Butterflies in GA?

Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

Hi all - are you seeing butterflies? And if so what species? I was on a NABA chat list serv and folks were concerned the butterfly numbers overall were down. I saw butterflies earlier this year and have had decent activity.

Just curious.

Decatur, GA

I've lived here for 13+ years and the number of butterflies is definitely down. People in my particular neighborhood spray their yards for mosquitoes. I think that has something to do with the decline. Makes me sad.

Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

Thanks Helen. Makes me sad too. At least we can plant butterfly friendly gardens and try to help.

Decatur, GA

I have lantana and bishops cap. Also passion flower plant. The latter is the main food for the gulf fritillary. I use to have bunches to them but only the occasional one now. The first two plants have lots of nectar and attract butterflies and bees.

Thumbnail by helenchild
Peachtree City, GA(Zone 8a)

My butterflies this year are way down. I have only seen 3 so far.

Atlanta, GA(Zone 8a)

Helen you may still get some gulf frits. I got 8 caterpillars just in the last week on my passion flower- looks to be the same as yours. Didn't see any before then.

Decatur, GA

I just saw a few Gulf fritillaries this week. It seems late but I'll take it. I have tons of vines and hope the caterpillars eat them all up.
I also have seen a few swallowtails on the lantana. I know there should be more.

Peachtree City, GA(Zone 8a)

I have just this week saw more butterflies. Seems as if they were a little late developing.

Atlanta, GA

We have a yard full of butterflies (and every kind of stinging insect, including honeybees) this summer, especially right now. I don't know my butterflies, but I can tell you I've seen some this month I've never seen before. I did recognize a huge black swallowtail yesterday.

Right now, we have lantanas, dahlias, garlic chives, verbena 'Homestead Purple,' two varieties of veronica, geraniums (cranesbill), hibiscus in containers, rose of Sharon, cosmos (very popular!), oregano, and phlox 'David' blooming. Oh, yes! and a confused glad or two.

I'm here in the middle of Atlanta, in a neighborhood where our yards have 50 ft. frontage. This year I convinced my immediate neighbors to use a geraniol-based mosquito spray. We all use the same company. Perhaps that's why our insects--besides the mosquitos, of which I've seen three all season--are so plentiful.

This message was edited Aug 30, 2015 3:54 PM

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

My garden is pretty secluded with the nearest neighbors thirty or more acres away. We have seen very few butterflies this year though I have old pasture and roadsides loaded with species milkweeds. There is also ten or more feet of out of control pipevines but I found only three swallowtail caterpillars on it this year. That was a few weeks ago. The plant is usually chewed up by now. We currently have blue swallowtails in the garden (hopefully they will lay more eggs on the pipevines) as well as yellow ones and have just seen the first gulf frit this week (I've got Passiflora incarnata for them). But only one frit so far. Not only is the population of above mentioned butterflies low but I'm not seeing the usual bunch of small guys. There are a fair number of skippers though. My mostly vegetable garden is heavily laced throughout with old fashioned zinnias, which the butterflies love, and there are numerous stands of species salvias, along the outside path. I should have many more butterflies.

Decatur, GA

My population of butterflies has picked up the past few weeks. There are even a number of Gulf Fritillaries around but only a few caterpillars on the passion flower vine. In years past the vine would be chewed up.
I have some swallowtails - I think the blue ones are the males. They seem to congregate on the lantana. I don't know what their caterpillars eat.
It such a shame the animals are disappearing. The World Wildlife Fund reports that 50% of the world's animals have vanished in the last 40 years. Scary where our world is headed.

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Indeed. The blues are a species. They lay eggs on my Dutchman's pipes thus the name pipevine swallowtail. I'll try to remember to take a pic tomorrow and post. I can also share some of the vine if you'd like.

Decatur, GA

I guess I was thinking of the black form - apparently always female. Learn something new everyday.
http://www.pbase.com/rcm1840/image/82831758

This message was edited Aug 25, 2015 2:14 PM

Decatur, GA

Pictures from a few days ago.

This message was edited Aug 25, 2015 2:23 PM

Thumbnail by helenchild Thumbnail by helenchild Thumbnail by helenchild
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Thanks for posting which reminded me to go out and snap a few pics. The Dutchman's pipe was here when we bought the property over twenty five years ago. Very cool, exotic flowers It dies down each year but this year it covered a potted miniature Japanese maple and meandered over to an adjacent shepherd's crook with hanging basket. I examined the leaves carefully and see only one cocoon at this time.

Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel
Decatur, GA(Zone 7b)

I have a fair number of Swallowtails and a few Gulf Fritillaries here in Decatur. Pics are from our cabin in NC where the David Lavender Phlox was recently alive with Swallowtails and only an occasional Fritillary.

Thanks so much for the Swallowtail information. I'd been thinking the black ones I saw were a separate species. I may have heard something in the past about Blue Swallowtails being a separate species and recalled that when seeing the black ones. I looked up the Blues and they look distinctly different and not really familiar to me.

Thumbnail by back40bean Thumbnail by back40bean

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