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Hummingbird and Butterfly Gardening: Daily pictures #97

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 20, 2012
1:33 PM

Post #9247933

We came from here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1265681/

Wow, that thread was getting long! Here's one of many Gulf Frits that were in my yard today. It helps when you have passion vine on two sides of the house!

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 20, 2012
1:36 PM

Post #9247936

sunkissed, I love those pictures, especially the last one of the Palamedes Swallowtail. I haven't seen one of those in a while.

I did see three Zebra Longwings in my butterfly garden today. They were hitting up the porterweed, tassel flower, and Spanish needles.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 20, 2012
1:40 PM

Post #9247942

Here's another shot of the Zebra nectaring on the porterweed.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 20, 2012
1:40 PM

Post #9247943

And one more of the Zebra just for fun!

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 20, 2012
1:42 PM

Post #9247946

I went to repot some orchids in my shade house and found a stunning discovery - a Gulf Frit chrysalis. This thing must have traveled 30-40 yards to get to where it is. It never ceases to amaze me how far they'll wander in search of a good hiding place.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 20, 2012
1:45 PM

Post #9247954

I walked around the house ready to go inside when something fluttered around. It was a Carolina Satyr! I was glad to see it since I haven't seen one around the house in a long time.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 20, 2012
1:49 PM

Post #9247963

And finally, I wanted to share a picture of my Polydamas cats. They had just molted and they always look so black and velvety afterwards it makes me want to pet them. I just wanted to share it with all my DG friends since I know many of you never see these cats.

Melanie

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

August 20, 2012
4:40 PM

Post #9248144

Now those are interesting cats, Mel! Great shots.

Thanks for the new thread too. :)

Russell

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 21, 2012
6:18 AM

Post #9248690

Hey everybody - I'm insane trying to rehab some monarch cats (4) who aren't doing their thing. Good news is though, that 2 of them, after being offered different kinds of MW have started to eat again - common MW. None of the cats were pulled from the common MW so it's strange for the preference, but if it gets them thru this "phase" and on to migration, well it'll be worth the insanity.

There are 19 chrysalis and 3 big cats ready to take their turns.

On Saturday, almost at once, about 10 of them all started marching around to find a spot to hang from. I moved all of them into the large enclosure that the BST had occupied. Fortunately (?!) the last remaining BST chrysalis popped about the same time and I released the last of them.

Not much butterfly watching here - mostly cabbage whites, an occasional Eastern Tigertail and the motley crew of skippers and hairstreaks.

Thanks for all your pics and the updates. I've read that conditions are fairly poor and migration numbers expected to be low again due to drought and warmer temps having caused host plants to bloom out already. Back to tend those in sick bay!

A.

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sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 21, 2012
12:40 PM

Post #9249101

mellie, last summer I didn't see one single zebra longwing. This year they are all over the garden. Maybe the wetter weather is the reason...I know my passifloras are growing wild with all this rain.

Good luck with your monarch cats Amanda.
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

August 21, 2012
1:52 PM

Post #9249178

Here's another species that I collected down in the Texas Hill Country back in July -- Crimson Patch (Chlosyne janais). These guys feed on members of the Acanthus family, such as Flame Acanthus and Firespike. We don't get them really in North Texas but they are found in the Austin/San Antonio area and southward.

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AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 21, 2012
6:20 PM

Post #9249480

I spoke too soon!

Towards the end of the afternoon I saw a Zebra Swallowtail and a Monarch!

The sufur and skippers are omnipresent, but still cute. :)

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juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

August 21, 2012
7:51 PM

Post #9249558

I saw a BST cat today nibbling away on the bronze fennel,and a little after that a male and a female Bee Tailed Hummingbird had a feed meeting at the same.That was delightful to watch!!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 23, 2012
5:20 AM

Post #9250925

Great photos Melanie, Amanda, Dale. Good on you juhur7, those BST are lovely. Dale the Crimson Patch are gorgeous, Mel, those Zebra Long wings are beautiful, please send some my way please. :) Guys, I was so excited to have seen my 1st Monarch in the garden for the season. The other must be an American Lady?

Ooops, I can't find where to upload my pix with a new feature on my pc this morning.!

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 23, 2012
11:01 AM

Post #9251279

Hurray Lily! I'm glad you've been rewarded for waiting patiently. :)

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 23, 2012
12:01 PM

Post #9251332

Thanks Amanda, not so thrilled for the fact that I'm NOT able to post my photos at present... Oh, the Monarch returned today. It is a 'boy' Monarch I think, so no eggs hunting yet. Well, I did kinda peek at the Milkweeds, just in case. lol

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 23, 2012
6:02 PM

Post #9251661

It can't hurt to look. :)

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 23, 2012
6:11 PM

Post #9251666

Agreed. lol

O.T. Has anyone have problem with loading photos to our threads? I have. Tomorrow I'll be visiting a local botanical garden that's said to have imported at least 30 different species of butterflies. I'll have alot of pics. to share, but if I can't upload them. I may as well cry.

This message was edited Aug 23, 2012 7:13 PM

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 23, 2012
6:12 PM

Post #9251667

...botanical garden...

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 23, 2012
6:12 PM

Post #9251668

Yes, I don't have the choose file button either. One of my friends on the orchid forum said he was told to delete cookies then log out and back in, but that hasn't worked for me yet.

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 23, 2012
6:15 PM

Post #9251670

Yep, admin's staff advised me the same ... but how do I delete cookies? LOL, I can eat cookies. ROFL.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 23, 2012
6:17 PM

Post #9251673

Finally! It worked. You can usually go under "Tools" then "Internet Options" to find where to delete cookies.

Melanie
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

August 24, 2012
8:10 AM

Post #9252126

Here's a White Peacock (Anartia jatrophae luteipicta) pupa. The butterfly should eclose within the next hour or so.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
www.dallasbutterflies.com

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tlm1
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 24, 2012
8:32 AM

Post #9252143

What a beautiful thing!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 24, 2012
12:22 PM

Post #9252313

I think Zebra Longwings have taken up permanent residence in my butterfly garden. There's always two or three of them when I go outside. Then, I got a picture of a Monarch doing what they do best - laying more eggs on my milkweed!

Melanie

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EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

August 24, 2012
6:54 PM

Post #9252718

Love all the posts. I have been living in the butterfly garden this summer...
My aunt sent me eggs of the Zebra Longwings from Florida,, I haven't seen them around here, but have lots of passion vine, so am hoping they will like being transplanted. Have lots of chrysalis so keeping fingers crossed.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 25, 2012
4:07 AM

Post #9252937

Milbert's Tortoiseshell. This is the 1st I have seen this year. Starting to get a lot of butterflies, so hopefully I will get some time today to take and post some photos. We should be releasing 5-10 monarchs a day through the middle of September. DW says the ones she's releasing are really strong and fast, so it looks like they are the migrators--time to start tagging!

Happy gardening

Bruce

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lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

August 25, 2012
6:47 AM

Post #9253028

Mellie, I'm envious that you have Zebra Longwings in your yard all the time. I have yet to see one of our native Zebra Longwings in my yard. Of course, I raise them (from stock I got in south Texas), but those stay inside my flight cage and I'm very careful about making sure they don't escape. For people like me that monitor population movements and range extensions, etc., artificial releases always cloud the science. We get them naturally in north Texas some years, and this is one of those years as they've been reported in the Duncanville area about a month ago. I'm keeping my eyes open! A more regular visitor most years is the Long Tailed Skipper (Urbanus proteus). I had this one show up yesterday afternoon in my yard, so all of you other north Texas Dave's Gardeners, be on the lookout.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
www.dallasbutterflies.com

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tlm1
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 25, 2012
8:32 AM

Post #9253129

I've been gardening for some time, but only recently have I been "getting into" butterflies. I received a Passiflora incarnata some time back, and have fallen in love with the flying flowers! The Gulf Fritillaries have moved in and are really putting on a show. I believe I have also seen a Zebra Longwing, but it didn't stick around for very long. I was out in the garden this morning and wanted to share a little of what I saw.
I also have a question. Maybe you can identify for me…Is this small cat above the Gulf cat, a Zebra Longwing cat? It's so small, it may be to early to tell….
Pic. #4…There's some mating going on, and pic. #5…Three's a crowd, and they all took off! :-)) Happy Gardening All!

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 25, 2012
5:03 PM

Post #9253669

Tim, in pic #1 you've got a Gulf Frit cat that just molted. That's his shedded skin above him. For future reference, Gulf Frit cats are orange with black spikes, and Zebra Longwing cats are white with black spikes.

