Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: November 2013 - Butterflies, Moths, Dragonflies, Damselflies, Mayflies ...

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Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
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mellielong
Nov 3, 2013 11:28 AM CST

Moderator

We came from here: The thread "October 2013 - Butterflies, Moths, Dragonflies, Damselflies, Mayflies ..." in Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum

Hi everyone! I figured someone better start a new monthly thread and I have several pics from the museum so I guess it's up to me.

The flight cage is almost exclusively Zebra Longwings right now. Here's one on some pentas.

Thumb of 2013-11-03/mellielong/84a677

But we do have some Atalas; I released four today.

Thumb of 2013-11-03/mellielong/13dd56

I also released a Cloudless Sulphur - it went straight to hiding in one of the hanging baskets.

Thumb of 2013-11-03/mellielong/fc2248

After it warmed up, a couple of Julias emerged from hiding. A guest actually pointed one out to me! In my defense, it was behind me, LOL!

Thumb of 2013-11-03/mellielong/25b728

I went out in the garden and tried to catch some butterflies to add some diversity. I ended up catching about four Long-Tailed Skippers but the real surprise was seeing and capturing a White Peacock! Very late in the year for this guy!

Thumb of 2013-11-03/mellielong/fca918

Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Nov 3, 2013 11:35 AM CST

Moderator

Ok, back home I took a few more pictures.

This Monarch cat mysteriously showed up a couple days ago. Where do they hide when they're little? He's the third one I've had on that plant in the last week or two. Now he's in his "J" and ready to become a chrysalis. Funny how some will wander far away and other stay right on the plant. Monarch season in Florida really never ends.

Thumb of 2013-11-03/mellielong/3db487

And to prove my point, here's a Monarch that was on my firebush!

Thumb of 2013-11-03/mellielong/ce9c98

And here's a Long-Tailed Skipper on porterweed. I've had a ton of these guys around lately. I think it's because my Butterfly Pea (one of their host plants) has grown and has been hosting the caterpillars. I must have had five of these guys flying around the front door area.

Thumb of 2013-11-03/mellielong/0e3967

Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: A.m.

angele
Nov 3, 2013 5:22 PM CST
Melanie, what a great variety of butterflies. I really enjoyed reading about what you are seeing & seeing your pictures Smiling
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Nov 3, 2013 10:38 PM CST

Moderator

I consider it my duty to keep all the Northerners going through the winter. Butterfly deprivation is a horrible thing! Hilarious!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: A.m.

angele
Nov 3, 2013 11:05 PM CST
Hilarious!
Name: Margaret
Near Kamloops, BC, Canada (Zone 3a)
Region: Canadian Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Tip Photographer Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member
Morning Glories Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants Butterflies Garden Photography
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mcash70
Nov 3, 2013 11:39 PM CST
mellielong said:I consider it my duty to keep all the Northerners going through the winter. Butterfly deprivation is a horrible thing! Hilarious!


Hurray! I tip my hat to you. nodding
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Nov 4, 2013 10:13 AM CST
Melanie: Great shots of those beautiful butterflies and the skipper! I sure love that Atala and the Julia ... two I've never seen up in this part of Florida. I still have Asclepias curassavica and noticed a Monarch flitting around it a couple of days ago.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: A.m.

angele
Nov 4, 2013 10:17 AM CST
I just found a chrysalis on what's left of the Hyacinth Bean vine - must be one of the black swallowtail cats. oh joy!
Name: María Cecilia Merlo
La Plata, ARGENTINA
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ceci
Nov 4, 2013 11:11 AM CST
A monarch came to my garden today. I think she was laying her eggs on the asclepia curassavica
Thumb of 2013-11-04/ceci/da8abd


Thumb of 2013-11-04/ceci/14087d

Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Nov 4, 2013 11:53 AM CST
Celilia: Great photo's and yes, that's exactly what that pretty monarch was doing! Is that a lady beetle I see on the leaf to the right of the Monarch in that second photo?
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
[Last edited by plantladylin - Nov 4, 2013 11:54 AM (+)]
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Name: María Cecilia Merlo
La Plata, ARGENTINA
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ceci
Nov 4, 2013 12:25 PM CST
plantladylin said:Celilia: Great photo's and yes, that's exactly what that pretty monarch was doing! Is that a lady beetle I see on the leaf to the right of the Monarch in that second photo?


Yes, Lin ! It is a lady beetle
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Nov 4, 2013 1:28 PM CST
Thumbs up
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Nov 4, 2013 1:58 PM CST

Moderator

Lin, we don't actually get Atalas or Julias here in Tampa either. My boss trades with some other butterfly gardens to get them. In fact, this is the first year we ever had Atalas. But all of our butterflies are Florida natives and it's kind of cool telling people how the Atala was at one time considered extinct in Florida. It presents a nice opportunity to teach people about the importance of host plants in their gardens.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Nov 4, 2013 4:17 PM CST
Mellie: That's wonderful ... so are the Atalas and Julia's ever released in your area, or just kept in a Butterfly conservatory of sorts?
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 4, 2013 7:22 PM CST
mellielong said:Lin, we don't actually get Atalas or Julias here in Tampa either. My boss trades with some other butterfly gardens to get them. In fact, this is the first year we ever had Atalas. But all of our butterflies are Florida natives and it's kind of cool telling people how the Atala was at one time considered extinct in Florida. It presents a nice opportunity to teach people about the importance of host plants in their gardens.


