Beautiful colors! I have never had much luck with the Tuberosa dispite it being native here. But I have blooms on one plant this year!
Then I have a emongus (sp) A. Syrica (I think) that refuses to bloom but gets 4 foot tall and spreads underground! Grrrr!
Nice Bruce! I am so excited to be getting some rain this morning. The Gulf is lit up with showers and thunderstorms that are rolling through my part of the world this morning. Now if we can just keep from having a hurricane...things might be looking up!
Still slow on butterflies in my neck of the woods. I have seen some cloudless sulphurs, GFs, and a Queen or two, but very few Swallowtails of any type...where did they go???
hello all- so many beautiful pics to catch up on!
can't believe i have not been on here for so long. In the past 2 weeks i have not seen much in the way of BFs. I found a bstcat on my dill, and i tried to put a mesh cover over the plant to watch the transformation, but it must have escaped after a few days. Sad. 2 days later i found a Luna moth caterpillar under our pecan tree, which immediately after going into a more secure container spun itself a cocoon and i am waiting for it to be ready in about 2-3 weeks. Happy.
I have wanted to see a luna moth my whole life. I am very excited.
also, i finally learned how to do pictures, so here is one from last year...
Bruce that was great, I enjoyed the series of photos shots.
I have lots of tiger swallowtails here. Of course Monarchs, and now I see some good sized cats again on my milkweed. A few Zebras, which I didn't ever see any last year, but no way near the amount I had two years ago. Not seeing any sulphurs lately, but did early spring. Lots of little moths.
I asked about the Milkweed bug awhile back. Until this year I've never seen them on my milkweed. I wondered if they were a "good bug" or "bad bug". Someone did respond that they didn't pay much attention to them and just let them be. I let them go for now an just ignored them, after all I couldn't really see they were harming anything. One or two of them quickly turned into more than a dozen and they kept getting larger. I started to notice my seed pods on my milkweeds were turning yellow, and eventually all withered up and never released seeds. I did some research and soon discovered these bugs are seed sap-suckers. I depend on milkweed that so easily re-seeds all over my garden as a host plant for my Monarchs. So I decided they are "bad bugs" and easily within a few minutes destroyed each one of them. They try to out run, but I easily could grab them and they met between my foot and the pavement. I lost all my seeds and will only hope new seeds will emerge in time to give me some more plants for the season. I now look for these bugs and won't allow them in my garden anymore.
Wooohoooo!!! I found my 1st 2 BST cats. this morning, that made my day! 2nd pix is the Manduca sexta/Carolina Moth's in its final phase before eclosure. I'm a happy camper ... errrr homecationeer-- that's! (grinning from ear to ear).
Thanks Bruce on the skipper, thus far I haven't seen many of them compared to last year. Sherri, keep watching the hostplant. The BSTs will surely find them sooner or later. By the end of the day yesterday I found a 3rd one. I grow both dills and parsleys for these butterflies.
Well maybe I had some on my parsley. We got home from a week vacation and both my parsley plants were totally eaten down to nothing. :)
Even with all this wind today I saw a Giant Swallowtail flying around, poor thing was having a difficult time but was persistent to land on some penta flowers. Once there it hung on good, I tried snapping photos by wind moving it around too much.
Hi everyone, I don't have a new pix to share, but while watering my 'portable butterfly garden' tonite, I spotted another BST cat. on my dills. It must be a 4th instar. Sherri, I brought the cats. indoor hoping to protect them from the predators such as wasps and birds ect. I've both dills and parsley in the little cage for the future butterlies, two of the small caterpillars still hung on the dills where I found them. The 3rd one was gently moved onto the parsley-- that's where it stayed. So they do switch their diet. Hah, I said all that about BST cat's hostplant to say this; YOU may have a lot of BSTs while you were off on vacation. lol
My swamp milkweed is doing well this year, after a slow start, and finally yesterday a Monarch came back. Just a month or so ago I saw one repeated circling the end of my pond, as if it were saying "where's my home?" I have 2 Butterfly Weed plants near the milkweed, as well. Who is the guy visiting my Lavender? I'll learn all their names eventually!
I should have looked closer at one of the previous pics in this thread... Silver Spotted Skipper?
