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Hummingbird and Butterfly Gardening: Daily pictures #99

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

December 22, 2012
10:28 AM

Post #9364712

Saw a couple of beauties today...both firsts for my yard.

Southern Dogface?
White Peacock!

There are plenty of others out today, we will see what the afternoon hours bring.

Russell

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 22, 2012
10:31 AM

Post #9364717

Yup, that's a Southern Dogface! Beautiful photos as usual!

Melanie

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

December 22, 2012
11:21 AM

Post #9364754

Thanks Melanie.

Here's another one I haven't seen before.

Sleepy orange? It was very brightly colored...sitting on duranta.

Russell

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C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

December 22, 2012
2:05 PM

Post #9364858

Russell,
Thanks for the gorgeous pictures and variety of BFs. The dogface sulphur is a beauty but the dog sure is ugly. The queens convention which you posted earlier is something I would love to see in nature.
Your Sleepy orange shows the colors for the late season which is a reddish brown to brown coloration of the forewings.
I hope you have a record number of species to keep us posted on this winter.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 22, 2012
8:25 PM

Post #9365155

Thanks for the new thread Russell ...and the great pictures!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 23, 2012
10:10 AM

Post #9365412

Exciting news everyone! The museum where I volunteer bought some Malachite butterflies for the flight cage so I got to release some of them today. And of course, I took pictures thinking of you guys. Malachites have been reported as far north as Sarasota, but that's still a good hour and a half below where I live. It's always super neat to see a butterfly for the first time.

Melanie

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Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

December 23, 2012
10:26 AM

Post #9365419

love those!

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

December 23, 2012
11:32 AM

Post #9365452

Gorgeous, Melanie! I'm green and black with envy.

Russell - the sleepy orange is what I raised last summer on the senna.

Not much aloft here, but when it gets warm enough the neighbor's bees are on my camellia bush. :)

I still have 4 or 5 BST overwintering. Will see them in March or April I guess. :)

A.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

December 23, 2012
3:48 PM

Post #9365587

beautiful photos of the Malachite mellie...some of them appear to be as large as White Morphos. what do you have as food for the Malachites? i've read they like rotten meat and dung sometimes and maybe rotten fruit? And what are you using as a host plant upon which they can oviposit? gosh, i'd love to see some photos of the caterpillars (all instars). they are only very occasional visitors to my garden and i'd like to be able to attract some without having to leave rotten meat out.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 23, 2012
4:16 PM

Post #9365609

We don't have any host plants for it as far as I know. We did put out a feeder with some oranges and bananas on it but it was too cold today for them to be moving around much. It was kind of fun because I could just pick them up and they didn't protest. I never got to see the caterpillars as they were shipped as chrysalises. There's only one photo of the cat in the Bug Files but it looks really cool. It would be awesome if you could attract some to your yard!

Melanie

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

December 23, 2012
7:17 PM

Post #9365709

Thanks mellie...if you don't have host plants, how are they going to reproduce? or do they just die off and someone orders more chrysalises? or not? that seems so sad considering a butterfly's primary goal in life is to be able to reproduce...a book i have says Acanthaceae will host the Malachites so i'll see what i can find that will fit in the garden.
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

December 24, 2012
7:03 AM

Post #9365949

Here's a shot of the Malachite larva. They definitely will not use just any plant in the Acanthaceae, but their favorite that I use is Green Shrimp Plant (Blechum brownei). Larvae will eat various types of Ruellia, but the only one I've ever gotten females to oviposit on is Red Christmas Pride (Ruellia amoena), which is pretty hard to find.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com


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lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

December 24, 2012
7:21 AM

Post #9365961

And here's a shot of the Malachite pupa.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com

Thumbnail by lepfarmer
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vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

December 24, 2012
9:11 AM

Post #9366039

thank you lepfarmer, very much! i do have wild ruellia (species unknown) from a neighbor's rancho and some crescents and other small butterflies use it but a malachite has never gone near it. i was looking at various kinds of Acanthaceae and liked the Green Shrimp Plant (Blechum brownei) the best so i was happy to hear your comment about it. Blechum brownei is listed as being native to or naturalized in Mexico and i use native plants as often as i can. so now i will look for this plant...the hard part will be finding a place to put it...always i am thinking "i can squeeze just one more plant in...somewhere."

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

December 24, 2012
9:44 AM

Post #9366059

I am sure after the info you shared Dale, that Melanie will be on the search for Green Shrimp Plant to bring into the flight area! LOL!
I loved seeing the Malachites in the Tropical Exhibit when it was here.
The pictures are great Melanie and Dale!!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 24, 2012
9:58 AM

Post #9366068

I guess this batch was just a special thing and the manager at the museum doesn't plan on having them for successive generations. I agree, it's kind of sad. All the other butterflies we have are native to just this immediate area and we have host plants for them. We usually don't buy butterflies either; I thought it was kind of unusual since we make a big deal out of how we raise our own butterflies at the museum.

Melanie

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

December 24, 2012
10:42 AM

Post #9366101

Melanie...maybe you could sneak a green shrimp plant in and hide it in a corner somewhere...the Malachites will find it but the manager might not :-o

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

December 27, 2012
5:51 PM

Post #9368696

That's funny - sneaking in a host plant . . . but what if she gets caught?! :P

heh.

Thanks for the images and information Dale. I haven't looked but expect that this species may be out of my range.

Hope all's well. Just checking in. :)

A.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

December 27, 2012
7:33 PM

Post #9368742

well Amanda...there are over 650,000 DGers behind her and only one manager who, as i see it, doesn't have a chance against that many gardeners ready to provide alibis ... she must remember to wear gloves and not to spit on the plant so there will be no fingerprints or DNA should an investigation ensue :-D

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

December 27, 2012
7:35 PM

Post #9368743

I already got yelled at once a few weeks ago so I'm trying not to do anything else to get in trouble. We were totally out of food for the Great Southern Whites so I went to buy some cabbage at the supermarket next door. I guess it was treated with Bt because she lost some. She made it sound like they all died but when I came in the next weekend there were still a lot of cats and chrysalises. She was all like, "Why didn't you call? My number is in the lab." But it isn't. But I figured I would just overlook that and keep my mouth shut. Of course, now we have lots of cabbage planted in the garden and it's totally the wrong time of year for the whites to be out. I think she must have gotten those from a farm because I have never seen a Great Southern White in the wild here. So I'm laying low and trying not to stir the pot (and I'm a natural pot-stirrer, LOL).

Melanie

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

December 27, 2012
9:35 PM

Post #9368793

Hum, that's interesting about the Great Southern Whites Melanie. A few years ago I planted some pepper grass (lepidicum virginicum) for the Great Southern Whites and so many butterflies came and laid eggs and pupated and the food supply was getting so low but they just kept coming and laying eggs and finally i had 30 or 40 GSW caterpillars only about half way to pupating with no food. I also went to the store and bought cabbage for them. They ate the cabbage and got bigger but only a couple of them pupated, the rest just got bigger. It was such a mystery to me and now i wonder if it was because the cabbage was not organic. It also occurred to me that perhaps they did not respond well to the diet change. I really don't know. But i am more careful now about messing with mother nature.

Ah, i understand about the manager...and causing a brawl in a butterfly museum would be unseemly... o well it was fun to think about "the caper in the butterfly museum" :-D

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 3, 2013
11:32 AM

Post #9374271

Mom released one of my Zebra Longwings this afternoon (I was sleeping). It didn't take long for her to find a friend! Here they are joined at the umm...whatever butterflies call it, LOL!

Melanie

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 3, 2013
5:09 PM

Post #9374591

Guys, I lost roughly 50 Monarch caterpillars last year having fed them milkweed purchased from a nursery ... I was so saddened. I learned the hard way. The plant that I purchased looked healthy with Monarch hovering on them and young Monarch cats on them eating the leaves. Once I brough it home and feed to my cats. They got bigger yes, but eventually dried up and couldn't pupate.

Thanks to all whose butterflies are still present, and your sharing of the photos. It's colder here where we're. No butterflies here since late fall.

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 3, 2013
6:11 PM

Post #9374650

Sorry to hear that. It has been cold here too. I saw some American ladies the other day, but the light was terrible and the pics were subpar so I didn't bother. Spring will be here before we know it!

