Mating Ritual

This afternoon I released two pipevine swallowtail butterflies from their rearing cages. I place one on a plant, went off to observe a Monarch caterpillar, and came back 10 minutes later to see a male (smaller of the two, probably cruising the yard looking to score) connected to the female (on top). At sunset, several hours later, they were still there.

The females abdomen seemed to pulse, and the male was getting noticeably thinner, as if she were sucking fluids out of him.

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