I have the Zebra butterflies but I have yet to find any cats. They must be somewhere...I'm just glad to see the Zebras are back because I didn't see a single one last year. Our mild winter surely helped them out this year. I've got Long-Tailed Skipper cats all over my butterfly pea out front. You can see where they've folded over the leaves to make their little shelters. I haven't been bringing them in, though - they do all right outside.

My Polydamas are purging and it's a smelly mess in their tank! They're starting to settle down and a few have built their sling. Can't wait to share pictures of the adults with everyone!

Melanie
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 25, 2012
5:11 PM

Post #9253673

#1 Variegated Fritillary, #2 Silver Spotted Skipper, #;s 3-5 are of DW tagging a monarch

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AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 25, 2012
6:13 PM

Post #9253722

Dale?


From a neighbor. I have no idea what to do with this critter . . ..


A.

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tlm1
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 25, 2012
6:15 PM

Post #9253724

Thanks Melanie for the education. That explains a few things that I've seen. :-) So much to learn!

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

August 25, 2012
6:55 PM

Post #9253760

Orange Striped Oak Worm?
cindylove
Lewisville, TX
(Zone 7b)

August 25, 2012
11:41 PM

Post #9253918

WOW... some wonderful cats!! I have a BST cat in a most unusual area not anywhere near a host, & I wonder if it will emerge soon as the chrysalis has moved a little & changed color. I hope it emerges before winter as I haven't anywhere to keep this one "fella"!!! I am so excited too as I rarely get chrysalis anymore & I didn't see any ST adults to justify this!!! hahahahaha.

beclu727

beclu727
Dacula, GA
(Zone 7b)

August 26, 2012
5:24 AM

Post #9254039

Help with IDs please. I've posted more pics in this thread: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1276934/
Thanks, Becky

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tlm1
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 26, 2012
5:38 AM

Post #9254067

Unbelievable! I just came in after counting 20 Gulf Fritillary chrysalis's, all of which decided that my front porch was the place to be. Looks like 1 may have emerged this morning.? So exciting to see!

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 26, 2012
6:12 AM

Post #9254099

Great pics. and all the butterflies activities folks! I can't post any pics. right now but enjoy all your photos. Please keep those coming.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 26, 2012
8:33 AM

Post #9254223

[quote="beclu727"]Help with IDs please. I've posted more pics in this thread: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1276934/
Thanks, Becky[/quote]

#3 is a pipevine swallowtail
#1 the shape and markings look correct for an eastern tailed blue, had a hard life though!



This message was edited Aug 26, 2012 11:37 AM
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 26, 2012
2:52 PM

Post #9254566

Our monarch's for today. 8 total

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BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

August 26, 2012
2:53 PM

Post #9254567

painted lady--the 1st I've seen this year.

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dawnsharon2001
New York, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 27, 2012
11:30 AM

Post #9255634

We've had several flights of Painted Ladies, American Ladies, and the occasional Red Admiral since May this year. Right now there are squads of Painted Ladies on buddleias all around; in the spring I think the American Ladies were predominant.

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dawnsharon2001
New York, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 27, 2012
11:54 AM

Post #9255669

In a meadow on the North Shore of Long Island, from too far away, I saw this butterfly. Is it a Variegated Fritillary, Euptoieta claudia? Please pardon the fuzz.
I love the butterflies of Georgia, Florida, and Texas, but I don't think Gulf Frits come this far north.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 27, 2012
2:34 PM

Post #9255944

Hey, a New Yorker! We welcome those from all around the world! Sometimes the forum gets a little dominated by us Southern folk. That does indeed look like a Variegated Fritillary to me. They supposedly live in my area, but I have yet to see one in the wild down here. But I'm inundated with the Gulf Fritillaries so I suppose I should be grateful.

No worries about the tropical storm; we just had a nice rainy day here. I napped through most of it. : )

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 27, 2012
6:37 PM

Post #9256316

testing, testing...Whooooooooo! I did it, I did it. I can load photos once again.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 27, 2012
6:43 PM

Post #9256326

First Monarch sighting on the 22nd of the month. Next is an American Lady?

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jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

August 28, 2012
6:54 AM

Post #9256715

Pearl Crescent/Buckeye/Silver Spotted Skipper and a Hummer

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tlm1
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 28, 2012
7:01 AM

Post #9256722

Beautiful pictures, jmorth. Please tell me what the plant is in pic.#4, with the Hummer…I know I've seen something I think is similar, but I'm not positive. It's gorgeous!
jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

August 28, 2012
7:12 AM

Post #9256736

Gloriosa

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tlm1
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 28, 2012
7:20 AM

Post #9256751

Thank you! It's beautiful! I'm going to have to see if I can track one of these down!

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

August 28, 2012
8:34 AM

Post #9256844

I had hoped for some Monarchs but the owners of the empty lot that usually has lots of milkweed decided to keep it mowed this year. :(

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 28, 2012
12:25 PM

Post #9257164

Here's a Giant ST cat I'm raising. He's one of two. I've also got a Black ST and since they all eat rue I've got them living together in the critter keeper. I saw an adult Giant ST flying around today so maybe I'll get some more eggs!

I've also included a picture of some of my Polydamas chrysalises. They've all gone into their chrysalis so give it about two weeks before we see adults. Meanwhile, I'm raising Polydamas generation 2. I might have to take them to the botanical garden as I don't have enough pipevine for when they get larger. I suppose that's fair since I've taken my fair share of caterpillars from the botanical garden, LOL!

Oh, and the Gulf Frit chrysalis on my orchid house emerged; it must be one of the many flying around my yard.

Melanie

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 28, 2012
2:55 PM

Post #9257407

Hey everyone, for more pictures of Giant ST cats, check out this thread. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1277549/

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

August 28, 2012
6:59 PM

Post #9257682

I saw a few Queens and GFs today. Never could catch the GFs, but the Queens hung around for a while. We had a North wind today from Isaac and it seemed to be stirring up the BFs and Dragonflies. I wish we would get some rain, but it doesn't look like we will have much this time around. Come on El Nino!

Russell

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hemlady
Melvindale, MI
(Zone 5a)

August 29, 2012
4:25 AM

Post #9257918

Jmorth, is the Gloriosa from a bulb??? It is very beautiful.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

August 29, 2012
5:54 AM

Post #9257971

Hello all,...what great pics and info as always. I am puzzled by the complete lack of monarchs this year. I have not seen even 1. I have milkweed in my yard and the horse pasture behind our yard is studded with it. Last year i saw quite a few and saw a couple caterpillars too. Is it something I said??? I am certainly enjoying the others...pipevine st's, frits,buckeyes admirals, zebra st's in both yellow and the white/pale blue colors.,red spotted purples,and skippers of many varieties... some nice moths,even a few lovely hummingbird clearwings.
On a slightly unrelated topic, I have a passion floewr vine given to me by a friend that has really done well..I HAD 5 fruit on it and went out 2 days ago to water and realized 3 on the lower part had been STOLEN!!! who would do it? squirrells? possums? raccoon?Bunnies? I do garden for wildlife, so i am happy that it is working, but darn it, I was looking forward to trying those passionfruit!
jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

August 29, 2012
7:29 AM

Post #9258044

Actually Gloriosa is a tuber. If so inclined, next spring I'll have some to sell or trade.
Pic is what I started w/ this spring. It all started out w/ 2 tubers purchased from Missouri Botanical Gardens (Mobot) in St Louis about a dozen years ago.

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

August 30, 2012
7:38 PM

Post #9259951

Caught the GF this evening...sipping on the Pride of Barbados.

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debnes_dfw_tx
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

August 31, 2012
9:03 AM

Post #9260384

Happy Birthday ... Again- Mel !!!
I see no shortage of leps your way... They've been scarce here in NCentral TX. Maybe we'll get one more burst before fall.

Dale~ we have some BST chrysalids that are taking taking their sweet time to eclose, they've been in for at least a month now. No sign of parasites, just aren't wanting to come out. Any tips on this situation?

Great shots everyone!!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 31, 2012
6:08 PM

Post #9260951

Thanks for the birthday wishes! I had a good one. Dad is going to take me to St. Pete Orchid Farm next week to pick out some birthday gifts!

Melanie
alternative0069
Sterling Heights, MI
(Zone 5b)

September 1, 2012
3:51 AM

Post #9261210

love my butterfly bush and these black swallowtails,

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 1, 2012
10:19 AM

Post #9261481

I had a few visitors this morning before the wind kicked up...AND it is now RAINING! Wow...haven't seen that in a while.