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

January 3, 2013
7:49 PM

Post #9374726

Interesting comments Lily...I too have been through caterpillar famine, massive loses to parasites, etc. etc. and for sure my conclusion is that butterfly gardening is not for sissies. So why do we do it when sometimes it breaks our hearts and leaves us with lots of holes in all our plants. ragtag gardens, and feeling helpless? I do it because butterflies are loosing habitat at an alarming rate where i live and they are pretty close to the bottom of the food chain. And there are failures that leave us sad, but there are also successes which leave us joyful in addition to no end of surprises. By creating habitat that wouldn't otherwise be there, we provide them with opportunities to survive. Maybe some of you have different ideas about why we plant butterfly gardens (like it is just plain fascinating or)? The Monarchs and Polydamas Swallowtails arrived in my garden in November of this year. Usually groups come in the Spring months and Winter months. The winter Polydamas are in their third generation. The first two generations were very successful but this third generation has been suffering from parasites (the origin of which i have not yet been able to determine) and caterpillar after caterpillar is leaving the host plant to start pupating earlier than it should (even though there is abundant food), and not being able to make chrysalises. The Monarchs on the other hand will have quite a good number of healthy successful butterflies. At the same time all the various Passiflora butterflies (with the Zebra long-wings being more abundant than usual) seem to be doing as well as can be expected and popping out of the dense Passiflora vine with regularity. It looks like i might get at least two mating pairs of Polydamas.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 4, 2013
4:49 AM

Post #9374929

I think "Butterfly Gardening is Not for Sissies" should be a bumper sticker.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

January 4, 2013
7:17 AM

Post #9375056

great idea Mrs_Ed and a good way for some of the butterfly orgs to earn some money? :-D

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 4, 2013
8:31 AM

Post #9375117

Took these yesterday around my garden...hard to believe in the beginning of January...that last one is a Oleander moth and it is chomping away at my desert rose, not too happy about that. Zebra longwings are fluttering all over, but haven't been able to capture a photo of one of them.

This message was edited Jan 4, 2013 11:32 AM

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 4, 2013
10:31 AM

Post #9375254

I had two more Zebra Longwings emerge today. When I went out front, the two from yesterday were STILL attached to each other. It's kind of cool and dreary today so I understand them hanging out in the same place but I thought for sure they would be finished by now! I even picked them up and tried to see if they would break apart but they didn't. I put them back on a flower so they could at least have some food in the meantime, LOL!

Melanie

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 5, 2013
7:21 AM

Post #9376060

Thanks for the id on the oleander moth cat! I saw some of those in Cozumel during the summer and thought they might have been some type of Fritillary, but could never find the id. I had no idea they would eat desert rose. As for the love birds...err bugs...that you found Melanie, that seems like a very long courtship. It is dreary and cold here today and nothing at all in flight. The sun might peek out for a bit tomorrow, so hopefully there will be some sightings. Stay warm!

Russell

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 5, 2013
7:32 AM

Post #9376064

Russell, both the oleanders and desert roses exude a milky sap when broken, I was wondering if the two plants are related. Come to think of it, the sap is very much like that of Milkweed's excretion when injured.

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 5, 2013
8:09 AM

Post #9376087

You know Kim you're right about that milky sap, kind of interesting. The caterpillars completely ate my oleanders clean, not one leaf on either one of them. Now they're working on this plant which is in the back yard quite a distance from the two oleanders which are in the front yard. I've never had them on my desert rose before, guess they find what they can. There was only one and now there are two...not sure I want to let them devour my desert rose...I was going to let the one go, but if more come...well...

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 5, 2013
10:25 AM

Post #9376174

Those two Zebra Longwings were stilll together this morning so I gently picked them up and pulled. I honestly think they got stuck. I didn't have to pull very hard and they came apart. This afternoon they were gone along with two others I released yesterday (I had them all on the bougainvillea by the front door) so I hope they all flew away.

Melanie (butterfly doctor, as needed, LOL)

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 5, 2013
1:05 PM

Post #9376293

Doc Mellie makes me think of that song, "You and me baby are stuck like glue". Glad you got them separated. ☺
EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

January 5, 2013
7:45 PM

Post #9376727

Funnnnny, Mel.,,,
enjoyed all the pictures and posts. Had my first monarch pop out this morning. Put him/her in the greenhouse with flowers. Not too cold here, so hope it will survive to fly south.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 6, 2013
9:52 AM

Post #9377162

Well, there are plenty of Zebra Longwings outside today and one of them laid eggs on the passiflora out front so I guess everybody turned out all right.

Here's one more look at a Malachite from the museum, a Zebra Longwing on my jatropha, and a Long-Tailed Skipper enjoying Spanish Needles.

Melanie

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 6, 2013
10:06 AM

Post #9377168

What a difference a day makes...the sun came out today and everyone is happy again. I even caught a glimpse of a hummingbird today...now that is strange for this time of year.

Russell

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 6, 2013
10:07 AM

Post #9377169

A couple more.

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EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

January 6, 2013
7:55 PM

Post #9377701

Here is a pic of my first baby (3 have hatched so far) They seem to be just hibernating in the greenhouse (low 30's tonight)

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 6, 2013
8:29 PM

Post #9377712

Congrats!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 7, 2013
3:58 PM

Post #9378486

My Io Moth emerged this evening!

Melanie

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 7, 2013
7:01 PM

Post #9378674

Beautiful!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 7, 2013
7:09 PM

Post #9378682

Congrats Melanie, fine job!

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

January 11, 2013
11:31 AM

Post #9382108

Oooooo...so good to see all the pics of the BF's!! I have so missed being able to get on here! My subscription expired back in October...and with so much going on and having new responsibilities now I just couldn't justify spending the money. But today I received a gift of a subscription from someone and I am so grateful!!

Awesome photos everyone!!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 11, 2013
12:53 PM

Post #9382185

Yay! Gift subscriptions are great. Glad to have you back!

Melanie

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 13, 2013
7:05 AM

Post #9383495

Awsome gift for sure!

Hey folks...not sure if many of you know Debnes_dfw_tx or not, but she used to be real active on this forum. Her husband Kevin passed away at home on New Years Eve. The memorial service is today. Just keep her and their kids in your thoughts and prayers today.

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 13, 2013
8:30 AM

Post #9383562

Yak, love the photos, you have such beautiful butterflies, and I saw a hummingbird the other day also, never happens in January, but then we've been having temps up to 80 for a good week now.

Mellie, nice Lo moth, I remember my pretty caterpillar last month...never see them in my garden. Good news about the longwings.

nanny isn't that wonderful, nice to see you back again. ☺

Shelia, how sad to hear someone losing a loved one, especially during the holidays. I do remember seeing her around the forums.



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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 13, 2013
8:45 AM

Post #9383575

Just a few pictures from the museum today. I've got a Zebra Longwing, a Malachite, and a Monarch.

My boss finally has some green shrimp plant and ruellia cuttings in the flight cage, but I only counted two Malachites left so I think she's too late. While out with my net, I managed to catch two Monarchs, two Cloudless Sulphurs, and two Gulf Fritillaries. A guy in the parking lot said he'd never seen anyone actually catching butterflies before. That's one downside to the museum - having observers every time I go butterfly catching! When I miss one I feel really silly. Oh well, I'm sort of resigned to being eccentric anyway. On the upside I totally thrilled a five year-old girl by letting her hold a Monarch caterpillar. She behaved a lot better than the boy who kept shaking the plants and swinging his arms at the butterflies. It's weird how children can be so different. Parenting, I guess.

We've still got some Great Southern Whites (with plenty of food planted for them this time) and I saw a Julia in the flight cage. So the butterflies my boss traded for or ordered are hanging in there with these 80 degree temps. Melanie, however, is wilting. I had to crank up the AC and drink my ice water after chasing all those butterflies!

Melanie

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 13, 2013
9:21 AM

Post #9383620

Here's a few I just caught outside when I went to water my orchids. A Cloudless Sulphur (there were actually two of them) on pentas, and a Zebra Longwing on jatropha. About the only time those Zebras stop for more than a second is when they get on the jatropha. It must be their favorite.

Melanie

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Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 13, 2013
10:25 AM

Post #9383669

Love the Malachite pic! I have seen some and taken pics at the exhibit here...but only have it every two years.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

January 13, 2013
11:53 AM

Post #9383757

I do remember Debnes_dfw_tx ...how sad it is to hear that news...will keep her in my prayers.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 13, 2013
2:53 PM

Post #9383907

I too remember Debnes, the news saddened me, prayers are up for Debbie and her family.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 13, 2013
4:53 PM

Post #9384005

I went to the memorial along with a good showing of our other DGers from this area. Got and gave a lot of hugs to her and the family today. I am sure she will appreciate the prayers as 2013 folds out.
EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

January 16, 2013
5:58 PM

Post #9387633

So sorry to hear about Deb's husband. I think she sent me some butterfly plants several years ago. Prayers for her and family..

