Buckeye Butterflies are not Blue?

Pinned Buckeye ButterflyA few years ago when I first moved to Florida I visited Edith Smith at Shady Oaks Butterfly Farm. She and her family raise butterflies for a living. I went on her butterfly tour and she showed me all of the different species she raises. Each species has its own walk-in outdoor room and this is where the adult butterflies fly free and mate. The room is furnished with the host plant for the female to lay her eggs on and as soon as the eggs are laid, Edith scoops them up. She places them in a sterilized quarantined container and feeds the newly hatched caterpillars until they turn into a chrysalis. The chrysalises are sold to live butterfly exhibits throughout the USA. She has been doing this for many years and her breeding techniques are down to a science.

One of the things Edith shared with me when I was there was her buckeye butterfly room. She began noticing that some of the buckeyes (which are usually brown) had an iridescent blue sheen over top of their brown wing scales. She separated the buckeyes with the most blue pigmentation from the brown ones and began to breed them. The results are amazing. She now has buckeyes that are blue, green, purple and some even with a hint of turquoise. She was kind enough to give me some of her special buckeyes I finally got to do this colored pencil painting. Thanks Edith for breeding these amazing butterflies!

Blue Buckeye Butterfly- Original Colored Pencil by MLighthipe ©2014

Blue Buckeye Butterfly- Original Colored Pencil 14″ x 10″ Mindy Lighthipe ©2014 $300.00

To see more of Edith’s amazing work with butterflies visit her website: Butterfly FunFacts