1. Pipevine in flight over pride of barbados

2. Large Orange Sulphur on senna - thanks Dale!

3. Pipevine on pride of barbados

We will see what happens after the rain.

Russell






This message was edited Sep 2, 2012 7:47 PM

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 1, 2012
10:29 AM

Post #9261488

Great pics. Russell. Happy belated Birthday Mellie. Guys, I saw my rist Gulf Frit. yesterday. Today it returned to the garden. Hopefully I'll have some eggs soon. Speaking of eggs. I saw my 1st Monarch a week ago. Last several days there were a pair in the garden. And this morning I found eggs. Whooohoooo!!! I'm looking forward to raising some G.Frits and Monarch in the near future.
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

September 1, 2012
2:20 PM

Post #9261672

Russell -- Great pick of the Pipevine in flight, proboscis uncurled and ready for a drink. The second picture is actually a female Large Orange Sulphur (Phoebis agarithe), a close relative of the Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae); sometimes the females are whitish like that. You can tell them from Cloudless Sulphur females because of that solid straight line coming from the corner of the forewing. Cloudless Sulphurs have a broken line instead of a solid one.
Debnes -- Sometimes swallowtail pupae can take months (and even years) to emerge. While most emerge within two or three weeks, a small percentage will have a more "staggered" emergence rate. This ensures that during severe weather conditions (extreme heat, drought, etc.) that there are always some in reserve to carry on the species.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
www.dallasbutterflies.com
burn_2007
Grand-Falls, NB
(Zone 4a)

September 2, 2012
8:18 PM

Post #9262912

Lovely butterflies, you all have. Not much activity here. I saw a black Swallowtail for the first time in my yard, this week. One did come secretly last year, and left me a single cat on my parsley. It went through all the stages. I overwintered it in the garage but It must of been to humid in there in spring. Some mildew form on the skewer stick, i had provided for it and so on the chrysalis. I`ll know better next time.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

September 3, 2012
12:27 PM

Post #9263491

I plucked 2 monarch caterpillars this morning from a swamp milkweed. We have released almost 30 butterflies, so it's interesting to me that we will see another generation.

It's that time of year for me to start wondering if I will have enough MW to FEED a second generation. Keep you posted. :)

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2012
7:36 AM

Post #9264408

This morning I was watching the Zebra Longwing flying around the Flowering Maple (Abutilon spp.) when out came the Giant ST for a visit to the lemon tree. I thought it might be laying eggs but it didn't. I did find one very tiny Giant ST cat on the tree, though (more on him later).

Here's the Giant ST fluttering up against the lemon tree and then taking a basking break up in the oak tree.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2012
7:39 AM

Post #9264414

So I found one cat on the lemon tree. It's really hard to take pictures of first instar cats but I tried. Notice the little guy is brown and cream colored. Oh, and that's his frass behind him. You can see how small he is compared to my finger.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 4, 2012
7:44 AM

Post #9264417

I figured if the Giant was flying I'd better go check the rue. And boy am I glad I did! I found a total of eighteen Black Swallowtail cats and eggs. Since both Giant STs and Black STs use rue, it's important to know the difference. As you can see, Black ST cats are well, black. With a little white saddle, of course. Their eggs are cream colored whereas Giant eggs are orange/gold.

I tried to take a picture that showed several stages - the eggs are cream colored to begin with, then they turn gray/silver as the caterpillar is about to come out, and then the little cats are black and white.

The one Black ST cat I had died a few days ago so let's hope this is a nice, healthy batch - and that my rue plant is big enough for all of them!

Melanie

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 4, 2012
7:56 AM

Post #9264434

Great pics. everyone. Congrats Amanda and Mellie on your various cats.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 4, 2012
2:16 PM

Post #9264820

Tigerswallowtail. What's beauty!

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EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

September 4, 2012
6:10 PM

Post #9265068

Loved all the posts. I think I had a giant swallowtail earlier. Going back to download pictures.
Have been so busy in the (my) butterfly garden all summer,,, if only volunteers would really volunteer..lol.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

September 4, 2012
6:21 PM

Post #9265077

I tried to pic the BS cat's on the fennel a couple of days ago, just not good with the cam though. First I have seen all year ,really unusual. Pretty when they hatch though! have also seen a couple of monarchs a week for the past two or three weeks, nice to see they are still around.
One of them laid eggs eggs on the red milkweed ,only it appears none hatched..The monarchs that visit seem to really like the blooms on that red milkweed! First thing they go for and stay at a while.
jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2012
10:01 AM

Post #9267005

Hummer at rest.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 6, 2012
11:05 AM

Post #9267102

It's a good day in Melanie's garden! I found a Silver Spotted Skipper cat on my false indigo! This is only the second time I've ever had cats on it. I've never seen a SS Skipper in my garden, but obviously there must be two of them flying around somewhere. I didn't want to pull apart his little home so the picture is him in his shelter. The orange spot is on his head so you know which end is which.

Speaking of skippers, then I had a Long-Tailed Skipper laying eggs on my butterfly pea.

The Zebra Longwing was out enjoying the jatropha (and the firebush and porterweed).

I found a Monarch cat in the butterfly garden. I didn't actually plant any milkweed in my butterfly garden; it volunteered itself.

Melanie

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 6, 2012
11:08 AM

Post #9267105

Oh, and I found two more Black ST cats on the rue. One of them was on my smaller rue plant. I have four; three are still small while one is huge. I just like to see that the butterflies use all that's available.

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 6, 2012
11:22 AM

Post #9267113

Indeed it's a good day in Melanie's garden! Geez, look at all that's going on. Good on you Melanie. A week ago I saw my first Monarch in the garden. A few days ago I saw a pair. By lunch today, collectively, I found at least 40 Monarch 1st-3rd instars. I'd better start planting more MW to support all these little ones that are coming along.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 6, 2012
11:30 AM

Post #9267120

There's never just one Monarch, is there, LOL?

I was sitting here and heard a kerplunk so I started looking at the caterpillar tanks. I forgot that the skippers can shoot their poo really far away and it thunked against the side of the tupperware with such force I heard it. This is another defense mechanism since oftentimes cats can be found by looking for their frass. Some caterpillars can shoot their frass like a projectile as far as thirty times their body length. That way the predators look elsewhere and the cat remains safe.

Melanie
kyrmyt
Philadelphia, PA

September 6, 2012
1:16 PM

Post #9267196

Last year I smooshed this ugly caterpillar... Now I find out that it was to have become a swallowtail something-or-other... So when I found a whole bunch on my parsley in the herb spiral, I transferred two of them to a huge plastic popcorn globe with a few bare branches and quite a bit of parsley. Auspicious timing, because later in the day all the others had disappeared. Now we have the opportunity to watch a) what productive frass machines they are and b) that they have stopped eating altogether.and c) we-don't-know-yet.
Hanny

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 6, 2012
1:19 PM

Post #9267199

Sounds like you've got Eastern Black Swallowtails, also known as the "parsley worm". They are indeed celebrated poopers. If they've stopped eating they're either getting ready to molt or getting ready to pupate. If they are getting ready to pupate they will gut purge first, which is kind of like caterpillar diarrhea. Feel free to ask any questions you may have - everyone on this forum loves raising butterflies and I hope you will, too!

Melanie

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 6, 2012
2:20 PM

Post #9267248

An interesting article about Cabbage Whites and parasitic wasps. http://news.yahoo.com/plant-calls-wasps-kick-butterfly-butt-193435478.html

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 6, 2012
4:50 PM

Post #9267370

Thanks Malanie for sharing the educational article. I found so many Monarch cats. on my MWs, also saw so many spiders and wasps. I was tempted to leave some (cats.) outdoor...but after I read that... I was reminded that my caterpillars may not survive. So I hauled all of them inside. lol

I know Sheila and other Leps' lovers have developed methods to keep harvested Milkweeds fresh indoor to raise cats. Mine keeps wilting. I need some help to keep these cut leaves fresh longer for the cats. please. Any help will be appreciated.

I went to local nursery in search of more MWs. thinking if I find some young Milkweeds I can keep them in large cage in which I use to hold the cats. But as you know, most MWs are way too tall. While picking up new plants, I found couple more Monarch cats. at the nursery. An added bonus. ^_^

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BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2012
5:12 PM

Post #9267393

We use soda cans in our nursery to keep the plants fresh. Although I don't know how long the leaves would actually stay fresh because they eat it so fast we have to refill twice a day or more!