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

January 16, 2013
7:52 PM

Post #9387745

Do not know Deb but know the loss of loved ones around the holidays. -sigh-

The pretty pictures for the last week or so here are cheery tho' and welcome sight. NC had a couple of warm days, back to wet and cold, and tomorrow a winter weather watch for Thursday into Friday. Needless to say, no visitors here. The neighbors bees do come to the garden for the camellia when temps rise into the 50's.

p.s. I grew from seed the "Pride of Barbados" Jatropha. I brought it in for winter, it sure is finicky. Can anyone give me some growth tips?

Thanks.
A.

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 17, 2013
7:59 AM

Post #9388054

I was out playing with my new camera and walked over to photograph my Mexican flame vine and look who I found, was quite large...first one I've seen since probably Nov. Glad I had my camera in hand. ☺

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AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

January 17, 2013
8:08 AM

Post #9388069

Very handsome!

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

January 18, 2013
8:03 AM

Post #9389090

Excellent shots!

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

January 20, 2013
11:01 AM

Post #9391310

A Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) eclosed today and it is always such a happiness. Here are a couple of pics of the pre-flight and oh so fashion perfect beauty.

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Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 20, 2013
11:28 AM

Post #9391330

Beautiful.
C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

January 20, 2013
9:48 PM

Post #9391973

Gorgeous butterfly and really nice camera shots.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 21, 2013
4:46 AM

Post #9392060

shorthog wrote:Gorgeous butterfly and really nice camera shots.


That goes for both the Tiger Swallowtails pics. from sunkissed and the Giant Swallowtail pics. from vitra. Question for shorthog; do you get to see that gorgeous butterfly in Arkansas? Here I haven't seen them yet. Though I have kept some citrus plants (in container culture) around hoping to attract them beauties. This winter by far it's been fairly mild. I've risked a lemon tree outdoor, thus far it withstood some snow and survived. I may root prune the tree and plant it in the ground this spring.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

January 21, 2013
7:49 AM

Post #9392243

Lily, you might try some Common Rue (Ruta graveolens) if you are talking about attracting the Giant Swallowtails. I'm not sure which of the swallowtails you are referring to. I have both a lime tree and Common Rue and the Giant Swallowtails show a strong preference for the Rue (at least in my garden). Also, I think the Rue may be more winter hardy although that is not something i have personal experience with, being in zone 10b and all.

Thanks for the "nice camera shots" comment Shorthog...it is much easier when they are pre-flight compared to being on the wing dontcha know :-D.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 21, 2013
8:09 AM

Post #9392278

Common Rue will be fine there. It survives my winters here. I have never had a GST host on it, though I've had the Black Swallowtails enjoy it. I have not had a GST sighting in my garden for quite a while. I imagine they lost one of the host trees nearby

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

January 21, 2013
8:48 AM

Post #9392330

Mrs. Ed, when you are checking your Rue for swallowtail eggs, the Black Swallowtail eggs will be white and the GST eggs will be a dark yellow...but i expect you know that...but maybe some of the other readers don't. Just because you don't see them, they may be putting eggs on the Rue behind your back.
C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

January 21, 2013
11:26 AM

Post #9392491

Lily_love wrote:

That goes for both the Tiger Swallowtails pics. from sunkissed and the Giant Swallowtail pics. from vitra. Question for shorthog; do you get to see that gorgeous butterfly in Arkansas? Here I haven't seen them yet. Though I have kept some citrus plants (in container culture) around hoping to attract them beauties. This winter by far it's been fairly mild. I've risked a lemon tree outdoor, thus far it withstood some snow and survived. I may root prune the tree and plant it in the ground this spring.



GST do showup in my area but I have yet to see one. Maybe I need some host plants in the backyard or at the River Valley Nature center. Thanks everyone for the host plant advice. Since I have limited space, container plants sound like a good approach for borderline plants in zone 7b.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 21, 2013
6:08 PM

Post #9392906

shorthog wrote:

GST do showup in my area but I have yet to see one. Maybe I need some host plants in the backyard or at the River Valley Nature center. Thanks everyone for the host plant advice. Since I have limited space, container plants sound like a good approach for borderline plants in zone 7b.


That's good news that they do visit our 'borderline' in zone 7b. I've kept citrus plants in pots for years. Some years I get fruits, other year I don't. But, with winter protection indoor, they do just fine. I may have to send out for some GST's eggs to get them started?

Thanks Marna, and vitrsna for your suggestion on common rues. I'll try to plant some in the future.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 22, 2013
7:04 AM

Post #9393496

I can second the suggestion for Rue. I have Lime, Lemon, and Orange and they will only occassionally lay eggs on them; but my Rue plants are bombed constantly. The BST and GST will use it so it is definately worth growing. If you have a nursery that carries herbs they should have it. Wash the leaves before setting them out because it could have pesticides.

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 22, 2013
7:39 AM

Post #9393527

vitrsna wrote:Mrs. Ed, when you are checking your Rue for swallowtail eggs, the Black Swallowtail eggs will be white and the GST eggs will be a dark yellow...but i expect you know that...but maybe some of the other readers don't. Just because you don't see them, they may be putting eggs on the Rue behind your back.


Whoa! if Black Swallowtail eggs are white and the GST eggs will be dark yellow. So, looking at Sheila's pic. above; are their there both BST's egg (left), and GST egg (right).?

Thank you all for your helpful suggestions/comments. I'll def. look into some Ruta graveolens for the garden. Marna, if these plants are hardy in your zone, looks as if I can have tons of them here, especially they appear to withstand's Sheila's region in Tx. So both cold/heat tolerance of the plants is quite phenominal!



This message was edited Jan 22, 2013 10:05 AM

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

January 22, 2013
7:42 AM

Post #9393533

Ooooh, really nice photo Sheila! Beautiful to see those two eggs close together. Close to where i live is a town called Tecoman which is one of the world's largest producers of limes. The lime growers battle and destroy many Giant Swallowtail caterpillars using pesticides every year. I tell people they are wasting their money on pesticides and if they would plant Common Rue in and near the orchards, the butterflies would lay their eggs on the Rue and leave the trees alone. I don't know if anyone is listening, but my comments have been met with surprise at least and maybe curiosity.

This year I am trying to start some Choisya plants from seeds. They are also Rutaceae and i am hoping that the Black and Giant Swallowtails will use it in addition to the Common Rue. Right now, i have one little Choisya seedling and am hoping that it will survive and flourish. Soon i'll start more seeds.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 22, 2013
7:50 AM

Post #9393541

They don't get very big here because of winter dieback, but are pretty darn dependable. plus have some cute yellow flowers

Thumbnail by Mrs_Ed
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 22, 2013
8:07 AM

Post #9393562

I'm sold on common Rues! LOL. Thanks Mrs. Ed. Just wanna close my eyes and dream of spring garden filled with common rues.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 22, 2013
8:12 AM

Post #9393568

I agree. I was just looking through pictures to find this one and got so excited for spring. Last year with the drought, the garden and butterflies were just terrible. The year before I had such terrible milkweed aphids. So I'm going to re-do a ton this year I hope.

here are three stages of the Black Swallowtail from August 2011.

Thumbnail by Mrs_Ed
Click the image for an enlarged view.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

January 22, 2013
8:07 PM

Post #9394265

Mrs Ed...I've had Rue plants for five years that have never flowered...not even a bud. I agree, after seeing your photo, that the flowers are attractive. I wonder if you water them during the dry summer months? Do you suppose that i could be giving my plants too much water and fertilizer and that this has inhibited flower growth? or does it take a number of years before the plants will form flowers?

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 23, 2013
5:15 AM

Post #9394445

Boy I don't know. I neglect the heck out of that plant, so you might be right about fussing over it too much. Maybe it has life so good it doesn't think it needs to flower. But it is a bit older than yours, I'd say 10 years ish.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 23, 2013
5:40 AM

Post #9394459

Mrs. Ed. The picture of the 3 stages of the BST is terrific! I noticed that you didn't have the copy right mark? May I copy that picture for myself please. Also, how much sun do you give your Rue? I've alot of dappled shade area in the garden to work on, but one that's full sun is scarce. I may consider container culture if they require lots of sun to thrive. Up until presence, I've had success with BST with Dills and Parsley in the garden.

