Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: April 2014 Butterflies, Moths & Larva

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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
Apr 1, 2014 1:35 PM CST

Moderator

We came from here: The thread "March 2014 Butterflies, Moths & Larva" in Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum

It's April so I expect things to be heating up across the country and more of you all participating! That is, if the forecasters would stop predicting all this cold weather!

I didn't spend too long at the museum on Sunday because I wasn't feeling well, but I did get another one of those cool shots of the Zebra Longwings roosting. They really seem to prefer the branch on the Camphor tree. (Disclaimer: I do not condone planting Camphor trees even if they are in pots inside a flight cage. They are invasive in Florida.) That being said, here they are!

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Now, yesterday I had grand plans of finally washing my car. It was covered in dirt and pollen and I was getting a little ashamed to be driving it around. But first, I let myself get distracted by taking pictures of all the cool caterpillars in my yard! (It was too cool for the butterflies to be flying yesterday).

Now, I have some Asclepias tuberosa planted in my side yard and it seems to be winning the popularity contest among the Monarch cats right now. I mean, I have twenty cats if I have one. And they are big suckers, too! Some of them are already in their wandering phase and wandered right over to the bromeliad next to the milkweed. Although, bromeliads wouldn't be a bad place to hide. Very prickly, but they do attract other critters because of the water they hold. You can see two of them in the pic and there was a third slightly to the right of the photo on some grass next to the bromeliad.

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And here's some pics of the many, many Monarchs I have. FYI, this is only like, four or five pretty large plants. I may have to do some relocating if they don't all go into their chrysalis - FAST!

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I also found two more Orange-Barred Sulphurs on my Senna ligustrina! It's so weird to have so many this early in the year! I may take them to the museum but the one is so big he'll probably be a chrysalis by Sunday.

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I mentioned a while ago I got egg-bombed by a Gulf Fritillary on my Passiflora suberosa (Corky-Stem Passion Vine). Well, they're growing up and eating away! I may have to relocate some of them, too. Oddly enough, I don't have any caterpillars yet on my Passiflora "Lavender Lady" and that thing is huge! They'll find it soon enough, I suppose.

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
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
Apr 1, 2014 4:48 PM CST
I was cleaning up outside today and saw a butterfly, I was very surprised, it was a Milbert's Tortoiseshell, there is nothing blooming out there. Crying
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
Apr 1, 2014 5:27 PM CST

Moderator

Wow! That is surprising!

We have plenty of stuff blooming here, fortunately. It was such a mild winter. But I still hadn't seen a Zebra Longwing in the wild so I was a bit concerned. But Mom reported seeing one in the yard the other day so I'm glad to know they're back. Once we had two years of harsh winters (by Florida standards) and I went over a year without seeing a Zebra Longwing. So now I worry until I see one. Also, when we were coming home from the movies the other day, I saw a Tiger Swallowtail! It was rather small for one, but I was glad to see it anyway.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
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
Apr 1, 2014 5:36 PM CST
I love all of your cats, so cool looking, we don't get the Monarchs in this area, but I remember them from when I lived back east. Love the Zebra Longwings, too bad we don't get those either. Sad
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
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Gleni
Apr 1, 2014 5:46 PM CST
Camphor is invasive here too and is often the major tree along creeks. The one saving grace is that they think it might have saved our fruit pigeons from extinction because the lowland rainforests with their fruit trees were just eliminated for farming and logging.
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
Apr 1, 2014 6:17 PM CST

Moderator

Margaret, that's why I like this forum - we can all share the butterflies and cats we get in our area with others who don't get to see them. I know I get excited by "common" butterflies like Commas, Question Marks, and Mourning Cloaks while others don't think twice about them. And I only get an occasional Silver-Spotted Skipper but when I visit Grandma in West Virginia, those suckers are everywhere!

Glen, I think Florida and Australia both suffer greatly from introduced, invasive species. In fact, I'm pretty sure we have a whole bunch of Australian pines here we'd be willing to send back home. Hilarious! At least we have a lot of people in Florida working on the problem. I used to volunteer a lot with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program before I got sick. They would remove invasives and replant natives. But I kind of like that guy in Australia who was offering a free beer for each of those invasive toads you brought in. (Can't think of the name - one of those huge Bufo genus toads?) That's a man with a plan!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: María Cecilia Merlo
La Plata, ARGENTINA
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ceci
Apr 1, 2014 6:54 PM CST
Nice caterpillars Melanie !
Margaret, as I didn't know which was Milbert's Tortoiseshell I searched for it in the web. It is beautiful !. And I have never seen one of those around here !
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Image
Gleni
Apr 1, 2014 7:50 PM CST
Melanie, I think bottlebrushes or paperbarks, Melaleuca spp., have got into the everglades. Awful. Managing them can be hard. In our heaths, here, they just take over if burning is kept out. Bye bye heaths.