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 6, 2012
5:53 PM

Post #9267435

Thank you Bruce for the idea.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 7, 2012
12:55 PM

Post #9268161

Released and tagged 16 monarchs today. Here are a few of them

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 7, 2012
1:36 PM

Post #9268221

Congrats Bruce, fine, fine job!!!
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 7, 2012
1:47 PM

Post #9268233

Thanks, just caught 2 wild ones and tagged them. 1 boy and 1 girl--a nice mix. They are all really big, so am pretty sure they are super monarchs.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 7, 2012
2:27 PM

Post #9268266

They're heading South. I hope to find one of your tagged Monarchs!
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 7, 2012
2:49 PM

Post #9268280

Wouldn't that be cool. They are not hanging around after they're tagged like they were even a few days ago.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

September 8, 2012
5:54 AM

Post #9268746

Jeez, still not a single monarch in my yard. I really do think it is personal! It must be something I said..!? haha I have a happy, happy consolation.. I found 5 GF caterpillars on my passion flower vine yesterday! yay! They are munching away and I am debating on bringing them inside.
Since the subject of caterpillar poop came up, i have a question...I found a large amount of large-ish frass on my driveway under a pecan tree a few days ago. There is a small area on one branch where all the leaves are gone... It is too high to see even with a ladder and my binocs are crappy so i can't see what it is.. Anybody got any ideas? I thought maybe Luna moths, but i am not sure. I don't see any cocoons yet and it is not tent caterpillars or bag worms. Who is in my tree????
In other BF news, i am seeing admirals again. Lots of black swallowtails, GF's and a few buckeyes. Several types of skippers and a hummingbird moth here and there. All of these are seen on my Zinnias. Oh, also i have 2 pairs of Goldfinches who really like to tear every petal off the zinnia i guess they like the seed and/or the insects that hide inbetween petals. The bright yellow and black feathers are lovely along with the BF's and the Zany,Wild colors of the Zinnias. Hummingbirds make a few passes over this area of the yard as part of their daily route, so next year i will try a feeder placed among the plants to get them to stay longer so i can get a few pictures. Speaking of pics, I love te pics you all have been posting! They are just beautiful AND inspire me to try some new plants. The pride of Barbados is on my "Gotta have it" list.
This beautiful monarch is from last years pictures.

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BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 8, 2012
6:03 AM

Post #9268748

[quote="scarletbean"]Jeez, still not a single monarch in my yard. I really do think it is personal! It must be something I said..!? haha I have a happy, happy consolation.. I found 5 GF caterpillars on my passion flower vine yesterday! yay! They are munching away and I am debating on bringing them inside.
Since the subject of caterpillar poop came up, i have a question...I found a large amount of large-ish frass on my driveway under a pecan tree a few days ago. There is a small area on one branch where all the leaves are gone... It is too high to see even with a ladder and my binocs are crappy so i can't see what it is.. Anybody got any ideas? I thought maybe Luna moths, but i am not sure. I don't see any cocoons yet and it is not tent caterpillars or bag worms. Who is in my tree????
In other BF news, i am seeing admirals again. Lots of black swallowtails, GF's and a few buckeyes. Several types of skippers and a hummingbird moth here and there. All of these are seen on my Zinnias. Oh, also i have 2 pairs of Goldfinches who really like to tear every petal off the zinnia i guess they like the seed and/or the insects that hide inbetween petals. The bright yellow and black feathers are lovely along with the BF's and the Zany,Wild colors of the Zinnias. Hummingbirds make a few passes over this area of the yard as part of their daily route, so next year i will try a feeder placed among the plants to get them to stay longer so i can get a few pictures. Speaking of pics, I love te pics you all have been posting! They are just beautiful AND inspire me to try some new plants. The pride of Barbados is on my "Gotta have it" list.
This beautiful monarch is from last years pictures.[/quote]

How about planting some salvia and cardinal flower amongst your zinnias? The hummers will love you for it

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 8, 2012
6:07 AM

Post #9268751

Bruce, it'd be something else if I should ever find some of the tagged Monarch. I agreed. scarletbean, sorry you haven't found any Monarch yet. But having GF cats. in the garden is indeed a happy consolation. I've seen a few GF butterflies, but so far no caterpillars found. I'm so glad to hear that you've Goldfinches in the garden. That means soon I'll get them too. I've missed those golden finches since early Spring.

Back to Monarchs; they're migrating South. Even though I've seen very few of them in the garden. But, I can spot them as I drive along the roadways. I saw at least half a dozen of them while driving yesterday.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 8, 2012
6:24 AM

Post #9268767

I guess we're spoiled here w/ the gold finches as we have them year round. They just turn grey in the winter. We let most of our nectar plants go to seed, so we always have plenty around.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 8, 2012
8:51 AM

Post #9268888

Brand new-i will tag this one and send it south!

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 8, 2012
9:19 AM

Post #9268908

Bruce, your success with these Monarchs serves as an inspiration for others. It's wonderful to see you sharing this amazing adventure with others. How is your sister? And how is she doing with her own project with the Monarch-raising business? I found a couple more larger Monarch instars out in the garden this morning while watering my plants. I've yet to have a chrysalis made for this season. I'm so looking forward to seeing those jewel like thimble-shape chrysalid. And yes, to see them eclose out of the transparent membrane that houses them. Awwwwww!
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 8, 2012
10:27 AM

Post #9268934

She is back visiting w/ us again, as she wanted to come back for the tagging season. she is now a seasoned veteran, and will be helping us, along w/ my daughter and grandson, give the tagging seminar on 9/11 at Beach Creek Botanical Gardens in Alliance Ohio. Really looking forward to it.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 8, 2012
10:47 AM

Post #9268946

[quote="Lily_love"]Bruce, your success with these Monarchs serves as an inspiration for others. It's wonderful to see you sharing this amazing adventure with others. How is your sister? And how is she doing with her own project with the Monarch-raising business? I found a couple more larger Monarch instars out in the garden this morning while watering my plants. I've yet to have a chrysalis made for this season. I'm so looking forward to seeing those jewel like thimble-shape chrysalid. And yes, to see them eclose out of the transparent membrane that houses them. Awwwwww!
[/quote]

Guess I didn't answer your question. She has planted some milkweeds, not sure which, and is gearing up for next year. she's been asking us about nectar plants and milkweeds, etc., and is planning her space for next year.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 8, 2012
3:58 PM

Post #9269222

I was playing with my Silver Spotted Skipper caterpillar today and took a picture. This one's really getting big; he should pupate soon. I think he's mad I keep pulling apart his house so I can see him.

Melanie

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 9, 2012
11:00 AM

Post #9269866

Yup, my Silver Spotted Skipper is about to pupate. I tore apart his home once again in the name of science so I could bring you guys this picture. See how his body is blushing an orange color? That means he's getting ready to become a chrysalis. Now if only that strange lady would leave him alone, LOL!

Melanie

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 9, 2012
11:51 AM

Post #9269900

Your SSS cat. is so so cute, Melanie. Bruce, thank you. I'll be thinking about you all on Tuesday.
Viceroy
Kissimmee, FL

September 9, 2012
5:24 PM

Post #9270168

Hello everyone, been a while, things have been really great in the garden this year. Numbers on all my lifers are througt the roof. Since I started raising the cats it has added a whole new dimension to what I do. Presently have 18 SB,5 ZLW, a dozen GST and 2 MEs. I have raised and released many sleepy orange, orange barred, Monarchs,Queens, and even some TST. That is me in the third pic below. Lily I use water bottles with an x cut in to the cap which will prevent cats from falling in and drowning. I am glad to see that everyone is seeing the activity pickup. Good Luck.

This message was edited Sep 9, 2012 7:26 PM

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 10, 2012
5:05 AM

Post #9270507

I am enjoying all of the pictures lately! Good work on raising cats too.

We had a wind shift on Saturday evening that really brought out the butterflies! Tons of sulphurs, american snouts, pipevines, GSTs, duskywings and a couple of fritillaries. I love it when the wind shifts to the North this time of year.

Here are a few of the captures from this weekend.