In regard to aphids on milkweeds. I regularly hose them down, that method worked well for me. Also, I encourage ladybugs in the garden to counter act the aphids population. This year, winter is thus far relatively mild. Temp. hasn't dip down to below 20'ish F. So some of my milkweeds still show off outside awaiting for the Monarch migrating Northward, lol.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 23, 2013
6:20 AM

Post #9394509

Sure Kim, copy away. I'll send you the original if you want. My rue is in full sun. Sort of. later in the year it competes with a shasta daisy, so I imagine some shading is occurring in the later hours of the day. Have you tried bronze fennel? It's a pretty plant and i've found cats on it. It is growing in some shade here and has been coming back for me for the past few years. I purposely have it away from the herb bed because I heard it can cross with Dill. Hence why it is in a shadier area. I also have some queen anne's lace but have never found them on there.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 23, 2013
7:15 AM

Post #9394573

Wooohooo! Thank you Mrs. Ed. I've got the picture. The fact that Rue will cross with Dills, that's very interesting. That prompted me to read more about these herbs. Yes, I've grown bronze fennel, haven't yet found cats. on them maybe I've overlooked them? Will try to transplant some more fennels/dills into the butterfly garden this year. Many thanks.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

January 23, 2013
8:23 AM

Post #9394675

I am just starting bronze fennel this year (with Swallowtails in mind) and the plant is about 10" tall now so it is encouraging to know you found caterpillars on your plant Mrs. Ed.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 23, 2013
8:27 AM

Post #9394683

Kim, FENNEL will cross with DILL. Not Rue. Although the Rue produces seed for me, I have never found a seedling.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

January 23, 2013
8:52 AM

Post #9394714

I grow bronze fennel too and always get cats..though last year was not very goo due to the drought. It comes back every year and I find baby plants now in the spring. But they are easy to remove if you don't want them. I have never had any eggs on my dill and the dill has gotten almost invasive in my garden!! Still want to find some Rue...not sure where I would put it tho!!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 23, 2013
9:00 AM

Post #9394724

Mrs_Ed wrote:Kim, FENNEL will cross with DILL. Not Rue. Although the Rue produces seed for me, I have never found a seedling.



Oh thanks Mrs. Ed for the clarification. Hi Nanny, you and me both. We are running out of room... Especially sunny location in my case.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 23, 2013
10:43 AM

Post #9394860

Just throwing in my two cents about rue. I've had great success with it attracting both Giant and Black Swallowtails (sometimes at the same time). It's a stinky plant, but I guess it has to attract the butterflies somehow. Mine is in mostly full sun, in sandy soil, and it managed to make three more plants for me this year. This is definitely a plant I would keep in a butterfly garden. Oh, and mine never gets all that big (which can be a problem when you have to feed 20 caterpillars), but would be good for container gardeners.

Melanie
C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

January 23, 2013
11:08 AM

Post #9394892

Since we have an interest in propagating Rue, please be aware that Rue contains photosensitizing substances which can cause severe skin dermatitis with burning and blisters when the skin is exposed to sun light UV. Minimize skin contact from the Rue and sun by wearing appropriate clothing, gloves, hat, and UV blocking agents.
Like poson ivy, not everyone will become sensitized but with each skin exposure the possibility of becoming allergic increases especially on hot bright sunny days.
Caution in mind, I plan to add Rue to my backyard BF plants.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 23, 2013
11:49 AM

Post #9394939

Hey, I saw that on Downton Abbey. Ha! I have never had any problem with it, but I've heard of this before.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 23, 2013
12:02 PM

Post #9394959

Thank you shorthog and everyone, shorthog with your words of caution. I'll be extra careful. I'll plan to add Rue to my BF garden as well.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 25, 2013
7:36 PM

Post #9397764

shorthog wrote:Since we have an interest in propagating Rue, please be aware that Rue contains photosensitizing substances which can cause severe skin dermatitis with burning and blisters when the skin is exposed to sun light UV. Minimize skin contact from the Rue and sun by wearing appropriate clothing, gloves, hat, and UV blocking agents.
Like poson ivy, not everyone will become sensitized but with each skin exposure the possibility of becoming allergic increases especially on hot bright sunny days.


Well I think you helped solve a problem I had a couple years ago. I had a rash on my chin and cheek that wouldn't go away. It got so bad that my primary doctor sent me to a Dermatologist. He said it was oral dermatitis, and couldn't tell me what may have caused it.
I changed my whole life at that point, I didn't want to leave the house. I read on the web, not to use flouride toothpaste, dryer sheets, stay out of the sun, no make-up unless it is mineral based, and I had to use 70 UV or above sun blocker. I also still use a mild cleanser to wash my face no scrubs etc., blot dry. It stopped and slowly went away.
I have added most everything except the dryer sheets (liquid now), back into my life over this past two years. I still wear hats and gloves more than before. I have the medication handy and now with what you told me I think I can relax a bit more. Thanks!

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

January 25, 2013
8:08 PM

Post #9397794

wow, that's news to me Shorthog and Sheila, and good to know. i've had rue off and on in the garden for a number of years and have always worked with it bare-handed without problem but you never know.
C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

January 25, 2013
10:34 PM

Post #9397835

Sheila_FW wrote:

Well I think you helped solve a problem I had a couple years ago. I had a rash on my chin and cheek that wouldn't go away. It got so bad that my primary doctor sent me to a Dermatologist. He said it was oral dermatitis, and couldn't tell me what may have caused it.
I changed my whole life at that point, I didn't want to leave the house. I read on the web, not to use flouride toothpaste, dryer sheets, stay out of the sun, no make-up unless it is mineral based, and I had to use 70 UV or above sun blocker. I also still use a mild cleanser to wash my face no scrubs etc., blot dry. It stopped and slowly went away.
I have added most everything except the dryer sheets (liquid now), back into my life over this past two years. I still wear hats and gloves more than before. I have the medication handy and now with what you told me I think I can relax a bit more. Thanks!


Hopefully my advice will be helpful. I was a toxicologist for a major consumer products company and evaluated the irritation and sensitization potential of many old and new substances prior to my retirement. I miss being a working scientist so I'm studying plants, bugs, birds, butterflies, and fishing.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

January 26, 2013
7:48 AM

Post #9398028

shorthog wrote:

I miss being a working scientist so I'm studying plants, bugs, birds, butterflies, and fishing.


These studies should keep you occupied and fascinated for a number of lifetimes shorthog :-D

EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

January 26, 2013
6:39 PM

Post #9398599

Loved the posts.. very interesting about Rue. I will plant some in our butterfly garden this year. I need to go fishing...sigh.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 27, 2013
9:26 AM

Post #9399060

I have had Rue for five years or so with no problem, but like shorthog said, I may have been one of those that has become allergic. We had a drought the last year or so, which means plenty of sun in Texas. I also have gone from two Rue to about 8 in the last couple of years. I get both the BST and the GST through here often.

As for the question someone asked about where to plant...mine get only the morning through 1pm sun. But in Texas "full sun" here is too hot for almost any plant that isn't native.

I have about ten BST chrysalis that are caged but out in the weather to over-winter. However, I had one emerge last weekend a bit too early. I didn't notice it until late in the evening of a very cold night, so I brought it inside the shop. We have pentas that are blooming inside now, so I placed him on them. I have spritzed them a bit with water and even took a ripe banana inside there with no results. I took him outside for about an hour today but even though it is 70 degrees, the south winds were really blowing and it is overcast with no sun. So in he goes again. It's wings are perfectly formed, so if he should die before he can fly...I will keep the wings to repair others with. I have a partial set of Monarch wings that were from one that fell during eclosure. Never tried to repair wings before but looks like it is possible.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

January 27, 2013
9:49 AM

Post #9399078

Sheila Butterfly Plastic Surgeon!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 27, 2013
9:53 AM

Post #9399084

I've got a Monarch and a Zebra Longwing out front laying eggs on my plants. Here's to caterpillars in the near future!

Melanie

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

January 28, 2013
11:24 AM

Post #9400268

Sheila that's fantastic. I hope that your BST heads off, but s/he will be like an organ donor and could live on. Almost poetic. And i thought i was the only bug surgeon around.

I read about the rue last year before planting it. Sounds kind of scary and does not comport with my hands-on style of gardening. Maybe someday I will get some sense knocked into me. I hope it's not by the rue, though.

Now where is Russell with some butterfly images?!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 28, 2013
1:05 PM

Post #9400377

Here's a pic I got of a Monarch that was laying eggs all over my milkweed yesterday. While volunteering at the museum, I captured a Gulf Frit, Monarch, Long-Tailed Skipper, and a Zebra Longwing. Beautiful weather here for butterflies!