That's the Cane Toad, Bufo marinus, introduced from Hawaii where introduced from South America. They lay 30k eggs at a pop = 30k toxic toadpoles. What was that? That was your fauna dying.
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
Apr 1, 2014 8:02 PM CST
Cecilia, here is a photo of the Milbert's Tortoiseshell that I took this past summer. Smiling
Thumb of 2014-04-02/mcash70/6d84dc

Name: María Cecilia Merlo
La Plata, ARGENTINA
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ceci
Apr 1, 2014 8:15 PM CST
Beautiful!!!!!!! I tip my hat to you.
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
Apr 1, 2014 8:55 PM CST
Gleni said:Melanie, I think bottlebrushes or paperbarks, Melaleuca spp., have got into the everglades. Awful. Managing them can be hard. In our heaths, here, they just take over if burning is kept out. Bye bye heaths.

That's the Cane Toad, Bufo marinus, introduced from Hawaii where introduced from South America. They lay 30k eggs at a pop = 30k toxic toadpoles. What was that? That was your fauna dying.


Those Bufo's are all over south Fl. too & well on up the state. Last map I saw tracking them had them just south of Gainesville somewhere. I used to worry so about the dogs. If a dog gets them, it can kill a dog under 40 lbs. in just minutes. We had ones in our yard that were as big as my foot! Heavy suckers too. Must have weighed in at 2.5 lbs. or more. I know they were heavier than a 2 lb. bag of sugar. And poop! It's huge. Makes a mess of porches & driveways. Thumbs down Thumbs down Thumbs down They were imported to put in the sugar cane fields to eat bugs. Whistling Uh, the "perfect plan" didn't work & they didn't eat enough bugs apparently. But they sure did multiply. Sad
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: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Image
Gleni
Apr 1, 2014 10:43 PM CST
This is Angela the Cane Toad. I gave up killing them years ago. They just kept coming. And coming. And coming.

Thumb of 2014-04-02/Gleni/30bfc1

Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Image
Gleni
Apr 1, 2014 10:52 PM CST
Corr, that's a good butterfly Margaret!

I tried to take some today. But they land and then fly and keep on going .... and going ......and going -. Maybe I need a hide?
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
Apr 1, 2014 11:25 PM CST
Glen, maybe you need some butterfly bushes, I planted 2 cultivars in large pots and put them on the patio so I could photograph them up close from the patio or the deck, it was awesome, this year I am getting 3 more. Green Grin!
Mourning Cloaks--- Satyr Anglewing
Thumb of 2014-04-02/mcash70/4c5cb1

Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
Plays in the sandbox Cactus and Succulents Garden Photography Hybridizer Composter Sedums
Image
Gleni
Apr 2, 2014 12:38 AM CST
I could try!
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
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jmorth
Apr 2, 2014 2:09 AM CST
Never seen a Milbert's Tortoiseshel. The Satyr Anglewing is reminiscent of Commas and Questionmarks.
Haven't noted any small flying denizens outside yet, though I did note several robins the other day,
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Apr 2, 2014 6:24 AM CST
Butterflies are all over my butterfly bushes all summer.
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The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
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
Apr 2, 2014 9:46 AM CST

Moderator

Be careful of butterfly bushes as they can be invasive, too! But I think they've made some sterile varieties you can buy in the catalogs now. And for those north of me where they freeze down each year I don't think they're too much of a problem. My Grandma's neighbor in West Virginia has one and I haven't seen any others popping up around it. She told me it freezes down to the ground each year but boy, that thing sure does get big during the summer! And it is a great butterfly attractor, for sure. I would just stand there with my camera and they didn't even seem to care. And it attracts butterflies of all sizes, which is nice, too.

Still love those Mourning Cloaks! We had them this past year at the museum (I think the boss ordered or traded with a butterfly farm to get them). We had them for a couple of months and I just loved watching them. We even put some orange slices in the flight cage since they prefer rotting fruit. That was a fun bit of trivia to point out to the guests since everyone thinks butterflies only eat nectar. My Dad got a photo once when he was out hunting of a Southern Pearly Eye nectaring on sap on a tree. That's one butterfly he's seen that I haven't (darn it). And of course, I always teach people that the Zebra Longwing eats pollen which is why it lives six to nine months (better nutrition). So many neat things to know about butterflies!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Apr 2, 2014 10:42 AM CST
Yes, they can. Mine are not invasive here and I love them even more because of that! ♥

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
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
Image
mcash70
Apr 2, 2014 10:53 AM CST
Most of the Buddleia are zone 4, I am going to try and push it by planting one in the ground this year and see how it does. I bought a butterfly feeder to put up this year, it has wicks, ports and spikes to put fruit on. Green Grin!

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