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

Page 1 of 12 • 1 2 3 4 5 ... 12
Views: 3674, Replies: 235 » Jump to the end
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
Image
jmorth
Sep 1, 2014 10:39 PM CST
New month...

Sulphur on New England Aster
Thumb of 2014-09-02/jmorth/a9b917 Thumb of 2014-09-02/jmorth/0150d4

and a moth
Thumb of 2014-09-02/jmorth/4d8131

Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
[Last edited by jmorth - Sep 1, 2014 10:41 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #691908 (1)
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
Sep 2, 2014 7:49 AM CST

Moderator

Thanks for the new thread Jack. I was busy celebrating my birthday and then had a movie-watching binge yesterday. And thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes! I had a great day at MOSI and lots of pictures to share. Let's go!

Well, firstly I was woken up right at 7:00 am even though my alarm was set for 7:30. I heard something odd and I turned and looked at my fish tank to make sure no one was flopping around. Then, I turned and realized I had a Polydamas flying around in the critter keeper! Birthday present already! It stayed for a picture but quickly flew to my cedar tree.

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/ad2c1f Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/af17e4

At MOSI, I had plenty of Atalas waiting to be released!

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/d457dd Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/844a82 Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/1e7a22

And the Malachites were being their gorgeous selves. Plus, we got a mating pair! Let the cycle continue!

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/3b3f5d Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/d7a44f

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/c03398 Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/cd02a8

Black Swallowtails are still around.

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/732e38

The Long-Tailed Skippers were basking even though it was plenty warm enough outside.

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/9dee9b

I found a few of their cousins, the Dorantes Skippers outside and brought them into the lab.

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/782f1d

Have I mentioned lately how much Zebra Longwings love jatropha? Hilarious!

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/444464

Beautiful Orange-Barred Sulphur female. See the gray dots that line her upper wing? That means it's a female and that's what I meant a few days ago when I said you could see them even on the pale form.

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/fa33bd Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/11de4d

Still only catching male Spicebushes. Shrug! I did find two cats and about ten eggs, though!

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/c213e9

Everyone loves the Giant ST.

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/949c62

We only had one Gulf Frit so I had to net a few of those, too.

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/d6b025

I caught four White Peacocks! I don't usually even see that many at once!

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/bb10e9

I think the guests feel smart when they can recognize a Monarch.

Thumb of 2014-09-02/mellielong/479e53

That's it, folks! Hope you had a good holiday weekend, too!
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
Image
jmorth
Sep 2, 2014 9:12 AM CST
I really like those Malachites and Peacocks.
Speaking of movies, meant to tell you we went to that Galactic one you mentioned not too long ago; great special effects, we had an enjoyable time.
Do you ever raise Scarlet Peacocks (Anartia amathea) where you volunteer? They're pretty spectacular. I've only seen them in a couple of BF houses, 1 in Houston and 1 in St Louis.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
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
Image
flaflwrgrl
Sep 2, 2014 10:45 AM CST
There is something very special about the sulphurs on the NE Aster.... the colors of the butterflies against the color of the bloom compliment each other so well. It always makes an exceptional photo.

Melanie, great shots as usual. I too am a fan of the Malachites & White Peacocks & the Atalas are amazing 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
Sep 2, 2014 11:11 AM CST

Moderator

Jack, glad you liked "Guardians of the Galaxy." It's the highest-grossing movie this year (so far) so a lot of people liked it.

But back to butterflies for now...MOSI is kind of unique in that we only raise native Florida butterflies. This is unusual for most butterfly exhibits who import theirs from butterfly farms. We also raise about 90% of the butterflies ourselves. The only exceptions are the South Florida butterflies that don't quite make it this far north, like the Julia, the Malachite, and the Atala. We also trade for Great Southern Whites when things get slow but I have seen them in this area; they're just more common in the south part of the county. So no, we've never had that Scarlet Peacock but I looked it up and it sure is beautiful. I've had quite a few kids asking me about Blue Morphos - where are they learning these things?

It's kind of nice to be able to tell people (at least the locals) that they, too can have a little bit of butterfly heaven. We have brochures that tell people how to get started, what plants to plant, etc. I like being able to tell people that I've had every single butterfly in the flight cage in my yard at one time or another. I think it makes them feel like they can make a difference, too. Like, it's not something only a museum can accomplish. The more people we have planting natives, the better it is for the butterflies, the bees, and the whole environment!
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
Image
jmorth
Sep 2, 2014 11:29 AM CST
Your last paragraph is kind of like a mission statement. A worthy objective.
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
Image
mellielong
Sep 2, 2014 12:31 PM CST

Moderator

I'm not sure if it's our official mission statement, but during orientation I learned that MOSI's mission is, "Making science real." So that's what I try to do.