Sallie your lavender is just as pretty as any butterfly! Wish I could grow fields of it. It doesn't like my soil . . .
I was happy today with just my usual white cabbage moths dancing around. I have hundreds of honey bees and other weird pollinators including bumbles and tiny bees and weird critters collecting pollen. I'm not exactly beekeeping so I don't know if that would be the right forum to put up my feets, but still, the sign on the gate says Monarch Waystation, so I'll just keep expecting them.
I know about the MW beetles AND the bugs. Neither are particularly favorable creatures, but as I learn they only are interested in the seed pods, I am not concerned. Also - the damned aphids - I figured that MW has been dealing with aphids for as long as there have been monarchs. The plants start looking ragged, but there are so many plants and only one of me, so if they get a couple of seed pods, they're welcome to them. :P
I do garden for wildlife, after all. You know there are some biologists out there who would get into a serious philosophical discussion about why we try to eradicate some (i.e. bacterial critters) and not others. They believe every organism has a right (?!) to exist and plays SOME important role in the ecosystem. That may be true. I'm not an ecology expert, so I obviously digress.
Another oddity - must be baby bunnies snapping the tops off of my poke MW and my purple MW. The fruits of my labor from last year - rather disappointed, particularly about the purple, but again - the wildlife. (thru gritted teeth).
By the way - for anyone else who winter-sows . . . those milk jug TOPS also act as nice biospheres for struggling seedlings and/or when you cut the tops off they can also be nice collars to protect against the dreaded baby bunnies.
Will go and play with the bugs now. I am indeed jealous of the HOMECATIONEEERS among you. ;)
p.s. still seeing darty skippers and the silver spotted skipper. AND in one of the winter-sow containers I had abandoned for lack of germination, 3 Christmas Sennas came up so I guess I am growing them after all (dam, dam DAM!!!).
Okay you all, I need your to help to help out a friend.
This is a photo of a photo they took of a moth outside their home here in Indiana. It was a large moth. She would like to have an ID on this moth. Her adult son was very much into bugs and loved moths in particular since he was a child. He committed suicide the Friday before Memorial Day...and last week this moth showed up and hung around all day. She believes it was a sign from him that he is okay now.
I told her I would try my best to find out the name of this moth for her so she can make a label for the photo.
Claudia...prayers for your friend's family. Believing in the sign is a small thing that can bring much joy in the future. I know it isn't the same, but each one of my dogs that have left me since I began gardening has a butterfly that reminds me of them. My first was a white pekinese mix that had long ears that flopped when she ran...Cabbage whites are my mariposo Chelsea to me. (smile)
Sheila -- I have buried three of my dogs on the property with an appropriate plant on top of them to represent a particular aspect of their personality. Lucy has a Winter Honeysuckle, because she was so sweet; Booger an Aromatic Sumac because the last few years of his life his breath was very "aromatic"; and Ethel an Agarita, because of both the sweet smelling flowers and the pointed leaves that could jab you (she had a temper).
I got up early yesterday morning and as is my habit opened the front door and see what and who is on the street. I noticed movement in the flower bed. It was a Sphinx moth having a late meal on the Black & Blue salvia and the native Phlox. Got the camera right quick and it complied. Maybe the Pink-Spotted Hawk moth?
Hi everyone! I'm visiting grandma in WV so I'm away from technology. Had to drive two towns over to the McDonalds to get WiFi. Grandma's neighbor has a butterfly bush with lots of activity. I've seen tons of skippers, Silver Spotted Skippers, an American Lady, a Painted Lady, a Tiger ST, a Pipevine ST, Cabbage White, Clouded Sulphur...I think that's it. Expect lots of pictures when I get back. I haven't found any caterpillars yet, but I haven't given up looking.
My house made it through Tropical Storm Debby just fine according to the neighbors. Right now we're battling 100 degree weather which actually isn't that bad since the humidity is low and it actually cools off at night. Still enjoying the air conditioning, though.
Glad the butterfly activity seems to be picking up for everyone. Keep those pictures coming!