Russell

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hemlady
Melvindale, MI
(Zone 5a)

September 10, 2012
5:10 AM

Post #9270510

Sure glad to see that you all have some healthy Monarchs. Here in Michigan most of them are diseased.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

September 10, 2012
3:52 PM

Post #9271225

Howdy, kids! My GF cats are doing good, just munching away on the passion vine. They are getting bigger by the hour it seems. They look so forbidding with the black spikes, but i think they are cute!
BCH521- Funny you mention both cardinal flower and salvia, as i was very anxious to put these in my garden this year, I have 2 black and blue salvia and i LOVE these plants! Lucky for me so do the hummers and BFs as well as some bumble bees. I tried the cardinal flower in the zinnias, but the area was not good for them, they grew but didnt flower. If they make it through winter, maybe they will improve next year. There is a drainage ditch running through mine and all my neighbors back yards. Last year there were lots of wild cardinal flowers growing 2 houses from mine. They let me collect seed and it is good I did, cuz they practically Napalmed the whole ditch, killing all the vegetation as well as frogs,turtles, snakes and evicted any other creatures using the area. *sigh* Anyhoo, i scattered the seed in my ditch and quite a few came up among the weeds and tall grass. The bright red is startlingly clear..and of course the bf's and hummers enjoy it too. Goldenrod and ironweed are pretty contrasts to the cardinalflowers. who'd have thought a drainage ditch would be so pretty?

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 10, 2012
5:20 PM

Post #9271317

Viceroy, congrats on your success. Nice job. Russell beautiful pixs as always. hemlady sorry that the Monarchs have some kind of disease there in Michigan. I brought most of my Monarch caterpillars indoor and raise them hoping to avoid wasps that parasitized these caterpillars and keep them safe from other predators in the garden.

Oh has anyone seen this before? It's my first. A Monarch caterpillar that has a head shape that looks like a skipper's caterpillar! And the head is vividly black and not stripped like the rest of other larva of its kind. What's your thought?

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 10, 2012
7:09 PM

Post #9271439

Two thoughts - either it's some kind of natural mutation or he molted and couldn't get his head capsule off. Hope it's not the second as he would have a tough time eating.

Melanie

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 10, 2012
10:05 PM

Post #9271610

Great pictures everyone! Haven't been on much but you guys are keeping it active...love it!

Bruce, you are doing a great job with the Monarchs and passing the knowledge on to your family as well...you go!
Melanie, super pics on the SSS, I love to look at them too.

Glad you took those pictures Lily. If you still have the black head cat, take one from the side and then separate it when it pupates too, just in case it acts or looks differently, etc.

My suggestion on collecting MW, not in the heat of the day is #1. Then when you cut a stem, cut it in no taller than 6 inch pieces, check it for eggs and cats first, then rinse or drop in cool water to eliminate ants, spiders and etc from being in the cage. When I only need a few leaves I cut individual ones, check them and plop them in the water as I cut them. You can allow the leaves to float for about a day, but no more. Blot them with a paper towel to remove the excess water as you use them.
Always cover you water source to avoid drowning of the tiny ones. I use the "wet" floral foam and cover it with Glad Press n Seal wrap. It will last for a long time with re-wetting with a spray bottle. Jello pudding cups cut in half work for small cages I like to use.***

****I of course have not had the volume that Bruce experiences and would no doubt be unable to keep up with that demand, but this works for me. I house the tiny ones together then separate the larger ones with only three to a cage when they are big enought to pupate.



This message was edited Sep 10, 2012 11:09 PM

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BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 11, 2012
4:13 AM

Post #9271676

We also put clean fresh leaves in zip lock bags and put them in the fridge. They will keep for several days that way.
scarletbean
Newport, TN
(Zone 7a)

September 11, 2012
9:42 AM

Post #9271969

Hiya,
Anyone know if my GF caterpillars will stay close to the Passionvine when they decide to make a chrysalis? It is in a pot with 2 sticks and a bamboo stake. Maybe i should bring them inside? I am a bit worried about the wasps. Our Catalpa trees were full of those 'catalpa worms' and the wasps left many of those caterpillars hopelessly parasite-ized. I wish I could tell the wasps to only go after the caterpillars I DON'T want.
Can't wait to see these guys turn into butterflies! It will be my first time.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 11, 2012
9:56 AM

Post #9271992

Gulf Frits can wander a long way from the host plant. I had one end up on my orchid house and it's at least 30 yards from the nearest passion vine. I suggest bringing them in if you want to see them.

Melanie

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 11, 2012
12:25 PM

Post #9272087

Yes, what Melanie said!! The ones that made on passi vines out front crawled across my driveway and up under a bench, on light fixtures, birdhouse along the fence...LOL! Look at sturdy structures up and anywhere away from the vine.

There are three on the fixture, and two on this birdhouse. They tend to follow one another sometimes, so if you find one chrysalis look around for others near by.

As for these, they don't get too much preditor action unless there is a shortage of other cats around. I think the spikes and color scare off some.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 11, 2012
2:38 PM

Post #9272204

Scarletbean, it's so nice to have GF cats. on your passi vines. Best of lucks. Sheila, those GF chrysalid are wonderful. What's a find! So far no GF cats. here. I saw a lone GF butterfly here and there, but no luck on finding their eggs yet.

Sheila, thank you for the tips on keeping cut MW fresh indoor to raise Monarch Cats. Melanie, the "blackheaded" cat. appears to do find, but I heeded Sheila's suggestion. I brought it indoor so I can watch its progress in the long run.

Oh the second pix is the set- up that I used to bring in a few more caterpillars indoor. I used the water bottle and created a barrier with a ziplock bag at the opening to prevent the cats. falling in. So far it works well.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 11, 2012
2:44 PM

Post #9272208

Oooops, DG loaded my photos out of sequent. It's the first picture that I've brought the mentioned special cat. indoor. The other 2 photos. I like them as they were outside in their natural habitat. But I may lose them unprotected there.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

September 12, 2012
9:12 AM

Post #9273048

There has not been much at all here...but I did see these 2 skippers out on some daylily foliage and had the the 2 Buckeyes on the sedum on Monday. The hummer is from this morning...perched on a dead lily stalk!

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 12, 2012
12:29 PM

Post #9273199

Well, I gave in and brought the Monarchs in. They're so fun to watch and I was afraid they'd run out of food on the plants they were on. Also, the Silver Spotted Skipper finally pupated - so I ripped open the hatch so I could see him, LOL! And finally, a picture of my many, many Black STs.

Still waiting for Giant ST, Polydamas ST, and Monarchs to come out of their chrysalises.

Melanie

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 12, 2012
3:39 PM

Post #9273364

Nan. those Buckeyes pair on the Sedum are so pretty. Melanie, whoa! The SSS pupa is pretty big isn't it? I'm looking forward to seeing other eclosures.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 12, 2012
4:04 PM

Post #9273380

Mom and I each found a Monarch chrysalis so we brought those in as well. So we're looking forward to more eclosures, as well. I guess the SSS is pretty big for a skipper. Maybe I fed him too well, LOL!

Nan, that is a pretty picture with the Buckeyes. More competition for the photo contest this year!

Melanie
chiquib313
Homestead, FL
(Zone 10a)

September 12, 2012
6:29 PM

Post #9273478

Had two monarchs eclose yesterday. Here is photo right after taking out of cage.
Chiqui

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 13, 2012
7:00 AM

Post #9273887

Congrats Melanie for having found the 2 Monarch chrysalid. The skipper must have been well fed, indeed. lol. Chiquib313 congrats on your success with the new beauties! Beautiful pix.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 13, 2012
11:31 AM

Post #9274109

I just went out to pick some rue and found two more Monarchs on the milkweed. I also saw flying around: Giant ST, Cloudless Sulphur, Duskywings, Long-Tailed Skipper, and one Swallowtail that was moving too quickly to be identified. I also got a nice picture of this Zebra Longwing, once again nectaring on those darn Spanish Needles.

Melanie

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 13, 2012
12:12 PM

Post #9274131

That's a cool shot of the Zebra Longwing Melanie.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 13, 2012
7:34 PM

Post #9274525

Wish we have more ZLW up this way. They are few and far between.
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

September 13, 2012
8:18 PM

Post #9274559

Keep your eyes open, Sheila. We've had both Zebra Longwing and Julia Longwing sightings in Dallas within the past month.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
www.dallasbutterflies.com

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 14, 2012
4:25 PM

Post #9275377

Got a visit from a black form Tigerswallowtail (I think). And One of my Monarch cat. is about to pupate. Woooohoooo!

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 14, 2012
4:41 PM

Post #9275399

Yup, that's the female dark form Tiger ST. Your Monarchs look as hungry as mine, LOL!

Mom found two more Monarch cats but luckily two other cats made their chrysalises so at least I'm breaking even. The Black STs have molted and are striped now which is really cute. Other than that, I'm just waiting for everyone to pop out of their chrysalises.

