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Hummingbird and Butterfly Gardening: ID Please

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Forum: Hummingbird and Butterfly GardeningReplies: 6, Views: 90
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Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 1, 2012
10:48 AM

Post #9346934

Hi all, hope you all are well.

found this new one today in the garden, can't seem to find it. HELP

This message was edited Dec 1, 2012 12:52 PM

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Red Oak, TX

December 1, 2012
1:08 PM

Post #9347006

EXCELLENT FIND!! This is a Common Mestra (Mestra amymone). They rarely get up to North Texas. I've seen one up here (in my yard in 2007) my entire life.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society


Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 1, 2012
2:13 PM

Post #9347052

Thanks Dale. I was wondering what it was, too. Knew I'd seen a picture before of it, but couldn't remember what it was. Way to go, Datura!

Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 2, 2012
11:02 AM

Post #9347713

WOW! That excites me! I appreciate your ID Dale.


Edinburg, TX

December 10, 2012
6:01 PM

Post #9355102

Congrats on the Common Mestra. They are on the wing down here. Am hoping they will make use of my Tragia vine this year. The vine is a year old and nice and bushy!
Red Oak, TX

December 11, 2012
7:08 AM

Post #9355453

Cat, you get all the cool butterflies down there. If I ever thought I'd move again, the Valley is where I'd move to. You could also find Red Rim larvae on your Tragia/Noseburn. It always amazes me how well the Common Mestra larvae blend in to the plant. Have you ever raised them before? Here's a pic of the caterpillar.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society

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Edinburg, TX

December 28, 2012
7:47 PM

Post #9369503

Dale, you've been here before so I know you'd be a happy camper! We need a lep farmer down here!!! Can you imagine raising crackers, sailors and exotic leafwings...OH MY!!! Hey, the Malachites, Bluewings and hairstreaks too! I assume you've been keeping up with all the new species that have shown up this month.

I've had Common Mestras in my yard but have not sighted a Red Rim. I think Jan or Berry raised them though. NBC is 22 miles from where I live as is Santa Ana Wildlfe Refuge. Edinburg World Birding is about I've miles east of me.

Never raised either one...yet...but eventually I will if they or a Sailor would lay eggs on the Tragia!!! I have a nice sized Dale Champia vine - am waiting or a Cracker to find it! Same goes for green shrimp plant and Malachites. Might have to put out a neon sign in my back yard to show them the way?!

Unfortunately work keeps me busy and out of town trips don't help. I don't like leaving caterpillars alone for more than a day or two so haven't didn't do much raising this year.

I came across a mating pair of Forbes silkmoths at the ranch a few months ago and brought them back to Edinburg. The female laid about 200 eggs before I turned her loose. Had gobs of caterpillars but then I had to work out of own for several days so I took them to the ranch and put them on the Colima bush I found mama on. When I went back to check on them a weekend later couldn't find a single cat! UGH!!!

I love raising those big beautys - every now and then I'll find cocoons on the neighbors ash tree but haven't made time to look...dratted trees are too tall! All I get is cat frass on my roof!

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