Butterflies At My Fingertips

at my fingertips

I've been photographing butterflies in the field for over 10 years now. During that time, I've had a number of butterflies fly up to investigate me and sometimes, they will land on me. This isn't unusual with nymphalid species such as Anglewings, Mourning Cloaks, and especially Emperors. At some point, I noticed that if they get a taste of my sweat, they will seemingly lose most of their fear ( they like the salt ). Such was the case with the Green Comma featured in the slideshow above which I photographed back in 2009. I first photographed it on my sock, and then managed to get it onto my hand for some closer underside shots. After taking a number of photos, I had trouble convincing it to leave.

There have been a few random incidents like this since then, but early in the spring of 2012, I was photographing an Eastern Pine Elfin that was very docile - likely because it was cold out. Moving very slowly, I coaxed it onto my finger to show a friend who was nearby. Since it is difficult to judge scale in most of my butterfly images, I thought a photo of it on my finger would be useful for illustrating just how tiny an elfin is. After this, I began collecting similar photos.