Melanie

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 28, 2013
1:06 PM

Post #9400379

Oops...hit the wrong button...here's the photo.

Thumbnail by mellielong
Click the image for an enlarged view.

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

January 28, 2013
5:43 PM

Post #9400639

Haha Amanda!

I haven't seen much of anything around, it gets dark so early that everything is gone by the time I get home. I have spent the last month trying to get in shape. Instead of chasing butterflies, I have been walking, kayaking and bike riding. 89 miles so far this month! The weather here was great over the weekend, but I saw very few visitors. I pulled up a Mexican oleander last night because I just couldn't stand the mess from the satin white moth larvae that plague the plant. The moths are unremarkable, and the cats drop TONS of frass and make webs on all of the leaves, preventing the plant from blooming, so it had to go! I thought about spraying, but decided just to rip the thing out of the ground.

I planted Rue, Fennel and Italian parsley in the hopes of luring some Swallowtails to the garden, and all of the nectar plants are poised for a Spring flurry. Compost is ready to spread for the Spring and the Mexican flame vine I plucked from a neighbor's fence is covered with tiny blooms waiting to open. Come on Spring.

Melanie, I am glad you are having good weather! Thanks for sharing.

Russell
BCH521
Homeworth, OH
(Zone 5b)

January 29, 2013
3:10 AM

Post #9400940

Sheila_FW wrote:I It's wings are perfectly formed, so if he should die before he can fly...I will keep the wings to repair others with. I have a partial set of Monarch wings that were from one that fell during eclosure. Never tried to repair wings before but looks like it is possible.


Can this be done? What kind of adhesive would you use?

Thanks everyone for posting, the only activity here are the BST chrysallises on my porch.

Bruce

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 29, 2013
6:39 AM

Post #9401094

Yes, you can! Here is a link to a video that Live Monarch Foundation has on the web. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ah0SBALIc0o I bought the cement and have it ready for when it is needed. Too many times I have put down a perfectly healthy bf just because it couldn't fly. I will try this in the future.

Oh and btw, we had a day or two with 70 degrees and my BST took off and flew two houses away before I lost sight of him. We have some weeds and other early bloomers around, so hopefully it will make it. I will save wings another time!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

January 30, 2013
10:36 AM

Post #9402585

Just a couple of pictures today. I have a Long-Tailed Skipper who lost his tails and then a Zebra Longwing on the jatropha (as usual). Also saw a Gulf Frit and Cloudless Sulphur flying around. It's very warm here (mid-80s) and perfect butterfly weather, but we're supposed to have a cold front come through tomorrow and knock us back down to around 70 degrees for a high.

Melanie

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

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

January 31, 2013
12:00 PM

Post #9403882

Lovely!
C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

January 31, 2013
4:54 PM

Post #9404166

Had a variegated fritillary eclose in my cool garage. I was hoping eclosing would be delayed by the cold temperature until Spring, Now I have a cute little frit with no flowers and it is still freezing outside at night. What do I do with it?

Thumbnail by C_A_Ivy
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 31, 2013
6:19 PM

Post #9404263

Oh mine! Hang on I've some info. to share from the expert.

I'll share the instruction how to care for your butterfly ...

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

January 31, 2013
6:25 PM

Post #9404270

One can get this info. from http://www.insectlore.com.

But here is a quick tip:

Feeding your butterflies is fun. Mix three teaspoons of sugar into a cup of water and stir. Decorate the floor of your Butterfly cage with a bouquet of fresh flowers (such as carnations or mums). Use the dropper to squirt the sugar water mixture directly onto the flowers like dew.

An alternative is to wad up facial tissue into 2 inch-balls and soak them with the sugar water. Set the balls on a paper plate on the floor inside the habitat. Butterflies also like to drink from slices of freshly-cut oranges...


I hope that will help, until you can find an opportunity to release your butterfly back to the wild.
C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

January 31, 2013
8:42 PM

Post #9404436

Thanks Lily_love for the info on how to feed a new butterfly. So far, it has been a success. It looks like it will be awhile before I can release because of cold weather and lack of food sources. This is a new exciting learning experience for me.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

January 31, 2013
9:42 PM

Post #9404464

Well one of the VF's host plants is the pansy, not for sure they use them for nectar. I would imagine up where you are like here, stores are selling them now. I would give them a try.

Oh...this one in the picture is nectaring!!

Thumbnail by Sheila_FW
Click the image for an enlarged view.

C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

February 1, 2013
12:28 AM

Post #9404493

Thanks Sheila_FW. I have some pansies in bloom which I can use. Send up some warm weather soon.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 1, 2013
1:35 PM

Post #9405109

It is cold at night here, but up near 75 during the day...daffs are blooming, trees budding. Crazy winter for sure. Praying we don't get a hard freeze to knock it all back.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 3, 2013
9:25 AM

Post #9406915

No pictures today, but at the museum I saw four Monarch butterflies (caught two of them) and captured three Monarch caterpillars. I also caught a Gulf Frit and saw a Duskywing. It's still a little cool and breezy for them so there wasn't too much activity, but I was glad to see all the Monarch action going on.

Melanie

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 6, 2013
6:06 AM

Post #9410002

Good news on the Monarchs. I have seen three BST in the yard lately. They are nectaring on the early blooming Narcissus, and flowers on yard weeds. I also have released two that I over-wintered. Our trees are budding out and everything looks like spring will be early. But we usually get a late freeze before Easter, so afraid it might happen this year. We only had one or two short freezes that I remember this year, so the bugs will abound next year. I am already seeing the water striders on the pond surface.

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 6, 2013
8:06 AM

Post #9410134

Good day all, nice to see some of the butterflies are returning, periodic visits here and there in my garden, I don't realize how much I miss them until I'm watching one flutter around.
Mostly zebras, sulphurs and a Gulf frit the other day. Haven't seen another TST since the one I photographed a couple weeks ago. But temps did drop back down for a bit. Warming up again so maybe will have more visits in the garden from them.

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

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

February 6, 2013
10:00 AM

Post #9410220

Really beautiful photos sunkissed!! Is that Jatropha they are nectaring on?
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

February 8, 2013
9:22 AM

Post #9412064

Warm weather here in north Texas has brought lots of butterflies out. This Mourning Cloak came out of hibernation and was sipping on some rotten bananas I set out. Made for an interesting head-on shot.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com

Thumbnail by lepfarmer
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

February 8, 2013
5:39 PM

Post #9412521

vitrsna wrote:Really beautiful photos sunkissed!! Is that Jatropha they are nectaring on?


vitrsna, sunkissed may not have seen your question. The plants actually are Pentas. A hostplant for the Tersa sphinxt moths cats.

Dale, that's one interesting close up shot of the butterfly!

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 8, 2013
8:52 PM

Post #9412727

Dale, I thought I saw a glimpse of a Mourning Cloak the other day, but was headed into the sun and lost site of it. Good shot, but a bit creepy looking too! LOL! Really looks hairy from that angle.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

February 9, 2013
7:19 PM

Post #9413636

Thanks Lily!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 10, 2013
10:00 AM

Post #9414166

Well, I forgot to take my camera to the museum today, but it was mostly Monarchs anyway. I found nine cats and captured three adults. I also saw Long-Tailed Skippers, a Silver-Spotted Skipper (rare for this area), a Cloudless Sulphur, Gulf Fritillaries, Duskywings, and what I think was a Polydamas Swallowtail. It was moving really fast but I didn't see any tails.

When I got home I went to water my orchids and found a surprise in my butterfly garden - a Giant Swallowtail! Good thing my rue is ready! I guess the Swallowtails are starting to emerge due to all this warm weather.

Melanie

Thumbnail by mellielong
Click the image for an enlarged view.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

February 10, 2013
10:18 AM

Post #9414182

Polydamas Swallowtail (Battus polydamas) eclosed today, still pre-flight and just below the vacated chrysalis. This is probably the last of the Polydamas' for maybe three months...they disappear for awhile so i can work on the battered and mostly eaten Aristolochias so there will be abundant food for them when they next pass by. This one will not show me the top side of the wings which is velvety black with yellow markings around the edges. She is busy holding on.

Thumbnail by vitrsna
Click the image for an enlarged view.

lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

February 11, 2013
7:32 AM

Post #9415227

Nice shot of the Polydamas Swallowtail, vitrsna. One of my favorite species, partly because it is so rarely seen in north Texas.

Here's a little day flying moth that's on the wing right now in our area -- the Grapevine Epimenis (Psychomorpha epimenis).