Yay! BST cats and GF chrysalis! I was starting to get a little depressed because I haven't seen as many BF's around lately...I guess they are coming around when I am not outside because I found 3 BST cats on my Italian Parsley and 2 GF chrysalis on the Passiflora! Can't wait to see them up close.
Wow Sheila...that is a crazy looking cat there!. Is that plumbago? I saw a tersa sphinx moth cat munching away on my pentas a couple of days ago. It is gone now though. Soon to make another cool looking moth. We had a lot of rain the last couple of days and the plants are really perking up around the yard. There should be some great activity soon. I know the mosquitoes have already started to multiply..LOL.
Wonderful images of butterflies and Moth guys. Thinking of you all, who are experiencing that terrible heat wave. Hope relief come soon.
I know this is a Skipper, but don't know which one? And the one with the three butterflies, are they all Fritillary? I searched for the Orange and could not find one with that dark orange, but the ones which I thought were Pearl crescent, were among the Fritillary butterflies, a bit confused here.
I've only seen this Hummingbird clear-winged moth a few time in my life. It was a treat to get a pic of it.
and this brown little skipper. If you can ID them for me I'd appreciate it.
Had a brief storm blow through and as it was approaching all the butterflies in my flight cage started settling down to ride it out. These Giant Swallowtails (Papilio cresphontes) often roost in loose congregations like this (and with wings open).
Such clear images! Nice find Bruce. I'm having those type of cats. withdrawal. Haven't seen them last year, and thus far none this year. I suppose they'll get here in the fall. But I'm getting impatience!!! :((
Bruce lovely moth picture - I'm amazed at the diversity you have in your neck of the woods. I am starting to think that because I live so near the GSO arboretum and that one of our restored streams that travels near our neighborhood has lots of milkweeds and such sat I am being passed by/passed over.
It's okay - I do tend to have a fascinating collection of pollinators - but I do miss the butterflies.
Keep those images coming! Lily and I will have to be content with yours.
p.s. started a new job recently so I've been AWOL.
I can't believe this! My first BST eclosed just a little bit earlier ... today. It took the Chrysalis merely 10 days from pupation to eclosure. This is a personal record for me. As I recalled in the past it took more than 2 weeks duration! Whoa!!!
Great success all of you...nice pics too!! I have several BST in chrysalis now, with several more feeding. My last Pipevine hasn't emerged so I think it may be a gonner but won't give up yet. I can't see any holes or discoloration.
Lily_love wrote:I can't believe this! My first BST eclosed just a little bit earlier ... today. It took the Chrysalis merely 10 days from pupation to eclosure. This is a personal record for me. As I recalled in the past it took more than 2 weeks duration! Whoa!!!
Thank you Bruce, I'm very pleased with the success. I've various spot in the garden with Parsley and Dills, I hope to find more cats. but haven't (found any) so far. Sheila, hope you will succeed with the Pipevine butterfly.
OT; but it's essential~
< i > For those of us that gardening in regions that are known to be affected with Tick bites. Take good care for I'm being work-up for RMSF. (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever) . The danger of the disease could be serious if left untreated. Happy butterfly gardening everyone.
In WV, I got a tick attached TO MY HEAD! I was seriously freaking out. So far no symptoms of anything. Everyone be careful though. I was just caterpillar hunting and got a tick instead. Bummer. I swear I will post pictures of my vacation soon.
Love the pictures - RSPs are some of my faves. I rarely get the Silver Spotted Skippers but they were all over WV.
I hope you don't mind my sharing some pics. Don't have a clue what they are (still haven't gotten the Kaufman book Marna recommended. I have to order it since I haven't found one in any of the stores).
I have about 7 so it will take two posts. The oranges are on a feeder for the Orioles. I also put grape jelly in the orange peel as the pulp gets eaten leaving room.
Is #3 a Cabbage White? It seemed to like the Veronica Giles Van Hees (Speedwell)
Bravo nutsaboutnature! Verly lovely photos. I'll wait until someone with more knowledge to help i.d. those beauties. At the mean time, I've one more BST ecloses around noon time today. Weeee! Is this a female BST?
Thanks so much for the names, Marna!
Butterflies around here have been scarce and it's been so hot that many of my blooms are drying up. We're on water restrictions so I can't do a lot of watering. I wish we'd get a decent rain so the rain barrel would fill up.
