Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: May 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
May 1, 2014 5:41 PM CST

Moderator

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

Is it May already? Where has the time gone? And where are my Swallowtails? I've seen a few flying while driving around the last couple of days but I'm still caterpillar-less. However, I got a cool surprise this afternoon!

I came home from finally seeing "Noah" and I was picking the Monarchs off the nearly completely eaten Tropical Milkweed so I could put them on the Giant Milkweed. I may not have an ark but I like to think I'm doing my part little by little. So I'm looking at the caterpillars and I kind of focused on one that was a little odd - because it was a Queen! Woo hoo! I hardly ever get Queens! I only found the one and it is now safely living in my bedroom.

Thumb of 2014-05-01/mellielong/01465e

And in further proof that Monarch cats (and most cats in general) will build a chrysalis anywhere...here's one getting ready to go into his J above my parents' bathroom window (I can tell these things, LOL).

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And here's a chrysalis on the hose holder thingie. Once, Dad actually found a chrysalis on the hose itself. He made me take it off so he could use the hose.

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And here's one on my False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa). It's a host plant for the Silver-Spotted Skipper (which I have gotten rarely) and the Southern Dogface (of which I have only seen one adult in seven years). Apparently, it's also a good Monarch resting place.

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Not to worry folks, Dad and I agreed that the house cannot be pressure-washed until butterfly season is over. And even then, he makes me go around the house and inspect it first! Hilarious!
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
May 1, 2014 5:55 PM CST
Good for Dad! Thumbs up
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 ~~



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
May 1, 2014 7:16 PM CST
My first BF this year, Painted Lady I believe.
Thumb of 2014-05-02/jmorth/9d6dcb

Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
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
May 1, 2014 8:27 PM CST

Moderator

Painted Lady, American Lady...it's one of those Ladies! You know, I don't get them too often (some years are better than others) but I do get both which I find weird. I always have to examine my pictures and count the spots on the under wing to determine which I have. I guess some areas probably tend to get one or the other so I always think it's weird I seem to have an equal chance at both. Mom is pretty sure that's what she saw the other day but I haven't seen one. But I'm trying to stay out of the sun after my weird sunburn! Plus, we have rain in the forecast so it looks like I won't be caterpillar hunting for a few days. Glad to see winter is fading and the butterflies are coming back for you guys!
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
May 1, 2014 8:47 PM CST
That's a happy May day sign for you J!
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 ~~



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
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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jmorth
May 1, 2014 9:10 PM CST
Well said!
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
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LindaTX8
May 1, 2014 11:35 PM CST
My first Monarch caterpillar has pupated! The other 3 caterpillars are very small. I wonder, really, if the eggs were laid by a Monarch that overwintered in Mexico, or maybe they were laid by the second generation.
Thumb of 2014-05-02/LindaTX8/26c83e Thumb of 2014-05-02/LindaTX8/1120dd
PBS has started showing The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies again. It's beautiful and really great. It has occurred to me that it's a limited and incomplete story of the Monarchs in the Northern Hemisphere. I can't help but think there should be a second part that tells the rest of the story. The western migration and the year-round areas such as in parts of Florida, for example. And maybe more about why the Monarch population is becoming so extremely low now. Today I spotted a Monarch in the area of Helotes, Texas. So sad it's the first adult Monarch I've actually seen this year. In the past, I would have seen lots in the spring!
Hard to tell with the pic of the Lady, but it looks more like an American Lady to me.

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
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
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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jmorth
May 2, 2014 12:19 AM CST
'The Common Butterflies and Skippers of Ohio' from Div of Wildlife, Dept of Nat Resources in partnership w/ Ohio Lepidopterists published this super 50p. booklet some years ago, I got mine in 2006. It has great pics and descriptions of their selections; I think every selection they've included in their publication applies to the gardens and central plains of Illinois as well. It's my first source to check and verify what I've seen or pictured in the heartland.
Anyway, the pictured Lady in question therein is named American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis). The entry notes 'it was once known as the American Beauty', entry closes well, further stating 'which it certainly is.'
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
[Last edited by jmorth - May 2, 2014 8:17 PM (+)]
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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
May 2, 2014 12:55 AM CST

Moderator

Wow, you guys have better eyes than me! Seriously, I need to get my glasses polished or something.

