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Hummingbird and Butterfly Gardening: Catarpillar ID please

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Forum: Hummingbird and Butterfly GardeningReplies: 23, Views: 212
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bezziec

bezziec
Beverly Pflugerville, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 2, 2012
12:11 PM

Post #9262492

This large green catarpillar and his cohorts have completely desimated my cannas this year (as shown in picture one). They then roll up the leaf edge, seal it shut and form a paper-like chrysilis. Is this a good bug or a bad bug? I hate to see my cannas in this condition, but can cut them a little slack if they become a beautiful butterfly.

Thumbnail by bezziec   Thumbnail by bezziec
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BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 2, 2012
1:16 PM

Post #9262533

I think this is it: canna leaf roller

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/f&b_11.htm
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

September 2, 2012
2:09 PM

Post #9262568

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and this beholder thinks they are beautiful. Here's a link to some pictures of the adult skipper. It's huge.


http://www.butterfliesofamerica.com/calpodes_ethlius_live1.htm

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

bezziec

bezziec
Beverly Pflugerville, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 2, 2012
2:54 PM

Post #9262600

Thanks to both of you. I will have to think about it, but I'm leaning toward nice cannas.

TexasPuddyPrint

TexasPuddyPrint
Edinburg, TX

September 6, 2012
12:47 PM

Post #9267181

Nice cannas? Noooooooo :o) I have cannas planted just for the Brazilian Skippers...one such clump is a huge patch about six feet in diameter at the front of my driveway...much to the dismay of my neighbors!!!
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

September 6, 2012
4:41 PM

Post #9267359

Personally I decided years ago to design most of my garden for the wildlife--it's actually very liberating not to have to worry about everything being perfect, and I like having the butterflies and other critters around.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 8, 2012
5:52 PM

Post #9269337

I'm with TPP and BCH, just like life in general nothing is perfect. I enjoy my butterflies garden, and many of my cannas look quite tattered. But, the returns is more rewarding. More Skippers to flit about and soothing the day's blues away.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

September 9, 2012
6:36 PM

Post #9270252

In the TAMU article it covers all leaf rollers. I love the Brazillian Skipper and tollerate the minor damage their larva cause to enjoy them. The Lesser leaf roller was a problem for a couple years and I had been neglecting cutting down my cannas after they died back until I realized I was giving them refuge.

Please read this quote from the above article.

"... the Lesser Canna Leaf Roller is the predominate pest. The Lesser Canna Leaf Roller overwinters as larvae in the leaves and stems of canna, and the moths emerge to mate and lay eggs after the new growth emerges in spring. One mistake that canna growers make is to leave the old dead growth on the canna bed as a mulch. As canna seems to be the only host plant for this pest, it may be possible to drastically reduce the Lesser Canna Leaf Roller population just by removing dead leaves and stems in the winter after the frost has killed back the foliage. "



TexasPuddyPrint

TexasPuddyPrint
Edinburg, TX

October 29, 2012
8:03 PM

Post #9319708

I just added a few cannas to my extended backyard. I hope the Brazilian Skippers lay eggs on them!!!

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

October 29, 2012
8:58 PM

Post #9319748

yup, generally a butterfly gardener will look for holes and chewed bits of host plant leaves with a sense of anticipation and when a butterfly gardener is most happy is when he/she finds those anticipated signs of habitation. i've never had butterfly larvae destroy a plant and the plants come back quickly and with renewed health. this has been my experience anyway.
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

October 30, 2012
2:56 AM

Post #9319827

[quote="vitrsna"]yup, generally a butterfly gardener will look for holes and chewed bits of host plant leaves with a sense of anticipation and when a butterfly gardener is most happy is when he/she finds those anticipated signs of habitation. i've never had butterfly larvae destroy a plant and the plants come back quickly and with renewed health. this has been my experience anyway. [/quote]

I couldn't agree more

TexasPuddyPrint

TexasPuddyPrint
Edinburg, TX

October 30, 2012
6:29 PM

Post #9320596

Dare I mention I also look for frass?! It helps me know and find caterpillars on a variety of plants and trees!!!

~ Cat

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

October 30, 2012
8:17 PM

Post #9320692

indeed! munched leaves and caterpillar poop go hand in hand. i have also traced where some caterpillars have decided to pupate by following the poop trail.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 2, 2012
12:25 PM

Post #9322886

[quote="vitrsna"]indeed! ... i have also traced where some caterpillars have decided to pupate by following the poop trail.[/quote]

LOL! I can't get that close to the ground anymore, but could be done!