Anyway, I'm on my way right now to label my pics before I forget!
ROFL on your comment nutsaboutnature. Many thanks. Those little ones do make my heart sings. Drought is bad this year that's fur sure. Farmers are losing crops because of it. It's bad.
Did you know? Those so called hummingbird moths help pollinate the type of trumpet- shape flowers? Thanks to those moths, I've this datura's seedpod developing. Otherwise, most of the flowers will eventually wilt and fall off.
After a stroll in the garden this evening. I discovered 5 more BST cats. prob. 1st, maybe one is on its 2nd instar. I feel so RICH. lol.
Lily, that's fascinating about the hummingbird moths. Thanks for sharing that info! The one I saw kept flying around the yard, but only seemed interested in the Monarda and kept returning to it.
My various Monardas haven't grown as well this year and the 'Jacob Cline', which are normally huge, barely grew. I may look for more annuals to plant or put in pots for the hummers, butterflies and bees, even though it's so late in the season.
As I've learned over the years... the Clearwing is one that is frequently seen during day light. Most others hawkmoths are nocturnal. That's when they do their night-shift duty I guess. lol
I have gradually adapted to year-round gardening for wildlife. I've lots of colorful tenderperennials to provide for wildlife habitat beside a few reliable perennials in the garden. Most of those are in containers. I find drought and heat are very challenging factors for container culture, however.
As of now, I have 11 BST cats. and 2 more chrysalid. I'm so excited with my BST success this season. Can't wait 'til the Monarch pass by here ... soon, I hope.
Glad everyone is having fun with their cats and butterflies. I had four big Monarch cats up front on the milkweed, but they were gone today (to Mom's dismay). I assured her that judging by how they'd stripped the plant they were probably wandering around looking for a good place to get out of the rain and make a chrysalis. Dad spotted the Monarch butterfly and the Giant ST today but other than that it's been kind of quiet. Lots of rain here is making butterfly spotting difficult. Wish I had more caterpillars but I know they'll come soon enough! I've already got baby Monarchs on the back porch, but I want Swallowtails (whine, whine)!
Ok Mel, I'll sand you my swallowtails for some Monarchs please. My 3rd one eclosed around noonish today. Another pretty boy. Before the BST eclosed, I did capture a pix of a female in the garden. I hope the two of them will find one another.
Lily_love, your third picture is actually a Spicebush Swallowtail. Spicebush Swallowtails have a "gap" in the band of orange dots on the underside of the hindwing -- Eastern Black Swallowtails have a solid band of these orange spots. If you look closely you can see this in your pictures. Actually, here's a couple of pictures from my website to illustrate the point. The first one is an Eastern Black Swallowtail; the second a Spicebush Swallowtail.
You are such a handy man to have around Dale...please continue to keep us straight!
Mrs Ed...so sorry about the lack of bfs...what is the cause?
We are having an influx of Queens around lately. I have BST still in chrysalis and tiny cat form. A Pipevine ST was active again today. I have been so busy with getting flooring in the house that I really have had time to observe much.
Well off to my volunteer job...la..la..la.later folks.
2 more GFs and another BST eclosed in the last couple of days. All released to flit around the neighborhood! Sorry...no pics lately. The yard is looking a little like a jungle with all the rain we have been having lately. Quite a change from last year. We are also being invaded by spiders of all kinds. I have never seen so many!
I know this isn't a BF, but it was an interesting web on the lantana.
The picture is a little deceiving because I took it on the macro setting. The spider is about 1 inch long.
Sheila, you're certainly right about the influx of Queens in the area. To me, these are sort of the signature butterfly of summer. I've got so many flying around here it's almost distracting when I walk along looking for something else on the wing. Here's a pic of some in the back yard settling down for the night. Not the clearest picture as it was almost dark. There were a couple of little clusters like this scattered around.
Shelia, Illinois & Indiana are two of the states suffering from severe drought this year and our plants are drying out and dying. I have had to quit watering since we are on a well. I do have a few plants that don't require much water are are struggling but still offering something for the BF's. Had this Giant Swallowtail the other day. I would have missed it if one of my granddaughters hadn't seen it thru the window!