I actually got a little upset with myself two weeks ago when I didn't say anything to a new volunteer. This lady was probably in her 50s and said her son was volunteering, as well. This was only her second time there. As most of the guests came through, she directed them to me. I had a Polydamas caterpillar on my hand so I was a big attraction anyway. Hilarious! Well, after the guests cleared out she wanted to hold the caterpillar, so I let her. After a few minutes, a family showed up. She was still holding the caterpillar and began talking and showing it to the little girl (maybe 4 or 5 years old). She was talking a bit about the process of how the caterpillar would become a butterfly and I heard her say something about how "it's magic". I inwardly cringed and thought, "No, it's science!" I wouldn't embarrass anyone in front of a guest but I should have said something after they left. I was about to leave myself and I was hot and tired so I guess I just wanted to get out of there.

I don't have kids so I guess I don't have much experience in that department. And I have a gifted IQ so I suppose I was kind of a weird kid myself. It never occurs to me to talk down to children, although I do try to speak in simpler terms than I would with an adult. If kids don't know something, they will ask! Case in point, I used the word "molt" one time and a girl just asked me what it meant. And I explained it was when the caterpillar shed its skin, much like a snake does. She nodded and we kept talking. Kids aren't stupid and they tend to act according to how you treat them. If you treat them like they're smart, they act like it. When the butterflies are mating, I explain very scientifically how the male fertilizes the eggs and then I talk about how the female lays the eggs on a particular "host plant". I almost always have Zebra Longwing eggs to show the guests. Honestly, the adults get weirder about butterfly sex than the kids do.

I also have no problem talking about the cultural significance of butterflies because that's part of what makes science real to people, too. A man was asking me about the Monarch migration a few weeks ago and I was saying how it would be such a loss scientifically if it went extinct before we even fully understood it. I then talked to him about how the return of the Monarchs coincides with the Mexican holiday, "Day of the Dead", and how the Mexicans believed the Monarchs were the returning souls of their ancestors. I think a lot of us have heard the story of when you release a butterfly you should tell it your wish because the Native Americans believed since butterflies have no mouths, they can only tell your wish to the "Great Spirit".

I love the stories associated with butterflies but I also try to keep it factual, too. The level of ignorance toward nature astounds me every week. Just the number of people who think a butterfly is going to land on them for no reason makes me crazy! I just want to ask, "Do they ever land on you in your yard?" Just because we've enclosed them doesn't mean they're tame - they still act like butterflies!

I read a statistic a few weeks ago about how this latest generation will see such-and-such less of a percentage of birds, fish, insects, etc. than their parents. And the percentages were like in the 30's and 40's! It kind of made me rethink things a little. I know I get so surprised when the kids start yelling about the turtles and fish in our pond exhibit (which is right outside the flight encounter). I'm like, "Have they never seen a fish before?" And now I think, "Maybe not." I was lucky enough to have a dad who took us all fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and I can't tell you the number of species we've caught. In second grade I bought a book at the school book fair called, "A Dictionary of Fishes". I would take it on the boat and whenever we caught something, I would look it up and read about the fish out loud. But fewer children seem to be having those kinds of experiences.

I guess when they do encounter nature, I want to make sure kids and adults get the facts about it so they can make informed decisions on how to care for their yard, vote on amendments (Yes on 1 here in FL to protect our waterways!), or just to know why it's important to save these creatures. I make sure everyone who comes through the exhibit knows how we almost lost the Atala for good. Hopefully, it makes them stop and think a little.

Okay, that went on way longer than I intended, but you guys are the best to rant to because I know you get it. I guess the short version is that the process of metamorphosis can seem magical, but we still need scientists to study how it happens. And you also shouldn't talk to children like they're too dumb to understand things, because they will surprise you. Plus, it's good to challenge them to think! You may be the one who inspires them to become that person who figures out how metamorphosis works and develops a way of telling cells how to specialize so we can regrow limbs for people or who knows what else!
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
Image
flaflwrgrl
Sep 2, 2014 1:28 PM CST
Everything you said Melanie! Thumbs up Thumbs up Thumbs up
But this one sentence is extra special gold:
"Plus, it's good to challenge them to think!"
ABSOLUTELY!
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: 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
Sep 2, 2014 5:01 PM CST
Photos taken in July and August.

Atlantis Fritillary
Thumb of 2014-09-02/mcash70/48a677 Thumb of 2014-09-02/mcash70/e145c5

Unknow pretty moth, I asked BAMONA for an ID.
Thumb of 2014-09-02/mcash70/f79d25

Atlantis Fritillary
Thumb of 2014-09-02/mcash70/7808f0 Thumb of 2014-09-02/mcash70/6288c6

Cabbage White
Thumb of 2014-09-02/mcash70/ae3db6

[Last edited by mcash70 - Sep 3, 2014 11:14 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #692299 (9)
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
Sep 2, 2014 5:27 PM CST

Moderator

Yay! I love seeing butterflies from different areas. I'm assuming that Great Arctic is a type of Fritillary. I've also seen moths that look like yours here. May be a cousin or something. Let us know when you get an ID. And you get Cabbage Whites in Canada? I love butterflies, but I hate invasive species so I'm terribly conflicted on them. I wish they'd never been introduced but how do you get rid of them without harming other species? Very tough problem. I know in my WV butterfly book there is a species called a West Virginia White and the book says the Cabbage Whites are out-competing them. There's also a Florida White but it lives way down south in the state. Luckily, it has different host plants than the other whites. I've only ever seen one Cabbage White here in my section of Florida; maybe it's just too hot for them?
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
Image
jmorth
Sep 2, 2014 5:30 PM CST
I'd never even heard of a Great Arctic...great post. All excellent pics.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
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
Image
jmorth
Sep 2, 2014 5:33 PM CST
Cabbage Whites on asters
Thumb of 2014-09-02/jmorth/7bdc80 Thumb of 2014-09-02/jmorth/748531