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 14, 2012
5:21 PM

Post #9275445

How exciting waiting on all those butterflies to eclose! I'm happy for you Melanie. And thank you for the positive I.D. on the dark form Tiger. I've a little short of 50 Monarch cats. on counting that I'm raising indoor. How long will they stay in the larval form Melanie once they reach their full size at 5th instars please? I'm needing to look around for more milkweeds if they will linger on that stage for a while longer. All the MWs in the garden may not be enough for them.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 14, 2012
5:32 PM

Post #9275461

Wow! 50? That's a lot of Monarchs. They should stay in their 5th instar stage for at 3-5 days I would estimate. Luckily, Monarchs grow pretty fast. Also, if caterpillars don't have enough food sometimes they'll go into their chrysalis a little early and just be smaller Monarchs when they emerge.

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 14, 2012
5:55 PM

Post #9275470

Thanks for the info. Melanie since it's this late in the season. Will these expected to eclose and released to head further South this time of year. Or will they overwinter in chrysalids? Will they have enough time to fly South if they were to eclose by the middle of Oct.?

Last year, I had zip, none Monarch in the garden. This year I saw 3 adults for but a few day passing by the garden. And since I was so hungry for Monarch cats. I watched for them eagerly afterward. And my patience paid off. Within a few days I collected those many Monarch cats. Oh, all those were newly hatch when I found them. They have molted many times over and about ready to pupate. lol

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 14, 2012
8:10 PM

Post #9275589

I've never really known a Monarch to overwinter. They should come out 10 days after they go in. And mid-October would be about right for them to be in your area; maybe just a tad late. I know there's a big Monarch thing around St. Marks (I think that's the right saint) in the panhandle every year and it's always around mid-October. I would expect them to eclose and then head south like the rest of them.

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 15, 2012
4:11 AM

Post #9275731

I'm so pleased to learn that these future travelers are in my care. The anticipation is great. Now, Bruce. Question for you. Where do I find the tags to tag these butterflies in the near future please?

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 15, 2012
9:19 AM

Post #9275887

I thought you could get the tags at monarchwatch.org but I think they may have sold out of this season's tags.

Melanie

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 15, 2012
12:04 PM

Post #9275987

Keep it up Lily! Good work.

The usual suspects are out today, but I caught of glimpse of a Brazilian skipper munching on the Mexican petunia a few minutes ago.

I hope to see some variety today.

Russell

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 15, 2012
12:14 PM

Post #9275991

My usual Duskywings are out and about on the Spanish Needles. That's why I hate to weed them; the butterflies enjoy them so much. Also saw the Zebra Longwing but he didn't want his picture taken. I did bring in three just-hatched cats that I believe are Zebra Longwings based on their egg color. I'll keep you updated.

Melanie

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BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 15, 2012
3:53 PM

Post #9276146

[quote="Lily_love"]I'm so pleased to learn that these future travelers are in my care. The anticipation is great. Now, Bruce. Question for you. Where do I find the tags to tag these butterflies in the near future please?[/quote]

Mellie is right, I included the link below, it looks like they might have some tags left. I'm excited for you, and your 50 cats. We are winding down now. We have about 5 cats, and 16 chrysalleses left.

http://shop.monarchwatch.org/store/c/366-Tagging-Monarchs.aspx

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 15, 2012
5:07 PM

Post #9276183

Many thanks to both Mellie and Bruce. I'll visit the above link and purchase some goodies for my pretties. I've two 5th-instars that remain stationary. Hopefully I'll have a chrysalis being made pretty soon. Love those little skippers as well Mellie. I saw alot of those Sulphurs around our area, an increased number of G.Fs. as well. The season is well on the way for more butterflies here.
EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

September 15, 2012
6:53 PM

Post #9276243

Loved all the posts.
Question... Do aphids have any effect on Monarchs laying their eggs on Milkweed?? I have lots of milkweed in the Butterfly Garden and aphids are all over them.

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 16, 2012
3:14 PM

Post #9276889

EF - I haven't noticed any change in the Monarchs laying their eggs when a plant has aphids. I think they cause more worry for the gardener than for the BF.

These aren't butterflies, but they are caterpillars. I noticed 3 large tersa sphinx moth caterpillars on my pentas this evening. I never could get a good shot of the green variety, but thought people might enjoy this closeup of the brown one. I brought them in and will hopefully have some moths soon.

Russell

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 17, 2012
6:39 AM

Post #9277590

Russell, those Tersa sphinx caterpillars are such cute creatures! I raised several with success earlier in the season. Owed to these nocturnal moths in the garden. I've several of my Datura fruits for the year in which I've promised my local nursery to reserve them some seeds this Fall. Without their contribution, (pollinating the elongated, tubular flowers) most trumpet-shape flowers would likely wilt and fall off and won't go to seeds. Following photos are those of a Red-spotted Purple I saw when I took a walk at a local nature center over the weekend.
Last pic. is a pic. of my half dozen newly formed Painted Lady chrysalides in a butterfly pavilon.

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 17, 2012
3:45 PM

Post #9278118

Love those Tersas; I still remember the day I was weeding my pentas and one scared the heck out of me! Those snake mimics work!

Here's a pic of my many, many Eastern Black Swallowtails. Right before I stuffed their cage with rue.

Melanie

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Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 17, 2012
5:03 PM

Post #9278185

Good to see all the cats you all! I can't believe all this summer I only saw one monarch cat and no black swallowtails.
Qwilter
Fleming Island, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 18, 2012
4:30 AM

Post #9278560

After the Gulf Frits cats devoured all my passion vines, they moved over to my Oleander. Is that "normal"? I'm not complaining at all just didn't know Oleander was a treat for them.

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 18, 2012
4:59 AM

Post #9278576

Nice RSP Lily! Mel, I didn't realize how big the Tersa cats got. They are about 3.5 inches long with giant "eyes" to scare off predators. I am enjoying watching them in the BF habitat. They should be making cocoons any time now.

Russell

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 18, 2012
2:11 PM

Post #9279151

Gulf Frits only eat passion vine. They're probably looking for more food, but they won't eat oleander. Some of them might be wandering in order to find a place to make a chrysalis.

Melanie
Qwilter
Fleming Island, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 18, 2012
3:41 PM

Post #9279228

I thought they stuck to the passion Vine but the Oleander is stripped and all I see on it are the cats. The Oleander is next to the Passion vine, which is also stripped.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 18, 2012
3:51 PM

Post #9279236

Are you sure you don't have Oleander Moth cats? They are also orange with black tufts.

Melanie
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 18, 2012
3:51 PM

Post #9279237

[quote="Lily_love"]Many thanks to both Mellie and Bruce. I'll visit the above link and purchase some goodies for my pretties. I've two 5th-instars that remain stationary. Hopefully I'll have a chrysalis being made pretty soon. Love those little skippers as well Mellie. I saw alot of those Sulphurs around our area, an increased number of G.Fs. as well. The season is well on the way for more butterflies here.[/quote]

Were you able to get some tags for your pretties? We have 6 left, and 20+ chrysallises. I have a friend who might have some extra.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 18, 2012
4:42 PM

Post #9279283

Bruce, I'm at my wits end. My Monarch cats. appear to be in trouble. They secret meconium fluid, but won't pupate? I afraid the temp. is a little too cool? I am giving them some supplemental light and hoping to keep them warm. I'm so distressed! Needless to say, I didn't purchase any tags fearing I'm losing all these beautiful future butterflies.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 18, 2012
4:54 PM

Post #9279305

Umm...Monarch caterpillars shouldn't secrete any type of fluid - not like swallowtails when they purge. Sounds like something is wrong with them; maybe some kind of disease?

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 18, 2012
5:00 PM

Post #9279314

Boys Melanie, something is really wrong. I should be seeing some chrysalis forming by now. But they wandering around and look very sickly.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 18, 2012
6:03 PM

Post #9279384

Melanie is right, there shouldn't be any fluid. I don't even know what would cause that, as I haven't seen it before. I do know its not cold weather because its cold here, and no secreting.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 18, 2012
6:13 PM

Post #9279388

Could be parasites; I think I remember some of mine doing that when they were parasatized.

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 18, 2012
6:59 PM

Post #9279424

I'm so blue!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 18, 2012
7:02 PM

Post #9279428

I'll keep y'all posted on the cats. progress in the morning.
Qwilter
Fleming Island, FL
(Zone 9a)

September 18, 2012
7:04 PM

Post #9279434

Melanie - never knew such a moth existed. Can't say I've seen any around. Tomorrow I'll definately go & collect any cats, bag & freeze them. Will have to remember to keep an eye out in the future.

