Vanessa cardui: Painted lady butterfly

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Vanessa cardui is a well-known colourful butterfly, known as the painted lady, or in North America as the cosmopolitan. This butterfly has a strange pattern of flying in a sort of screw shape.

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Vanessa cardui is one of the most widespread of all butterflies, found on every continent except Antarctica and South America.

Photos: Brevard, NC, USA [20151009]

Source: Wikipedia

Danaus plexippus: Monarch butterfly

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^ Male butterfly. 

The monarch butterfly or simply monarch [Danaus plexippus] is a milkweed butterfly [subfamily Danainae] in the family Nymphalidae. Other common names depending on region include Milkweed, Common Tiger, Wanderer, and Black Veined Brown. It may be the most familiar North American butterfly, and is considered an iconic pollinator species. Its wings feature an easily recognizable black, orange, and white pattern, with a wingspan of 8.9–10.2 cm [3½–4 in]. The viceroy butterfly is similar in color and pattern, but is markedly smaller and has an extra black stripe across each hind wing.

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The eastern North American monarch population is notable for its annual southward late-summer/autumn migration from the United States and southern Canada to Mexico. During the fall migration, monarchs cover thousands of miles, with a corresponding multi-generational return north. The western North American population of monarchs west of the Rocky Mountains often migrates to sites in California but has been found in overwintering Mexican sites as well.

Photos: Brevard, NC, USA [20151009]

Source: Wikipedia

Ilex sp.: Holly tree

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Ilex or holly is a genus of 400 to 600 species of flowering plants in the family Aquifoliaceae, and the only living genus in that family. The species are evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs, and climbers from tropics to temperate zones worldwide.

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The genus Ilex is widespread throughout the temperate and subtropical regions of the world. It includes species of trees, shrubs, and climbers, with evergreen or deciduous foliage and inconspicuous flowers. Its range was more extended in the Tertiary period and many species are adapted to laurel forest habitat. It occurs from sea level to more than 2,000 metres [6,600 ft] with high mountain species. It is a genus of small, evergreen trees with smooth, glabrous, or pubescent branchlets. The plants are generally slow-growing with some species growing to 25 m [82 ft] tall.

Photos: Atlanta, GA, USA [20151017]

Source: Wikipedia