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com

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vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

February 11, 2013
10:47 AM

Post #9415494

Lovely moth Dale, very sparkling...maybe dressed up for Mardi Gras?

Here is one of my favorite photos of the Polydamas caterpillars. They come out of egg cases and so are very sociable. Until they get ready to pupate, they will molt, eat, sleep in little groups. During peak season, the Polydamas butterflies will lay eggs about once a week, so there are various ages of caterpillars on the vines at the same time. Here is a younger one with an older, ready to pupate one. It looks to me like the younger is asking "grandpa" what he is up to.

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Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 11, 2013
12:07 PM

Post #9415610

Great photos Dale and vitrsna. I will have to watch for the moth, haven't seen that one.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2013
2:55 PM

Post #9415820

Very colorful moth you've got there Dale, hi Sheila and everyone.

vitrsna wrote:
Quoting: Here is a younger one with an older, ready to pupate one. It looks to me like the younger is asking "grandpa" what he is up to.
That's too funny and fitting. Thanks for sharing that one.

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 11, 2013
5:45 PM

Post #9416031

It is good to see some activity out there. We had a little sunlight on Saturday and I caught glimpses of a few visitors.

1. I am not sure what this is..they are pretty small, but I wasn't sure if they would sting, so I didn't touch them. They were on the lantana.

2. A regular in the garden.

3. Bombs away!

4. Very quick this one was.

5. The white stripes.

Russell

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nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

February 12, 2013
12:37 PM

Post #9416793

Very pretty Russell!

Next month there will start to be some warm days and hopefully the first sightings of butterflies for 2013 here in Indiana. I often will see a Mourning Cloak or two and some skippers and even Red-spotted purples sometimes in March.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 13, 2013
5:20 AM

Post #9417459

Great pictures Russell!

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 15, 2013
2:03 PM

Post #9420119

Speaking of Polydamas...I had one emerge the other night while I was watching the nightly news. It had to spend the night in the house and Mom let it go in the morning. I better start checking my pipevines!

Melanie

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vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

February 15, 2013
6:02 PM

Post #9420380

Interesting mellie...i've never been aware of Polydamas' emerging at night. It appears that all my butterflies (all different kinds) emerge in the morning between about 9:00am and 10.30am, but all of these were raised and emerged outside. And these are the hours where the temperatures start of heat up and the sun is hitting most of the garden. The Queen Monarchs, for example, are almost always 9:30 am emergers...you can almost set you clock. Well, because it is night outside i'm never exactly sure that butterflies don't emerge. What is your experience generally? Was this butterfly raised inside? and do butterflies raised inside emerge at any time of night or day? I don't suppose it matters much, but it is something interesting to me.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 15, 2013
7:22 PM

Post #9420470

Most of them emerge during the morning hours or at the latest, early afternoon. This guy was raised inside under a table lamp that we tend to keep on most of the day. I think that's the reason I get them coming out at all hours.

Melanie
EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

February 16, 2013
6:48 AM

Post #9420773

Hi, I remember reading about choiya (sp) somewhere and also the rue.
What is the best variety to use for the butterflies? I looked up choiya and noone had it for sale. What is a good source? I'm ready for spring,,, love all the posts.

Elaine

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

February 16, 2013
8:36 AM

Post #9420857

Thanks for the insight, Melanie...i am fond of the Polydamas butterflies and caterpillars so it is good to hear about other people's experiences with them.

Elaine...I think you are referring to Choisya (you are only missing an "s"). It is in the Rutaceae family as is Common Rue. There are two species of Choisya that I know about (dumosa, dumosa v. arizonica, and ternera). I am trying Choisya dumosa v. arizonica in my garden this year for the first time. I had to grow it from seed sent to me from Arizona because, although both Choisyas are native to Mexico, the plants are not available here (i spent 4 months looking :-( I am hoping the Choisya will grow up and attract some swallowtails as the rue does. In my garden, i have always had Rue growing and the predators are very sure they will find tasty snacks there so i am hoping, by adding a Choisya, the eggs and caterpillars will have greater chances for survival. This is all experimental for me. Another appealing feature of the Choisyas is that they have white flowers that give a lovely fragrance of oranges.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

February 16, 2013
1:00 PM

Post #9421063

Whoops! Elaine, i made a little mistake on a species of Choisya in the post above. I referred to "Choisya ternera" which is incorrect and should be "Choisya ternata" instead. :-O
EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

February 16, 2013
5:45 PM

Post #9421358

thank you v.
will google it. and have been searching and found common rue also.
It is supposed to be 28 here tonight. brrrrrr, thinking of warm sunny Florida with my mom...sigh

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

February 16, 2013
8:07 PM

Post #9421475

Elaine, ooooh 28, yikes! I remember a couple of years ago it got down to +50 degrees F one night and the next morning every one was walking around with mittens and mufflers and heavy jackets on :-D

You will find plants and cuttings for sale online of the Choisya ternata. I cannot take advantage of this because the plants or parts of plants (except seeds) are not allowed to cross the border. I have searched and searched for seeds...so if, in your search you happen to run into some seeds for sale, i would appreciate very much the URL. I have so fallen in love with this plant. It gets fairly large and dense with those lovely orange scented white flowers. Still i think a rue is a good idea as well because this is most likely the plant with which the swallowtails are most familiar and then perhaps you could introduce them to the Choisya and see how things go. I would be so interested to know if the swallowtails take to the Choisya right away or if it will take them awhile.

It is the middle of February already and i'm sure Spring will arrive before you are ready for it.

nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

February 17, 2013
7:23 AM

Post #9421716

Beautiful sunny but cold morning here. It did not get as cold over night as they had predicted which is fine by me!! A high today of around 30. Have some friends that are vacationing in Hawaii...I wish now that I had joined them!! lol

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

February 17, 2013
5:07 PM

Post #9422387

Yesterday was great weather...today not so much. I had a couple of BSTs visiting the trailing lantana yesterday. Beautiful!

Russell

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 22, 2013
12:47 PM

Post #9428056

Boy is it warm out there today! But the butterflies are loving it. I saw a Cloudless Sulphur and a Zebra Longwing in the yard. I was afraid the cold might have gotten the Zebras since I hadn't seen one in a couple of weeks but apparently some made it through the cold ok. I also released another Polydamas today. Then, when I came home, I found this Monarch cat munching away out front!

Melanie

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 24, 2013
9:41 AM

Post #9429822

Yet another Polydamas came out today and I brought in five Monarchs from my milkweed. At the museum today, I saw a Polydamas, Gulf Frit, Cloudless Sulphur, Long-Tailed Skipper, Zebra Longwing, and some unidentified skipper. So the butterfly diversity is definitely increasing. We also had our first Pipevine Swallowtail emerge so I took a picture for you guys.

Melanie

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kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2013
10:06 AM

Post #9429839

k, no clue to the name, but seen not leaving the narcissus for any reason...

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C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

February 24, 2013
2:12 PM

Post #9430174

Kittriana, a nice male eastern tiger swallowtail in February is a real bonus. This has me looking at my early daffs and pansies when the sun is shining for an early spring vistor.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

February 24, 2013
2:18 PM

Post #9430179

Be a while before I see any here this year , nice pics to see!!!!!

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2013
4:40 PM

Post #9430306

We haven't had winter in the Houston area, we get lots of butterflies all year- and way too many moths. This one was on my truck radiator last year- in Indiana - as I was traveling west from Ohio on I74. I don't know it too...but it was a very pretty one.

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juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

February 24, 2013
5:00 PM

Post #9430323

Looks like a Luna moth As in the Lunesta sleep commercial ,I see a few every so often . Was it green?

This message was edited Feb 24, 2013 9:01 PM

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2013
5:48 PM

Post #9430364

No. it wasnt a Luna- we have those- i thot it a swallowtail of a butternut color

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2013
6:24 PM

Post #9430392

I take it back- it does look like a moth- but the color is true enough, yellowish. The Luna moths I've seen were twice this size and not moving in mid daylite
EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

February 24, 2013
7:24 PM

Post #9430445

I saw a dark butterfly today...it was 69 degrees high.. I think it might have been black swallowtail, but it was flying very fast. Think spring will be early here.. Kwanzan cherries are already blooming, as well as some azaleas.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

February 24, 2013
7:27 PM

Post #9430451

After my Polydamas came out, I had an Eastern Black Swallowtail emerge. Seems like they all know spring is here!