Thanks for the ID.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 18, 2012
7:12 PM

Post #9279443

Yeah, I used to have to explain the difference to people when I volunteered at the museum because they thought Gulf Frits were the bad cats that ate their oleander. But Oleander Moths are a little different; they have tufts of black hair while the Gulf Frits have spikes. I don't have any oleander around me so I don't have problems with them, but I've heard they can really do some damage.

Melanie

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 20, 2012
1:51 PM

Post #9281329

Both Giant STs emerged today! I also had two Monarchs emerge but Mom took care of them since I was asleep. I also divided the Black STs into two critter keepers since they've gotten so big and numerous. I think I counted 19 total. Here's one of the Giant STs!

Melanie

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 20, 2012
2:37 PM

Post #9281360

Those GSTs are beautiful Melanie!

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 21, 2012
10:36 PM

Post #9282728

I released five Monarchs this week and it seems that may be it for me. I am not seeing any egg laying now. I am hoping the next disturbance from the north drives some Monarchs down a bit further. I have a lot of MW still and my passiflora didn't get trimmed because the Gulf Frits were in short supply.

BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 22, 2012
3:38 AM

Post #9282774

[quote="Sheila_FW"]I released five Monarchs this week and it seems that may be it for me. I am not seeing any egg laying now. I am hoping the next disturbance from the north drives some Monarchs down a bit further. I have a lot of MW still and my passiflora didn't get trimmed because the Gulf Frits were in short supply.

[/quote]

I'm seeing fewer here, and when we release them they make a beeline south. We still have 15 or so chrysallises, so I'm hoping the real cold holds off a little longer.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 22, 2012
9:31 AM

Post #9283084

This year is bad, if not worse than last year. I didn't see any (monarch) cat. last year. Not sure if I saw any monarch then? But this year I can count on what I've seen on my fingers. Thought, I was lucky to have found the cats. They're so diseased, not sure any will make it? One formed its beautiful chrysalis, then begun to have a gaping hole on its thoracid area. Something is eating at my monatch cats. I am so glad those of you that have success with them. On the positive note; I've half a dozen of V. cardui or Painted Lady (butterflies) that begun to ecloce today. It's also the highlight of my day!

This message was edited Sep 22, 2012 10:33 AM

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 22, 2012
7:49 PM

Post #9283514

Mom brought in another Monarch cat so I told her she has to feed him. But honestly, she's been good about feeding all the critters. The Black STs have started purging everywhere (yuck) and a couple have made their slings. My Polydamas are still hanging out in their chrysalises so I'm not sure if they're going to overwinter with me or not.

Melanie

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

September 22, 2012
7:53 PM

Post #9283516

It was slow here all season ,all I saw was a few BST cat's far fewer than usual. Still I got to see them!

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 23, 2012
6:25 AM

Post #9283776

Lily, that sounds like you have paper wasps taking the cats and maybe a fly or wasp prarsitizing problem. I had a whole lot of Queens and Monarchs one year that just didn't make it because of that. I hadn't gotten them in soon enough I guess. I try now to get them as early as I can and also to keep the paper wasp nest in check.

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
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Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

September 23, 2012
10:47 AM

Post #9283967

it will be interesting, and likely very sad, to hear what the winter counts in Mexico are for the Monarchs.

hey, did you all hear about the monarch that got blown to england via hurricane isaac?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-19557711

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 23, 2012
3:29 PM

Post #9284216

Wow, Marna, that's so interesting about the news a Monarch reached Dorset due to the storm. Thank you for sharing that. Sheila, I feel so bad, my would be monarchs were effected by the disease...having worked out in the backyard today. I spotted some 4-5th instar left outdoor still. I hope those will make it. I don't want to fool with mother nature for I feel as if I were a predator to those that didn't survive.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 24, 2012
9:37 AM

Post #9284905

I'm running out of rue for the Black STs - looks like a nursery visit is in order. They had parsley last time I was there. While I was out picking what's left of the rue I saw a Duskywing, a Giant ST, a Gulf Frit, and this Zebra Longwing. Well, I actually saw three Zebra Longwings. It's so good to see them after seeing none last year.

Melanie

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 24, 2012
10:18 AM

Post #9284944

There are four 5th instars that's doing well outdoor this morning. My last best hope!

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 24, 2012
10:22 AM

Post #9284946

I just had two Monarchs emerge; I'm just letting them dry now.

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 24, 2012
10:22 AM

Post #9284947

Looks like you're having a great season with the butterflies this year Melanie. It has came to mind whether or not some extra milkweeds I purchased at the nursery was treated with BT insecticides? I'll ask them next time I go there.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 24, 2012
11:29 AM

Post #9284986

That has happen lots of times with me Lily_Love. Most of the nurseries don't treat them, but the growers do. Best to cover the ones in question during egg laying time. I decided to cut back all of the branches on two plants I bought this year and glad I did. I then rooted them and have numerous MW to share at Plant Swap time.
After I cut these back I covered the plant with tulle netting. This group of plants are only half of my bounty!

This message was edited Sep 24, 2012 12:31 PM

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 24, 2012
12:20 PM

Post #9285018

Sheila, thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us newbies on this challenging task; raising Monarchs. I've learned so much from generous DG members such as you, Bruce and Melanie as well as Dale & Mrs. Ed to mention a few. I'm forever grateful. The set-up you've is very neat! Thanks for sharing the idea. I did a test run with rooting MW recently. Those cuttings that I took indoor and was eaten bare. I simply stuck it in the potting soil of another container planting. It's now took root. I'll be sure to root my own cuttings ahead of time from now on.

Oh BTW, the number of G.F.s has increased around here lately. They're just about everywhere. Glad to see them.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 24, 2012
3:35 PM

Post #9285263

I released two male Monarchs today; I'm glad they were ok, I thought the chrysalises looked a little weird but I guess it was just me. Dad had to go to the store so I made him buy some organic parsley for the Black STs. I only have about six still eating but my rue plant has been totally decimated. I lost one who didn't make his chrysalis correctly but otherwise they're all looking good. Now, if some of these guys would start coming out of their chrysalises - I've got 14 Polydamas just hanging out!

Melanie
EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

September 24, 2012
5:59 PM

Post #9285375

woooohooo, I have 12 fat Monarch cats that I counted yesterday. Also saw 1 out at the garden this afternoon. Here is the mommie laying the eggs.

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EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

September 24, 2012
6:09 PM

Post #9285387

Does anyone know if this is a good or bad bug for cats? He was on the milkweed. Had a lot of aphids earlier.

Thumbnail by EFGeorgia1
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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

September 24, 2012
6:31 PM

Post #9285404

That's a milkweed bug. I'd rate it neutral. It won't hurt the caterpillars as far as I know, just suck the juices out of the plant.

Melanie

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

September 24, 2012
6:44 PM

Post #9285412

EF - that is a little blurry, but it looks like a milkweed assassin bug to me. Some folks say they are good because they eat other bugs like aphids, flies, and small bees. Others say they are bad because they eat cats in addition to these other bugs, I think they are all part of a healthy ecosystem in the back yard and if left alone, all of them will balance each other out.

I saw my first cat on the MW this morning, and I am sure there are more where that one came from (I didn't have much time to look this morning). I have been lucky this year - the tropical MW sprouted in several areas around the yard from the seed pods I got in the Spring...I haven't seen any in the neighbor's yard, but it is only a matter of time. :)

Hope to have some picture of cats, chrysalis, etc. soon. All 3 of the sphinx tersa moths I collected have transformed and they are awaiting eclosure...Looking forward to that.

Mel, I can't wait to see the polydamas you have.


Russell
EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

September 24, 2012
6:46 PM

Post #9285414

Thanks, Melanie
Viceroy
Kissimmee, FL

September 25, 2012
5:13 AM

Post #9285732

[quote="EFGeorgia1"]Does anyone know if this is a good or bad bug for cats? He was on the milkweed. Had a lot of aphids earlier.[/quote]

In my opinion they are bad, they multiply rapidly. They will strip a plant of all it's leaves. Any eggs or small instar cats get lost or fall off plants when leaves drop. Ire move them every chance I get.
jmorth
Divernon, IL
(Zone 5b)

September 25, 2012
7:00 PM

Post #9286417

Hummingbird Moth

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BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 26, 2012
7:50 AM

Post #9286756

We're getting close to the end of our season--this one i just released today. I'm hoping they still have time to beat the weather south.