Hellooooo everyone, sorry I have been away so long. I am back to the garden putting in the blood sweat and tears and really starting to see the rewards.
I decided to try my hand at raising some young which is completely new to me, and I am a little overwhelmed. I have raised and released many bst, gst, and pst so far and have dozens of cats, I have been blessed this season. I will post pics when I can. If anyone has tips and or pics on I would be much obliged.
Greetings - love the images - especially that last one from Dale. HA! Wandering around the backyard - I'd be dumbstruck to see them settling in like that here.
I'm not seeing bigger leps but a lot of moths lately increasing and tons of pollinators which is still a lot of fun. I also garden for wildlife - my BF paid me the ultimate compliment last weekend and told me my garden looked like a powerline easement. :)
I also had to tear open a datura that had closed - there were 3 honeybees trapped in that flower buzzing.
Keep up the good work!
and for folks in water restrictions and drought - I am all sympathy - have you thought about using gray water for your plants?
Russell ...cool web "x marks the spot I guess".
Dale...Wonderful site, didn't realize they roosted communially! LOL! I don't have that many, but 4-6 a day is a lot for me. DH keeps saying I think there is a Monarch out there, then I have to go see the Queen. LOL!
Nanny...So sorry about the drought conditions there, we feel your flustration since that was us last year.
Viceroy...Good to know you are hooked on helping out the bfs!
Amanda...They were desprately trying to nectar to the last minute I guess. My poor Daturas looked like I had broken a stalk this afternoon, but then we had a rain storm move in and dropped 1/2 inch of cooling much needed rain. I am sure I will have some blooms tonight.
Was deadheading today including a giant dill which had gone to seed. I realized there might be bugs on the dill so I laid it down on in the bed with the the rest of the dill. Later today I found an almost full-grown BST cat on that dill plant. LOTS of skippers and moths today. I think we saw a yellow swallowtail on the wing too on its way out of the yard. I think we're ramping up. :)
Did the cat. transform completely into a chrysalis like this Viceroy? Mine I allow them to crawl up to the side of the cage/or mesh like pavillon to spin their silk. I rarely have seen them fall off. Should one falls. I'd wait until their transformation is done. Then I would use a piece of paper towel roll up into a scoop, then scoop the chrysalis up and place it onto a dill's inflorescent if available. This way when it ecloses it has something to cling on and dry its wings. My set- up allow them to hang on to the wall of the cage and dry their wings without any problem.
If you are saying it slipped out of the harness or it broke, then take a narrow strip of paper towel and make a pocket. Put it LOOSELY around it by gluing on either side to hold it at the correct position. If it is bent and lifeless, with the process not complete, it may have be parasitized. I would then put it in a separate cage to trap and kill the wasp or fly.
Gorgeous photos! I'm so impressed with all of you that are raising BF.
Sorry about the lack of activity Marna. I can definitely vouch for the drought. You're West of me and we've also been super hot and dry this year. Much, much worse than normal. Of course our water restrictions make it worse. We finally had a decent thunderstorm a few days ago and I think the rainbarrel is full, but that won't last long.
Bruce...Looking good up there in the north. Hope we have a lot of Monarchs migrating in the fall.
Lily ...Congrats on the TST!! Glad to see the new instars too. You might clip the flower heads and place them on the fresh parsley leaves to make sure they know it is available.
Nan and Russell, please send some Giant STs. butterfly my way. I haven't seen them in person. Bruce may send me some Monarch if he likes, lol. I like Bruce when I keep my BSTs chrysalid indoor I barely mist them. Though, when I do, they do wiggle a great sign that they're alive and well. ~grin.
Thanks Marna for the drought graphic link. Boys I tell you it's rough nation-wide this year compared to most recent years. Thank you Sheila for the tips on clipping the old spent dills. I agreed, those little ones are slow to find the fresh food source, unlike other hogs-like caterpillars such as the Hawk Moth's cats. lol Amanda, I do get those Long Tail Skippers down here. Last year they were abundant, however, this year they're somewhat fewer.
Hah, don't know what have I got here. It's difficult to tell, if it's not a butterfly, I'll try again. Please bear with me.
