Goatweed Leafwing Butterflies

Goatweed Leafwing Butterfly
Goatweed Leafwing Butterfly
Goatweed Leafwing Butterfly

These two butterflies paid a visit to our back yard just a few days prior to the latest cold wave. I’ve seen this type of butterfly in previous years, usually in the late fall and early winter. They’re very easy to miss because when their wings are closed, as they are in these photos, they resemble dead leaves. Every time I’ve had the opportunity to observe these Goatweed Leafwing Butterflies they’ve been feeding on rotting bananas. This made me curious so I did a little research. It seems some types of butterflies enjoy feeding on rotting fruit of all kinds — as well as on manure, bird droppings, dead animals, rotting insects and pet food. Our over-ripe bananas have always been placed outside for the birds — I’ve actually seen a robin feasting on one! — but now I make a habit of putting the bananas, as well as other fruit, in certain corners of the yard for butterflies to enjoy. One of our neighborhood grocery stores bags their over-ripe bananas and sells them for 99¢. Each bag contains roughly five or six pounds of bananas. I pick up a bag just about every week, allow the bananas to get really really ripe, peel them and set them outside in shallow flower pot saucers. Between the birds and the butterflies they don’t go to waste!


3 thoughts on “Goatweed Leafwing Butterflies

  1. Great tip about bananas, thanks so much! I have robins in the winter.
    I think the adaptation of this butterfly is amazing. I wonder how many generations it took to yield that result?
    Great photo!


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