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

November 2, 2012
1:44 PM

Post #9322941

If you get yourself a good magnifying glass Sheila (and maybe a Sherlock Holmes hat), you can still do it! :-D

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 2, 2012
6:54 PM

Post #9323191

LOL vitrsna!
...I looked on several MWs out front today and found four Monarchs about ready to pupate and several eggs not yet hatched. I decided not to bring anymore in for this year since it is getting cooler, they can tell more what they need to do if outside this time of year. This is the ones that have already successfully emerged. Then an egg, and also a GST cat and BST cat still not pupated as of yesterday.
I am seeing Bordered Patch, and Long-tailed Skippers this last week too.

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

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 2, 2012
6:56 PM

Post #9323193

I just realized that this LTS is laying eggs on the hycinth bean vine! Glad the west TX sun didn't kill it this summer.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 2, 2012
7:02 PM

Post #9323202

Oops...pic

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Click the image for an enlarged view.

TexasPuddyPrint

TexasPuddyPrint
Edinburg, TX

November 2, 2012
9:12 PM

Post #9323304

Awesome Sheila!!! I didn't know they'd use hyacinth vine. I dumped a bunch of those seeds at the ranch last weekend...some beetle must've laid eggs in the seeds because I had gobs of bugs in a box I was storing them in. Decided to toss everything out.

Those skippers laid eggs on a blue pea vine several years ago and haven't been able to attract them again. Will be planting some Lima beans soon. Maybe that'll work.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

November 3, 2012
4:40 PM

Post #9323861

Nice pics Sheila...do you know what your Patches are using for a host plant? Mine seem to be coming out of the Ruellia but i don't know if this was the host or just where they decided to pupate.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 10, 2012
4:41 PM

Post #9329897

Not sure, but found a chrysalis one year that was down the wall of my shop where some sunflowers are. They could be using several things such as Cowpen Daisy, Maximillian sunflower, Frostweed, and then Common Ragweed which my neighborhood has an abundance of!
Anniesfollies
Carlsbad, CA
(Zone 10b)

November 22, 2012
2:28 PM

Post #9340064

Hi All,
I am new to this forum and am working on adding more butterfly attracting plants to my yard. So far I have two buddleias, milkweed, and many flowering plants for nectar, including lots of succulents. I need to add more host plants so am starting to do research.

I found this thread interesting as I have seven cannas languishing in 8" pots waiting while I figured out where to replant them. Since I now know they'll be planted it was good to read about the Lesser Canna Leaf Roller. The cannas will be in the background so I thought that since I wouldn't see the fallen dead leaves I could provide a refuge.

Wondering if the leaf rollers are in California I looked on Wikipedia and to my dismay it didn't even show a picture and most of the article is devoted to how to eliminate them, mostly with insecticides - the nasty ones that we don't want butterflies or bees ingesting. I hate that the mindset of just using whatever is effective no matter what other harm it may do is so prevalent. I think I'll go in and add to the Wiki article that cannas are the only host plant for the leaf roller, and some info about the problems with systemic insecticides. Perhaps it will give someone second thoughts about using the chemicals.

Sorry to have gotten on my soap box on my first post, and thanks for listening. I'm looking forward to learning from your expertise in this forum and hope to see more posts from gardeners in California.
Annie

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

November 22, 2012
3:26 PM

Post #9340077

Hi Annie! Be sure to drop by the daily butterfly thread as that's where most of us hang out. And feel free to ask any questions; we were all newbies once!

Melanie

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 22, 2012
7:30 PM

Post #9340263

Welcome Annie! Hope you stick to you guns on not using the sprays and keeping it safe for the butterflies.

I plant Cannas in my backyard only. They don't look as bad now after I started cutting them to the ground in late fall. The leaf rollers are NOT the ones I want to attract to them, it is the Brazillian Skippers. Their use of the cannas are much less noticiable too.

As for host plants...look out on the lepfarmer's site http://www.dallasbutterflies.com where you will find a great list under "butterfly gardening".

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

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
save the butterflies!!!!!! eyesoftexas 1 Mar 19, 2010 10:18 PM
Gulf Frittilary Caterpillar busy_bee_or 8 Sep 21, 2007 6:11 PM
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What are these on my milkweed? margaran 31 May 1, 2009 7:26 PM


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