These butterflies are Bordered Patches. The coloring can be quite varied. One of these butterflies is white and black, the other has an orange band. Sometimes the colored bands are wider. These butterflies were very abundant in Arizona. I felt like I was going to step on them, but they always flew. The caterpillars eat sunflowers and related plants. This species lives in the southwestern US and Mexico.
My film, "The Secret Lives of Monarchs," is now available on Amazon.
As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, I studied Conservation of Natural Resources. I took a couple of entomology classes and became very interested in insects. After I graduated, I held several jobs working with bugs: in the fields of central California, the forests of Connecticut and Idaho, and the labs of Berkeley. Then I went to grad school and studied entomology at UC Riverside and UC Berkeley (back in the olden days when UCB had an entomology department). When my kids were little, I wanted to share my love of insects with them, so I started a butterfly garden before butterfly gardens were popular. Then of course, their teachers asked me to bring caterpillars into the classroom and I started doing classroom presentations. I do presentations in elementary schools, provide teacher trainings, teach adult school classes, and bring live insect specimens to garden fairs. I am also publishing a series of butterfly paper-crafts in the Butterfly Gardener Magazine.