Can you guess what the butterfly was doing? Note her shadow on the violet leaf.
|Variegated Fritillary, Euptoieta claudia, laying an egg on a violet leaf|
Here is a photo of one of the eggs the butterfly laid.
I hope the eggs hatch before the lawn gets mowed, although another observation I made was the butterfly would select small or younger leaves on which to oviposit. I staked out a violet patch with big obvious leaves, anticipating some easy close-up pictures, but she just flew over a few times and went on to other smaller leaves. I'm not sure of the reason for selecting the smaller leaves, but that may unintentionally benefit the eggs by keeping them out of the mower's way.
|Variegated Fritillary, Euptoieta claudia, ovipositing on a violet leaf|
There is probably more to it than that, but needless to say, I was impressed with her host plant selection capabilities.
Ah yes, it was pleasant to observe and ponder the host plant locating abilities of the Variegated Fritillary. Also, thanks to her egg-laying pauses, I had a few chances to take some tolerable photos.