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

February 24, 2013
7:43 PM

Post #9430471

Lots of bees are waking up from hibernation, but no butterflies here yet. Though, spring is well on its way it seems. I can't wait to see butterflies in the garden. Love those pics. from warmer zones.

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Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 26, 2013
10:44 AM

Post #9432456

kittrina...Pretty certain that that is a Luna Moth. If you look on BugFiles the pictures vary a lot in coloration, maybe with age, environment, time of year etc. Also size can vary with the availability of the host plant I imagine, just like butterflies. When out of food, they pupate early, thus a smaller adult. http://davesgarden.com/guides/bf/showimage/805/
EFGeorgia1
Lizella, GA
(Zone 8a)

February 26, 2013
5:05 PM

Post #9432915

whoo hoo, saw the dark butterfly again today. It was a Mourning Cloak. Flying around too fast to get a pic. Also saw a yellow sulphur. After all the rain,,, it was wonderful to see a ray of sunshine..
lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

February 27, 2013
6:12 AM

Post #9433384

Sheila is right. Definitely a luna moth (Actias luna). A very old, tattered and faded luna.

Thought I'd throw in a pic of one of my favorite caterpillars -- Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae). Have a number of these that I'm raising right now in the flight cage.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com

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nanny_56

nanny_56
Putnam County, IN
(Zone 5b)

February 28, 2013
8:19 AM

Post #9434484

Neat Dale...I would love to find other cats to raise besides BST's or Monarchs.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

February 28, 2013
9:24 AM

Post #9434554

Gulf Fritillary hopped onto the Tithonia rotundifolia blossom right in front of my camera. What a ham! Later i'll check the Passiflora vine for eggs.

Lots of Queen Monarchs eclosing today but i don't want to bother them with the camera.

Love those Sulphur caterpillars, Lep, beautiful photo!

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C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2013
7:02 AM

Post #9435324

Last day of February. Cool 46 degrees F. but sunny. A recently emerged small Clouded sulphur was basking on road edge vegetation. I'm always amazed at how butterflies are able to survive with adverse weather, loss of habitat, pesticides, and numerous predators.

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AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2013
7:41 AM

Post #9435360

"Oooooh so pretty!" For Dale when I opened the pic of the cloudless sulphur.

I did like the sulphurs I fostered a couple of years ago. I guess I'm growing senna again so maybe I'll have another batch of cats.

Does anyone have seed for the native, C. (or is it S.?) marilandica?

I'd be willing to trade if you can help. :)

Dale - did you plant out any of the FL paintbrush? I still have a handful of seeds. I've given enough away I guess. I'll try to keep them from the rabbits this year and see how it goes.

A.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

March 1, 2013
8:06 AM

Post #9435388

I hear you shorthog...butterflies sort of have a reputation of being frivolous delicate little things but they have to be tough to survive. It is not easy being at the bottom of the food chain. I've seen butterflies emerge on a clear morning during the rainy season and then get hit by torrential rains. I can't watch. I think i am going to go out after this rain (which would have probably knocked me down) and find dead butterflies all over the place. But they survive...those sticky little feet help. It is amazing. Gardening for the butterflies (i.e. providing habitat lost) really helps. If you think about how many people do this around the world. We make a difference. :-D Love those sulphurs!
C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2013
9:29 AM

Post #9435467

Thanks Vitrsna for the encouragement. It can get rather depressing when you see the continual onslaught of developement and progress. Thousands of acres are being bull dozed, cleared, and burned for highways, housing and industrial development around my own habitat plus weekly fogging of the neighborhood for mosquitoes by the City.
I usually have lots of flowers around for landscaping but this year I plan to convert to a butterfly garden with host plants and nectar sources.
I can't wait for Spring.

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

March 1, 2013
10:35 AM

Post #9435529

o bravo shorthog!!! The host plants are the most important then the nectar plants. Those butterflies need a place to put their eggs in order to survive and they are very particular. A passiflora vine takes care of many heliconia and fritillary butterflies. i am not sure about your area but my guess is that you should have at least 5 different species laying eggs on that vine. want some seeds? i have some fresh asclepias curassavica seeds. This plant is a host for the Monarchs and also a good nectar source for all the butterflies, bees, and hummers. I have Tithonia rotundifolia seeds for nectar. You could get a small common rue plant from a local nursery which will host some species of swallowtails. You get these things in the ground or a container of some sort and already you have a butterfly garden with all sorts of miraculous things happening there. remember butterfly gardening is not for sissies but the rewards are enormous!

I can send you some seeds. Dmail me with your address. The only problem is that it may take between a month or a month and a half for the seeds to arrive from Mexico so if you can find some seeds closer, you can get them quicker. I would be happy to send some though, just let me know. I think i have some fresh aristolochia seeds too. For the sulphurs you will need some sort of Senna. maybe you will get some seed offers from some folks closer. What about it southeasterners? i think you will want to help shorthog get some butterfly plants going, right? :-D

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 1, 2013
4:14 PM

Post #9435826

Two more Monarch caterpillars joined my brood today. Mom found them while picking some milkweed. All the bigger ones went into their chrysalids already. So I've got five chrysalids and three caterpillars total. It's supposed to get cold here this weekend so I'm glad they're inside where it's warm and cozy. I know caterpillars and butterflies are adaptable but I still feel sorry for them when the weather's bad.

Melanie

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 1, 2013
9:38 PM

Post #9436152

I am they can handle a lot more than we realize but I worry too.
C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 2, 2013
8:31 AM

Post #9436414

Thanks Vitrsna for the host plant recomendations. I have a wild passiflora which the Gulfs cats loved last summer. Also I have located several other host plants at a local nursery but I am very interested in the asclepias curassavica so I will D mail you my address.

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 2, 2013
4:30 PM

Post #9436852

Good for you, shorthog! Local nurseries are generally much better about carrying native plants, too. And natives are generally what the butterflies use for hosts and nectar since they evolved together.

I had two Polydamas emerge on a rather cold, windy day here. The high was only 60 degrees (I know, it's Florida, that's cold for us, LOL!) Last night I noticed a small skipper taking up residence on the stucco in the entryway and as of this afternoon he hadn't moved. It must be warm near the front of the house, and he is on the south-facing side. All three of my Monarchs molted today and they're currently back to eating all my milkweed. I'll have pictures when I feel motivated enough to get up and find the cable to connect the camera. Right now I'm snuggled up like a caterpillar in it's chrysalis!

Melanie

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 3, 2013
9:06 AM

Post #9437441

Ok, picture time! First is the little skipper that is still hanging out in my entryway. Second is the Polydamas I released. It's hanging out on the bougainvillea.

Then, at the museum today, all the Great Southern Whites came out at once. Normally, they would fly out of the hamper, but it's so cold here (54 degrees this morning when I got out of the car) that I had to pick them up one by one and throw them onto a plant. Finally, the Zebra Longwings were roosting together again and I thought it was cool.

Melanie

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

March 3, 2013
10:31 AM

Post #9437496

Those are some interesting of the roosting butterflies Melanie!!! Love that Poly too.
C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 3, 2013
6:05 PM

Post #9437904

Beautiful BFs Melanie and so many of them. I assume that the skipper is a Whirlabout which is indigenous to the Gulf coast and Fla.

AmandaEsq

AmandaEsq
Greensboro, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 7, 2013
7:01 PM

Post #9442379

Thanks for the pics, Melanie. :)

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

March 8, 2013
5:35 AM

Post #9442626

Melanie, I can'd decide which of the multiples I like more, the southern whites or the zebra longwings!

I finally have something to contribute! Just came back from vacation and saw some butterflies. This was the only one that I could get a picture of.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

March 8, 2013
6:37 AM

Post #9442684

Welcome home Mrs. Ed. Oh how I missed out! I can see some Iroxa buds and recognized the Passiflora vines from the tropical paradise! I'll be looking for more of your photos, and Margaret's as well.

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

March 8, 2013
7:08 AM

Post #9442713

That passiflora was amazing to me because I had never heard of the corkscrew passiflora. i followed the vine until I found the little flower.

SHHH though, don't tell where I was because we're going to play a little game on the bird forum to guess where we were.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

March 8, 2013
8:15 AM

Post #9442780

Your secret is safe with me. lol I won't say a word. SHHHH. :-)

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 8, 2013
12:05 PM

Post #9442940

Glad everyone enjoyed the pics! Today I released a Polydamas and Mom released a Monarch while I was at an appointment. I also found two more Monarch caterpillars. So now I have five caterpillars and six chrysalises. When I pulled in the driveway I saw a Giant Swallowtail so that was exciting. Still nothing on the rue, though. Did find a small Gulf Frit cat that I had to transplant to a bigger part of the plant. Things are really starting to heat up here in Florida!