It's neat how the skippers have their ranges. Here I get the Long Tailed along with the Dorantes, and only occasionally a Silver Spotted Skipper. But other places it's the complete opposite! Good thing we have the forum to share!
Right now my Monarch babies have eaten all of my plants and wandered off to pupate. I expect to see some flying around in the next week or so. It's been so hot I haven't wanted to go outside to check my host plants. It's every caterpillar for himself! But I'll get out there soon and see if anyone is in need of a rescue.
Hot it is Melanie...take care of yourself!
Those skippers are fast ones for sure.
Viceroy... I mist here if I have them caged where they don't get the normal rain. It is so hot I have had some just turn crispy and they tried to emerge when they didn't have enough moisture. Like Lily said, lightly.
Sheila_FW wrote:Hot it is Melanie...take care of yourself!
Those skippers are fast ones for sure.
Viceroy... I mist here if I have them caged where they don't get the normal rain. It is so hot I have had some just turn crispy and they tried to emerge when they didn't have enough moisture. Like Lily said, lightly.
Ok perfect,thanks again for the help. My cat from last week that fell pupated properly, and if all goes well should eclose in another week or so. If all goes well I will be releasing 20 or so Gst and about 25 bst in approx 2-3 weeks so wish me luck. And thanks to everyone for the help.
Some of you probably subscribe to Garden Gate Magazine. The August issue had a neat BF article by Rick Mikula, author of "The Family Butterfly Book". Anyway, he listed a recipe he uses to attract and nourish Butterflies.
I just scanned the recipe and am trying to upload it here. Not sure if it's going to work so I'll cross my fingers.
He suggests either pouring it onto a sponge or paper towels in a saucer or sprinkling it over a dish of sand or soil. I haven't yet tried it, but it looks interesting plus he said it keeps for up to three months in the fridge.
I see that it uploaded, but isn't as clear as it could be. Also, some of the words look kind of funny and crooked. If any of you are interested in it, but can't read it very well, let me know and I'll try just taking a photo of it and uploading that. It might come out better than the scan did.
I haven't a picture yet, but my buddliea should be call a "skipper bush", instead of a butterfly bush. They are just the small brown ones. I do not know which kind they are. The butterflies have disappeared for now, though I see an occasional small blue flitting around at a fast pace. I can't seem to get it to pose.
Watch out for caterpillar escapees!!! LOL. These guys are plotting the same game plan. But they didn't succeed for I zipped mine up after I changed out their munchies today. Here they're exploring the fresh parsley and bronze fennel that I just put in the cage. V.R. Congrats, good luck with catching the future butterflies before they take flight! Which could be fun...
Earlier today, I found 3 Tersa Sphinx caterpillars on my Pentas. Late this evening, I found two more on the same Pentas container...seems like I am on a quest for a new pentas plant for the hungry piglets. lol. It's getting late here for me. Will post the Tersa Sphinx cats. pics. in the morning.
Oh my! V.R. are those GST instars on lemon leaves? The GSTs don't frequent this far down my way, I don't regcon? Please post some pics. as they get bigger and molt. I am learning that it isn't "nice" to pride those little BST instars off of their wandering places, for they were finding a peaceful place where they can molt in peace (as appose to being in the crowd among their siblings during chow times -- LOL). I observed one that is molting at the moment where I left it be when I cleaned out the cage earlier. It's so cool.
No pic. of the BSTs for now, but here are 2 pics. of the mentioned Tersa sphnix moth's late instars. If one looks closely, one will find two cats in brown color, and one in green. To me, I think they're just as currious looking and almost as curious-looking as are Spicebush caterpillars. Enjoy!
Ooops; I've lost track of the thumbnails, will return with the photos as I find them.
Okay, here are the Tersa sphinx cats. These big cats. must mostly be the final 5th instars. I noticed there is a smaller one perhaps 4th instar. Of which they are about to wander off and pupate within the soil below. I thought of bringing them indoor, but they seem to be in a place where predators aren't likely to find 'em. So I'm hoping that that would work out fine. Keeping my fingers crossed for these future pollinators.