Very cool! Yes, tell us more. I want to know like Lin does.
Great photos everyone!
I'm still seeing lots of gulf frits, cloudless sulfurs, lots of different kinds of skippers & zebra longwings. I just haven't had time to go chasing butterflies to get the photos. Grumbling Soon, I hope very soon......
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Nov 5, 2013 8:56 PM CST

Moderator

We don't ever release our butterflies outdoors. They go into what's essentially a large screened-in patio inside a larger screened-in enclosure. The outer enclosure has a classroom and we have a little water feature with turtles and koi and some minnow-looking fish. The inner enclosure is where the butterflies live. All the plants are in pots and we always make sure we have host plants for the butterflies. I'll try to remember to take a picture of the whole place next time I'm there (I'm skipping this weekend because I'm going to a music festival). Sometimes the butterflies get out into the larger screened-in enclosure but I just get my net out and bring them back in - unless they get out over the water or in places where the ceiling is too high!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Nov 7, 2013 12:30 PM CST
Spotted a Gulf Fritillary visiting the Pentas flowers a little while ago, the first Gulf Frit I've seen in a couple of months:
Thumb of 2013-11-07/plantladylin/bf4b08 Thumb of 2013-11-07/plantladylin/691d31

And, a Long-tailed Skipper (missing the tail) at the same plant:
Thumb of 2013-11-07/plantladylin/5d5f35 Thumb of 2013-11-07/plantladylin/3cd581

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Nov 17, 2013 10:06 AM CST

Moderator

Well, I went to the museum today to volunteer. I'm going tomorrow as well because our boss is on vacation and needed us to pitch in and help out. Should be crazy tomorrow - it's free admission on Monday!

Here's a Polydamas Swallowtail. Surprised this one came out of it's chrysalis, although they might have caught it in the garden. I'm still seeing them flying around, but not as many. This one is a little roughed up.

Thumb of 2013-11-17/mellielong/c0f7d6

The Atalas are still with us. I haven't found any eggs on the coontie, but the coontie seems to have some kind of disease or bug on it so maybe that's why they're not laying on it. Might have to bring in a healthier plant.

Thumb of 2013-11-17/mellielong/7f2403

My garden is still pretty busy. To my surprise, when I left at 8:45 this morning, there was a Great Southern White on my porterweed. This year is the first year I've seen the GSW in my yard at all and this is only the second or third sighting this year (I forget how many times I saw them). Remember, the defining feature on the GSW is their turquoise antenna clubs. So cool!

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I also finally managed to get a Cloudless Sulphur to hold still long enough to get a picture. It's on plumbago.

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My Monarch finally emerged. I swear I looked at it yesterday and the chrysalis wasn't even dark but sure enough this morning, there it was!

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I've got Long-Tailed Skippers everywhere! Here's one on porterweed.

Thumb of 2013-11-17/mellielong/a02b31

I took a picture of one of the Long-Tailed Skipper caterpillars. They eat butterfly pea and fold over the leaves to make little shelters. He's probably mad I unwrapped him!

Thumb of 2013-11-17/mellielong/42ac09

I also have Zebra Longwings flying around but I could not get a picture of it to save my life! Still, not a bad variety for November.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Nov 18, 2013 5:58 PM CST
Melanie, what happens to the butterflies in winter? Monarchs migrate, we know that but not all butterflies migrate so how do they live through winter so there can be new generations come spring?
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Melanie Long
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Larva tested, Pupa approved!
Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Region: Florida
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Forum moderator Plant Identifier
Image
mellielong
Nov 18, 2013 10:31 PM CST

Moderator

The Monarchs tend to be with us through the winter. The ones in central to southern Florida don't migrate. At the museum, we have a heat lamp in the flight cage so we don't really have mass casualties and they still reproduce as we have the host plants in there with them. As for the wild - there are really only a few weeks around late January to early February that you tend not to see any butterflies. Not all butterflies migrate like most of the Monarchs, but they do spread and retract their populations through the seasons. For example, two years ago we had a few really bad freezes. I did not see a Zebra Longwing for over a year after that. But they have slowly crept northward again and this year there's just a ton of them! Also, the Swallowtails spend the winter in the chrysalis so they emerge in the spring and then start mating and laying eggs. So I guess to summarize, lots of butterflies just stay in their chrysalis until the weather is warm enough. Others stay south of here and work their way north as the weather warms up. Hope that helps!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!

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