Linda, if I remember correctly, Monarchs are found worldwide aren't they? I never see any documentaries that talk about their population health in other parts of the world. I get that the North American migration is an important phenomenon, especially since we don't even understand it all yet and there's probably more knowledge to be gained from it. But at the same time, it might be nice if those shows could at least highlight other parts of the continent or world where things are okay. Give us a little hope, maybe? Or even explain why the migrating Monarchs are so important versus the non-migrating ones. It is a little odd that the other side of the coin gets ignored all the time. Someone should crowdfund that; I would donate to the cause.
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
May 2, 2014 6:17 AM CST
Waiting to see what I have this year ...




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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
May 2, 2014 12:22 PM CST

Moderator

Hey, someone else has caterpillars on their house! Hilarious! And a Black Swallowtail, too. And from that bendy position it totally looks like he's in his sling. I bet he's a chrysalis tomorrow. What are they doing in TN and not FL? Maybe ours are late...or avoiding the torrential rains we had today. All that mess that flooded the panhandle is now here but at least I got to sleep through it. The pictures on the news were horrible. And my boss at the museum says the water feature in the flight cage has risen so much the turtles are escaping. So I expect a weekend of caterpillar-hunting and turtle-wrangling. Sounds like fun!
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
May 2, 2014 4:07 PM CST
Oh, those are last year's photos. I guess I didn't note that. Glare
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
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mellielong
May 2, 2014 4:48 PM CST

Moderator

Well, I guess we'll keep waiting then. No butterflies today as it rained all day. I just watched the local news and the whole thing was about the rain and flooding. Hey! While I was typing that we just made the national news! Cool! Well, not so cool. My boss at the museum said not only are the turtles escaping, they got 8 inches of rain in 45 minutes! Which is so weird because this time of year is the dry season in this area. In bad news, when I went outside to get the mail, the one Monarch chrysalis high up on the house looks to be parasatized. Thumbs down I'll have to get the step ladder to get it off the house. But the caterpillar I pictured yesterday had made his chrysalis, although he did move a few inches down so now he's in the frame of the window.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Forum moderator Purslane Hummingbirder Cat Lover Butterflies Birds
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LindaTX8
May 2, 2014 10:11 PM CST
I saw a Black Swallowtail here a couple of weeks ago. The first of the Painted Ladies emerged today and was released. We have nothing but dry sunny days here, so it had no problem!
Thumb of 2014-05-03/LindaTX8/8b50c3

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
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
May 2, 2014 10:44 PM CST

Moderator

Beautiful, Linda! My parents are in Ft. Worth tonight as they are on their way to see the Grand Canyon. So far their only butterfly sighting was Dad reporting a small sulphur. I hope they see some butterflies out there! I told them I didn't care if they brought me back any souvenirs, pictures of Western butterflies would be sufficient. Hilarious!
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
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mcash70
May 2, 2014 10:56 PM CST
Linda, great photo of the Painted Lady. Thumbs up
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
May 3, 2014 3:53 AM CST
I agree
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: 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
May 3, 2014 1:20 PM CST
Me too!
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
May 3, 2014 4:12 PM CST

Moderator

More rain this morning but it slacked off this afternoon and the butterflies were out probably because they were really hungry. I don't think they had a chance to eat at all yesterday.

Here's a Zebra Longwing on one of their favorite nectar plants, Jatropha. Look close and you can see the pollen on the proboscis. Zebra Longwings eat pollen as well as nectar so they live 6-9 months! That's almost immortal for a butterfly.

Thumb of 2014-05-03/mellielong/bd239f

Lots of Duskywings out front today.

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While I didn't find the empty chrysalis, I'm pretty sure this Monarch just emerged based on its location and the way it was acting.

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Still lots of Monarchs but they're going into their Js!

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And I found another chrysalis right below the blue stripe on the house. I wonder if caterpillars see color? I've aways read they see only light and dark.

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And in case you're trying to picture all of this, here's the Giant Milkweed in front of my parent's bathroom window. This is where nearly all the Monarchs are at this point.

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That's all folks! Time to watch some horsies run around in a big oval for two minutes!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
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
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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jmorth
May 3, 2014 4:53 PM CST
Nice ones; those zebras are always cool!
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.

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