Melanie

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sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 10, 2013
5:12 PM

Post #9445133

Dale I agree with you and think the Cloudless Sulphur cats are so beautiful. That is a really great pic.

Mellie I love the pics of the butterflies, it was pretty cool, don't blame them for not wanting to come out of the hamper.

I pulled off the side of the road to get a photo of this butterfly on a thistle weed in Micanopy, FL. I was thinking it is a Palamedes Swallowtail.????

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 10, 2013
5:45 PM

Post #9445158

Yup, that's a Palamedes, all right. Beautiful!

Melanie

sunkissed

sunkissed
Winter Springs, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 11, 2013
6:51 AM

Post #9445590

Thanks Mellie, guess I'm getting better at BF ID after-all. ☺

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 13, 2013
10:09 AM

Post #9448035

Saw my first Painted Lady of the season today! I have lots of cudweed so let's hope it was a female looking to lay some eggs. Also, the Monarch is still flying around the milkweed. Not pictured, but also seen, were a Zebra Longwing, Cloudless Sulphur, and some tiny skipper I couldn't get a good look at.

Melanie

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yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 13, 2013
4:14 PM

Post #9448358

I always have a hard time photographing those Painted Ladies...that's a great shot! We have been having some visitors lately, mainly GST, BST and Monarchs, with some skippers mixed in. Here are a couple from this week.

Russell



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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 14, 2013
5:27 PM

Post #9449591

Had a Monarch visit today. I swear it laid an egg on every leaf I own! We watched it through the sliding glass doors and it was out there forever. Should have a new crop of caterpillars soon. Also spotted a Duskywing nectaring on Spanish needles.

Melanie

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 15, 2013
12:06 PM

Post #9450440

The Monarch was at it again today - it even found my Giant Milkweed. But also at it today was the Gulf Fritillary fritting around the passion vine (picture 1). I also saw a Gulf Frit caterpillar that had just molted. I took naked pictures of a caterpillar, LOL!

Melanie

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mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 15, 2013
12:19 PM

Post #9450448

I totally forgot to mention that I found my first clutch of Polydamas eggs on my pipevine today. There are only five eggs; usually they lay a lot more. Still, five is manageable and I'll have plenty for them to eat. Although, I'm sure I'll get more eggs in the meantime!

Melanie

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

March 15, 2013
2:44 PM

Post #9450602

Great pics. Melanie, Russell, and Sherri. I especially like the newly molted Gulf Frit. by Melanie, the Painted Lady by Russell, and the Palamedes Swallowtail from Sherri. It's so nice to see your pics. from zones 9 and above. Here in my zone (7b), things are warming up. I saw my very first 2 Sulphurs last week, then yesterday I saw a couple more, a black swallotail-like butterfly, a smaller orange butterfly could possibly be an American Lady. I hope to capture a few pics. this weekend as the weather is going to be sunny and warm. Will share pics. when I've some.

I've got MW in the basement which is ready to set out for my future Monarch. Looking forward to spring.

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C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 15, 2013
6:13 PM

Post #9450802

Spring has sprung in west central Arkansas. Sunny and warm, up to 80 today. I'm tired from chasing sulphurs and photographing lots of butterfles as well as moths. Wild crabapple trees seem to be a favorite early spring food source. I saw mourning cloaks, red admirals, commas, question mark, and snouts nectaring on the same tree. Then saw others along the road which included goatweed leafwings, falcate orangetips and gray hairstreaks.
I'm going to be busy logging all these data.

No.1 Mourning cloak
No.2 Comma
No.3 Falcate orangetip
No.4 Red Admiral
No.5 Snout

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

Mrs_Ed

Mrs_Ed
Whiteside County, IL
(Zone 5a)

March 15, 2013
6:21 PM

Post #9450809

Well that's a wonderful sight to see!!!
C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 15, 2013
6:29 PM

Post #9450817

Butterflies were plural today. In other words, more than one of each species was observed. Mating is their priority. Here's some more.

No.1 Goatweed leafwing
No.2 Gray hairstreak
No.3 Grape epimensis moth
No.4 orange sulphur
No.5 Question mark

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

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 16, 2013
5:56 AM

Post #9451065

Excellent shots, and such variety. Those are some exotic looking captures there. Great pic of the mourning cloak too.

Thanks for sharing.

Russell

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 16, 2013
8:54 AM

Post #9451238

You guys are posting some great pictures! Melanie...so jealous of egg laying Monarchs! I am looking forward to spring migration here!

This message was edited Mar 16, 2013 9:54 AM
C_A_Ivy
Barling, AR
(Zone 7b)

March 16, 2013
7:13 PM

Post #9451788

Still trying to recover from yesterday's butterfly observations. It was really warm again today and many butterflies were actively darting about looking for mates or laying eggs but the flower and nectar supply is very limited for them. I saw a black swallowtail in an overgrown dead vegetation field that was apparently laying eggs on anything that looked green on the ground level. She was fluttering her wings very rapidly and was constantly searching. I was unable to get a pic with her movement but I was able to get a small American lady (note white dot in forewing orange above for ID) on wild verbena.
I used to live in New York and Ohio, so I hope you folks up North get some of this nice Spring weather soon.

Thumbnail by C_A_Ivy   Thumbnail by C_A_Ivy         
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lepfarmer
Red Oak, TX

March 17, 2013
7:58 AM

Post #9452233

Sheila, I saw my first monarch yesterday. A male, slowly patrolling the vacant lot next to me.

Dale Clark
Dallas County Lepidopterists' Society
http://www.dallasbutterflies.com

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 17, 2013
8:35 AM

Post #9452264

Two Giant Swallowtails emerged at the museum today! I hope I got a male and female so I can have little caterpillars! I also found seven Monarch cats in the milkweed. All in all, a good day.

Melanie

Thumbnail by mellielong   Thumbnail by mellielong         
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juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

March 17, 2013
8:42 AM

Post #9452271

Did you see the reports of this years all time low Monarch numbers? Makes yours more important than ever!! I did not see more than five last year ,

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 17, 2013
8:45 AM

Post #9452275

Yes, I saw that news article. I'm glad the population here is so strong but I would hate to lose the migrating population. It's such a wonder of the world.

Melanie

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

March 17, 2013
9:01 AM

Post #9452286

I let some Honey vine milkweed grow because they like it . the monarchs go to that first no matter what they have. It is usually eradicated a a noxious weed .
Even more so when the vines cover a shrub , it has been about 8 or 9 ears since I have seen any cats climbing about , Sometimes I will see a few eggs here and there , but no cats ,and no cat chewed plants either.
About a decade or more now,ago I remember seeing the cats starving on eaten bare milkweed plants as there were so few after a stadium was built on a former milkweed field I counted 60 cats starving and had to stop , it does not take long to damage a wildlife population that way. That was at one plant I did not look any further ..
Anything starving is a sad sight to see.

Sheila_FW

Sheila_FW
Fort Worth, TX
(Zone 8a)

March 18, 2013
12:20 PM

Post #9453644

@ Dale...Great news! I have seen a GST, but still waiting on my first Monarch of the season.

Anyone that has a great photo...it is time to start a new #100 thread.

This message was edited Mar 18, 2013 1:25 PM

mellielong

mellielong
Lutz, FL
(Zone 9b)

March 20, 2013
1:47 PM

Post #9456148

I had two Monarch cats when I went to bed last night and when I woke up Mom had added five more. Then, I found one more while picking food for them. I also saw one flying around today. Then, I checked my Dutchman's Pipevine and found two clusters of Polydamas eggs! My first clutch still hasn't hatched yet, but sometimes they take longer than others.

Melanie

vitrsna

vitrsna
Colima
Mexico
(Zone 11)

March 20, 2013
2:08 PM

Post #9456170

gee whiz...now i can see that my monarchs and polydamas' are vacationing in the southern US and i do miss them but it gives me some time to ramp up the food supply for when they return.

here is a photo i took a while back of a monarch caterpillar with a brand new skin and the old one left behind. what a cutie pie :-D

Thumbnail by vitrsna
Click the image for an enlarged view.

juhur7

juhur7
Anderson, IN
(Zone 6a)

March 20, 2013
2:57 PM

Post #9456207

Do they Hibernate in any part of Florida ? if so What tree or plants do they use?

yakmon

yakmon
Portland, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 20, 2013
2:59 PM

Post #9456209

New thread started!

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1303421/

Russell

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