Skipper
Thumb of 2014-09-02/jmorth/9e2e94

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
Image
mellielong
Sep 2, 2014 5:34 PM CST

Moderator

Hey, what's the orange flower the Great Arctic is on? It's really pretty and I don't usually like orange. Whatever it is, I'm sure it's too hot to grow it down here, but I want to be able to properly appreciate it.
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
Image
mcash70
Sep 2, 2014 6:44 PM CST
Thanks J, and I love the Skipper photo!

Melanie, I see tons of the Cabbage whites here, way too many.

The Orange plant is Rio, decorative Kalanchoe, I had never bought it before and was surprised at how well it did in our cool nights, bloomed all summer.
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
Image
flaflwrgrl
Sep 2, 2014 9:07 PM CST
Margaret, I'm sitting here oooooing & ahhhhing over your photos. Super job!

J, nice photos as usual. Colorful little skipper there.
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: 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
Sep 2, 2014 10:48 PM CST
Thank you Ann. I tip my hat to you. Smiling
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
Sep 3, 2014 11:33 AM CST
Ok guys, I must fess up here, I misnamed the 'Atlantis Fritillary' as the 'Great Arctic' yesterday.

This is the Great Arctic 'Oenesis nevadensis' it is grouped with the brush-footed butterflies.
Thumb of 2014-09-03/mcash70/3434c8

Must have been from the paint fumes, Whistling guy here painting the main living area. Rolling on the floor laughing

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
Image
jmorth
Sep 3, 2014 11:55 AM CST
Still magnificent.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
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
Sep 3, 2014 12:05 PM CST
Thanks J.
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
Sep 3, 2014 12:23 PM CST

Moderator

Yup Margaret, I like them both!

Another one of my lazy Polydamas came out of its chrysalis. They are the most stubborn butterflies about staying in there for as long as they like. And they tend to start overwintering before all the others. Sometimes at the museum we have tons and tons of them taking up valuable real estate. It settled on some porterweed but had flown away by the time I walked back into the house. By the way, I don't know if I've ever talked about this, but see how the Poly has its proboscis extended? Watch a new butterfly when it comes out and notice they will furl and unfurl their proboscis. They're not eating, so what gives? Well, the proboscis is actually two pieces and they have to fuse it together to make it one. So I think when they first come out, that's what all the unfurling is about. If you look really close at certain chrysalises, you can see the two pieces outlined in it. Neat, huh?

Thumb of 2014-09-03/mellielong/d36660 Thumb of 2014-09-03/mellielong/7ad3f7

My Monarch cat is getting big! He kind of wedged himself between two stems to get to this leaf. They'll do anything for food, won't they?

Thumb of 2014-09-03/mellielong/8f1718

This Zebra Longwing is missing a bit of wing and sunning on my Sweet Almond Bush. Notice that yellow spot on the left side of its head? That's all the pollen it has collected on its proboscis! Crazy! This one's a survivor. I can feel it.

Thumb of 2014-09-03/mellielong/95e65a

I saw several Swallowtails outside including the Giant, Tiger, maybe a Spicebush (too far away), and this Pipevine that was checking out my pipevine. It was also checking out every other plant in the neighborhood. I guess butterflies like to know what's around their host plant? I also get the feeling they check out the size of the host plant. I didn't see any eggs but I'll check later. She might have been skittish with me around. I collected quite a few more Polydamas cats; must have missed the eggs the other day. Anyway, here's two bad pictures I managed to get of the Pipevine. I figured I had to prove I saw at least one of the things I claimed! Hilarious!

Thumb of 2014-09-03/mellielong/3c3be7 Thumb of 2014-09-03/mellielong/298123

And in today's episode of Nature's Mysteries, I found a Gulf Frit cat on my pipevine. You read that right. Thank goodness I spotted him. I asked my parents if any of them had moved a caterpillar and they deny any involvement. The passion vine grows so far away from the pipevine there is no way this guy wandered over. Plus, he's not even big enough to be in his wandering phase! He had grains of sand stuck to him though, so I'm guessing he was on the ground at some point. Did wasps try to catnap him and fail? I just don't know. I'm literally scratching my head over this one. At any rate, I put him back on the passion vine where I hope he thrives.

Thumb of 2014-09-03/mellielong/4a13f3

And finally, here's one of my very beautiful Orange-Barred Sulphur chrysalises. Sulphur chyrsalises sometimes take on a pink tone. Once, I had one so dark it looked purple. That was super cool. It will be at least another week before this one comes out, but I'll let you know when it does!

Thumb of 2014-09-03/mellielong/4d864b

Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!

Page 1 of 12 • 1 2 3 4 5 ... 12

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Dianthus 'Nyewood Cream'"