Sheila_FW wrote:Nice picture of the viceroy...Viceroy! LOL! We don't get those this far up that I know of.
LOL, I don't recall seeing any of those down here either. Unless I was unable to differentiate the two. GST is a rarity here for me V.R. For citrus are almost subtropical, and I only have one or two in containers, thus finding a GST straying out here must be a lifer for me.
Temp. was really hot, I had an exudus of these Catalpa caterpillars ... I thought these poor things were ready to wander off to pupate? At the the end of the day. There were several of them hanging out on limbs of non-hostplants. So I decided to take 3 inside a butterfly cage to observe their molts...
They continue to wander, and had shown no signs of 'settling down'. So I figured they may be hungry. Sure enough, the regugees were. It took no time for one to find the catalpa leaves/branch I brought indoor. And now, the 3 are happily chowing down.
Two years ago on vacation the catalpa cats were out in force and I decided to grab one and see what happened with it. My grandma couldn't believe I wanted a catalpa "worm" and I had to tell her that it would turn into a moth. She couldn't believe those worms turned into anything; it was hilarious. By the way, they apparently make wonderful fish bait; I read where they used to farm them for just such a thing. But I would never do that to a caterpillar. : )
They're really fast moving cats. Glad you've shared that joy with your grandma. I'm looking forward to share the joy with my grandchild when he visits next time. lol. Be assure, they aren't fishbaits around here. DH doesn't fish much in which I'm okay with that. lol
I just had two BSTs pupated, they both look somewhat smaller than the last brood. I wonder why? Anyhooo, the 3 Catalpa cats are active still. Two wander around, one still munching likes there is no tomorrow.
Outdoor, my brown Tersa sphinx cat. has wandered off, left the green one on the pentas this evening.
Don't get me started on Tersa Sphinx moths!! They've been a "problem" for me all year. Somehow a pair or more of them got inside my flight cage over winter when I moved some pentas inside and planted them. It was not intentional at all. Well, they reproduced so well that I've easily removed a couple of hundred of them over the last few months. Needless to say, my pentas look horrible in the flight cage! It got to the point that I removed most of the pentas and have pretty much gotten a handle on the problem now (I think!). I found these two in there a week or so ago, flaunting their reproductive destructive nature right in front of me! They were quickly removed and released outside. Tersa Sphinx in nature are not nearly so destructive. Oh, sure, they'll munch down a pentas or two, but predators keep them in check for the most part (and the plants recover). In my flight cage there were no predators. I'm just hoping that I've got them all out of there now.
Omigoodness. You all have been busy and all the critters are awesome - love the escapees. :)
I saw my first Monarch tonight. 2 weeks earlier than "normal" for the first appearance, but very glad!
Also noticed many BST on dill which may come in tomorrow. I'd seen a single cat a couple of weeks ago, but it disappeared overnight.
I didn't grow senna this year - well interestingly enough -seeds that did not sprout the first time sprouted about a month ago. The 3 small plants are chewed to bits. Don't suppose I'll get one to bloom this year either.
Had 2 eastern swallowtail, a question mark trying to compete with flies for a dish of spoiled fruit, and 2 monarch today, in addition to crazy skippers AND we pulled in 7 BST cats from a fennel plant. There were gads of them on a nearby dill that were gone this morning when I went to look for them.
Just got back from Cozumel and found these large butterflies around the island. Maybe a Blue Morpho? Of course, my daughter was able to coax one to crawl on her finger. I never could get a good picture of the dorsal side, very bright blue in color. Still not much happening in my yard, though.
I finally braved the weather despite my swearing I wasn't coming out of the house until late September. It's a good thing I did because I found two Giant ST eggs on my mother's Meyer Lemon tree. That thing has been there for years and this is the first time I've seen eggs on it. The rue was completely empty - go figure!
I also saw this guy hanging out on the milkweed. I spotted some eggs too, but this was the only Monarch caterpillar I saw.
Really great series of pictures. Especially the upside down Frit (Mel) and the green hairstreak!
Been raining here all week. Rreminds me a bit of last spring, though we have 7 BST chrysalis and there's a monarch or 2 cats out there on the tropical MW that have been too small really for me to grab. Hope they're hanging on in the wet weather.