Thumbnail by BCH521
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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 26, 2012
8:43 AM

Post #9286824

[quote="BCH521"]We're getting close to the end of our season--this one i just released today. I'm hoping they still have time to beat the weather south.[/quote]

One monarch has just flittering by here this morning Bruce. As far as growing season for our Southern climate, we still have few more weeks that's warm enough for those little ones to spread their wings. Currently I'm watching roughly half a dozen 5th instars in the garden. Hopefully they will pupate soon, and get going on their way too.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 27, 2012
12:18 PM

Post #9288092

Since I failed to order tagging kits this year, I may try to catch any I see with tags and log those!
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 27, 2012
1:35 PM

Post #9288143

[quote="Sheila_FW"]Since I failed to order tagging kits this year, I may try to catch any I see with tags and log those![/quote]

maybe some of mine will fly your way. The ones i released yesterday and today are still in the clematis where they are protected. Hopefully it will warm back up so they can head south!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 27, 2012
2:13 PM

Post #9288173

I saw Monarchs in the garden the last two days, also there are 10, yes ten large cats. outside that are doing well with nature. :)

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 27, 2012
7:13 PM

Post #9288382

Oh thanks Bruce! I will be on the lookout!

I do still have a Monarch or two laying eggs but very sporatic now. Also it is no breeze this last few days and cloudy too. It is suppose to rain this weekend.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 29, 2012
1:58 PM

Post #9290098

Was out cleaning flowerbeds when I ran across this guy on a tropical milkweed. Too bad it's too late for him.

Thumbnail by BCH521   Thumbnail by BCH521   Thumbnail by BCH521      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 29, 2012
6:10 PM

Post #9290350

Awww, that's too bad that the Monarch cat. is too late for the trip South Bruce. Down here, hopefully mine will have a chance to make the journey. I found one newly formed Chrysalid on my hibiscus out side today. Another just wandered off the tropical MW, so I hope these two will make it.

Thumbnail by Lily_love
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 30, 2012
8:05 AM

Post #9290879

With the crazy weather this year it just might be ok for it Bruce.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 30, 2012
10:17 AM

Post #9290970

[quote="Sheila_FW"]With the crazy weather this year it just might be ok for it Bruce.[/quote]

I hope u r right, and we're not cutting back the milkweeds until killed by frost. There are also lots of zinnia and tithonia left for nectar.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

October 1, 2012
7:42 AM

Post #9291990

Have had a few Red Admirals the last couple of weeks!

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Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 1, 2012
3:47 PM

Post #9292704

Lovely shots. I had given up on the Monarchs but found 6 first instar cats yesterday and about five eggs of them or Queens. Didn't check everywhere either. Glad to see they are still mating. We have had good weather for plants in our area this year unlike last year, so maybe they will be able to bounce back this year.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 1, 2012
4:51 PM

Post #9292806

I've still got a healthy population of Monarchs here in Florida. Mom keeps bringing them in so I told her she has to feed them. We've got three right now and we've been releasing adults all week long.

Melanie

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 2, 2012
6:54 AM

Post #9293395

My gosh! It will take me forever to catch up on this thread. We have been gone the whole past month traveling in our RV around Florida. I have to tell you up in the panhandle there were so many butterflies along the roadway on the wildflowers, mostly Gulf Frits, sulphurs and a few swallowtails. Tons of them, more than I've ever seen in one place. I guess that is why they call them Gulf fritillary...they love the Gulf coast. Unfortunately they seem to like it right by the roadway...need I say more. :-(


I did catch a few nice butterfly shots while we were traveling to share with you all.

Thumbnail by sunkissed   Thumbnail by sunkissed   Thumbnail by sunkissed   Thumbnail by sunkissed   Thumbnail by sunkissed
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 2, 2012
8:37 AM

Post #9293507

Great shots sunkissed! Glad to know you are taking care of the Monarchs Melanie!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

October 2, 2012
9:12 AM

Post #9293540

Sherri, you have taken a grand vacation indeed! All the beautiful sites at the coast, then those lovely butterflies. Who said we can't have the best of both worlds? LOL. Melanie great job with the caring for the butterflies.

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 2, 2012
1:15 PM

Post #9293761

Well today is the first day I've had the time to tackle the garden...it was so overgrown, especially the passiflora all over everything. I didn't find any Monarch cats but my milkweeds, still lots of leaves and flowers and did see a Monarch laying lots of eggs today while I was out there...so maybe soon.
I did notice quite a few zebra cats on my passiflora and didn't see any Gulf frit cats, they eat the zebra...some are pretty big so think they'll make it all the way.
My Cassia has quite a few cats also, orange and green...I'm excited to have so many caterpillars...isn't nature just beautiful!

Yes Lily that was our big vacation of the year and it was nice...but must say I'm glad to be back home and in my garden again. I could never live in that RV ☺.

EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

October 4, 2012
7:41 AM

Post #9295586

Love all the pics and information

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

October 4, 2012
8:16 AM

Post #9295612

Hey Sherri, [quote] ... Gulf Frit cats, they eat the zebra...[/quote] Do they, the gulf frit. cats eat they zebra's cats.? Quite a competition should they do? I haven't seen one zebra frequenting my garden. But, as I just discovered (new information for moi) from a local Flutters festival that we do have zebra longwings here in our area...I must plant more passiflowers to attract them into the garden. Hey EFG, like you; I'm learning alot of information here from friends sharing info.

Once again, welcome home Sherri. I know the feeling. I'm yearning to make some nice vacation each year. Though, I'd be equally glad when I return home to the garden. :)

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 4, 2012
10:47 AM

Post #9295761

Hey everyone, this thread is getting looong so let's continue here: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1283371/

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 5, 2012
6:54 AM

Post #9296457

Yes Kim, I've seen them in action eating the zebra cats. At the beginning of the summer we had a lot of zebra cats and gulf cats on my passiflora vine. I noticed the zebras were disappearing and soon there were none to be found. On closer inspection I saw the Gulf frit chomping away on a smaller zebra...and knew then what had happened to them all, since the plant had a larger amount of older Gulf frit cats on it.

I'm seeing lots of zebra long wings fluttering around now and not really any Gulf frits since we've been back...guess they're all up in the panhandle. :)
-Sherri

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

October 5, 2012
6:59 AM

Post #9296461

Awww, bad Gulf Frit for eating the smaller zebra cats! Thanks Sherri...let's now join Melanie on her new thread above. While I'm here, just so I can share. I saw a Monarch passing through this morning, one yesterday. Lots of G.F.s in the area and some Sulphurs. Oh yesterday I saw what I think was a Red-spotted Purple buttfly. as well.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 5, 2012
8:53 AM

Post #9296548

Are you certain it was a live cat it was eating Sherri? I had seen something simular when first raising them and it was a skin that it sheds and then turns around and eats. Here is a pic of a BST just leaving it's old skin behind. The color is completely different.

Another note...GFs overwinter here, unless we have a bad winter. They come out on sunny days an take nourishment. Development is very slow, but they will survive most of the time. The second pic I thought might have been a Zebra and Dale Clark told me it was a Gulf Frit also. The weather had turned off cold and it's appearance changed.

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW   Thumbnail by Sheila_FW         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 7, 2012
6:57 AM

Post #9298311

Shelia that could be what I saw, I do notice the molted skins now that you posted a photo, didn't realize that is what those are. Wonder if the family of wrens we have ate all the cats then? They were bouncing around that area every morning then, they had three new babies.

After closer inspection since my last post I do have some Gulf Frit cats also, after witnessing two butterflies laying eggs. They are all eating happily next to each other now...so I guess it was a molted skin i saw being eaten and not new hatchling...you all are the experts...thanks for keeping me educated. ☺

I've also noticed that with the pale coloring last year with my Gulf Frits, I thought they were zebras, but then realized they were Gulf Frits as they grew larger.

I did take some photos of the sulphur cats and will download soon. They are really pretty on the Cassia plant next to the yellow blooms, hope the photos turned out clear. I can't find any Monarch eggs even though I saw a female earlier this week laying some.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

October 10, 2012
5:33 AM

Post #9301317

Sherri...I finally got a tiny sulphur I think. It needs to grow a bit more, but it was on a velvet leaf senna. I still have Monarch cats, but only for a week or so more. I hope they get to adult before the cold sets in. We are already seeing 8 & 9 drifting in ahead of the cold fronts.

Oops...everyone...
Please don't post anymore here (like me!) ...let's all go to the new thread Melanie started here:
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1283371/

This message was edited Oct 10, 2012 6:38 AM

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Other Hummingbird and Butterfly Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

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What are these on my milkweed? margaran 31 May 1, 2009 7:26 PM


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