car and noticed this.
Lovely, aren't they? And as soon as I left I noticed them taking off towards the passiflora patch next door! A male and a female... heading towards host plants. I may be lucky yet... but there's no way to tell until next season, when I see more butterflies coming back to the garden!