Welcome Tim! Don't be a stranger and feel free to ask all the questions you like. We have a bunch of great people on this forum who can answer just about anything (or find out from somewhere else). I like your pics, too!
Sheila_FW wrote:Dallas is going to aerial spray for mesquitos...I know you must be concerned Dale.
Yeah, Sheila, it's pretty much beyond stupid. About ten years ago I talked to the head of Dallas County Health and Human Services (after talking my way up the chain of command). I kept pointing out how completely ineffective spraying was against mosquitoes, the harmful side effects on non-target animals, the killing of natural mosquito predators, etc. After badgering her with facts she finally lowered her voice and admitted to me that it was pretty much useless but they had to do it to pacify the general public and that her hands were tied. Ugh! Yes, West Nile is a bad thing if you're unfortunate enough to get really sick with it (most don't), but in every case I've heard, the people did not use any precautions (spray, etc.) which is why they were bitten in the first place. Personal responsibility is the best defense. Thankfully, I'm south of Dallas by 20 miles and in another city who (so far) have no interest in spraying.
And now, a positive post! Here's a White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae) caterpillar and adult butterfly. I caught a female White Peacock about a month ago down in the Texas Hill Country and have been raising a bunch of these guys. A really cool caterpillar and a beautiful butterfly.
Dale, what are you raising the White Peacocks on? I've used bacopa before but I know they'll use frogfruit as well.
I went outside to collect caterpillars today. I found an egg on my rue and a small cat that looked like a Black ST. Unfortunately, I lost the cat whem I went to pick pipevine. I stood and stared at the ground for a long time but couldn't find where I dropped him. : ( I did pick the Polydamas off the pipevine and brought them in. I also have five Monarchs but I'm leaving them on the milkweed since they seem to be doing fine and I'm a little inundated with the other cats. My Giant STs are getting bigger and munching away!
Mel - eek! Polydamas. Am I out of their range? I'll have to look into distribution.
Brought in 5 more monarch cats tonight. That's 25 more than I had last year at this time!
The year before we had crazy numbers, but more towards September. I'm already crazy with them and I'm back to work. I text my BF during the day to check on the bugs when he comes home to let the dogs out. Glad I didn't plant senna this year. The sulfurs would have put me over the top. :D
It's been a real bad season for Monarch's here in Michigan. Both my daughters collect cats and have the whole butterfly house setup to raise them to butterflies. Well out of about 30 cats this year, only 2 have made it to adulthood. Must be diseased. When they start to go into the chrysalis stage, the chrysalis will not form completely. You have half chrysalis and half cat and they just eventually die. Such a shame and really heartbreaking.
Nice pix on the White Peacock Dale, nice collection Mrs. Ed. and Melanie those Polies are promising, hope to see them in their beautiful attires soon. hemlady, sorry to hear the Monarch didn't do so well there. By far, I've not seen one in the garden. I've seen two orangist butterflies enroute home within a 50 miles traveling. I think those maybe migrating Monarch, but uncertain. At the mean time, I'm keeping my eyes peeled out for any sign of them in the garden. Most of my Milkweeds are setting out seeds, or nearly so.
I had a Monarch outside on the milkweed and he decided to crawl up the lanai screen and make his chrysalis. I was leaving it alone until today when I saw a bird pecking at the silk! Dad banged on the window and scared it off and then I went outside to bring the chrysalis in. The chrysalis is turning dark so I expect a butterfly within a day or two.
Saw a White Peacock outside today - haven't seen one in a while. Meanwhile, the Poly cats are still munching away and the Giant STs have molted again. Can't wait to see them all in their butterfly form!
Well it took me awhile to go through all the wonderful photos you've been posting. You sure have been busy.
Dale that Olive Hairstreak is really pretty.
BCH521, what a great collection of butterfly photos...so beautiful.
Viceroy had to laugh about the escapees.
Mrs. Ed, lily, yak, mel, nanny, tim, nuts, amanda, dale, shelia, BCH, and Viceroy...hope I didn't leave anyone out, but I just love the time you all take in posting your photos. I really do enjoy watching your butterfly raising.
Some visitors in my garden that I managed to capture with the camera.