Smarty Plants

'Fake' eggs
‘Fake’ eggs

Well, not unusual, but I learned something new about one of my favorite plants…the passion flower!  As Jon was teaching me how to look for butterfly eggs on the leaves of the passion vine (which are small and yellow), I thought I was seeing a lot of them.  There were these little yellow dots all over the leaves!

He explained that the plant has ‘learned’ that the butterflies don’t like to lay their eggs next to other eggs.  So the plant started making these yellow dots on itself to fool the butterflies into thinking they were eggs so they wouldn’t lay them.

Real egg
Real egg

The reason it doesn’t want them is because the larvae (caterpillars) eat those leaves.  So in order to ‘save itself’, it has evolved in this manner.  How freeking amazing is THAT?  And how long did it take for the plant to do this?  And HOW did the plant know that the eggs were YELLOW!?!?  I think that’s what is really baffling.  So we often find eggs laid on the tendrils of the vine where the yellow spots haven’t formed and it’s nice and tender.  We also find them on the ends of brand new leaves.  So I wonder if the plant will evolve further to keep the eggs off of it somehow.

The citrus fruit just gets weirder.  Remember the orange limes and green oranges in Costa Rica?

Striped oranges
Striped oranges

Well here the lemons can be orange inside, the limes inside are either green or yellow and I just noticed these striped oranges in the yard today.  snozberries STRIPED ORANGES!?!?

It’s like Willy Wonka lives here.  Next thing I’ll find are snozberries!

IMG-20140111-01367
Caligo’s right after emerging

Some of the Caligo’s have emerged from their chrysalis and I got picture of them before they left their box.  Pretty neat looking butterflies.  One edge of them looks like a lizard/snake face and when fully opened, looks like an owl.  I’ll add some pictures of the Caligo and Blue Mexican butterflies.  One hung onto my shorts for a while today!

Mexican blue
Mexican blue
Caligo and Mexican Blue
Caligo and Mexican Blue
Oooo pardon me!
Oooo pardon me!
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2 thoughts on “Smarty Plants

  1. Andrea January 14, 2014 / 7:02 am

    Bryn says, “That’s amazing!” She loves butterflies, was even one for Halloween.

  2. Chris January 22, 2014 / 9:46 am

    The butterflies are beautiful! BTW! What are shorts!? Lol! Envious! It is FREEZING here!
    It is 10°….. ;(

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