Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: April 2015 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 2, 2015 1:04 PM CST

Moderator

We came from here: The thread "March 2015 Butterflies, Moths & Larva" in Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum

No Viceroys found behind my psychiatrist's office today. Thumbs down My yard is pretty slow, too so I went over to the neighbor's weed patch again and took some photos.

I don't know which Skipper this is, but I think it's very photogenic. I also had to teach my trainee that Skippers are not moths.

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My faithful Duksywings. Although, this one was in the neighbor's yard because my Spanish Needles haven't made a full comeback from the freeze we had.

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Whirlabout or Fiery Skipper. I just take the pictures and let BAMONA sort them out. Hilarious!

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Dainty Sulphur. Spanish Needles are also their host plant. Convenient!

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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 2, 2015 1:08 PM CST
The dainty sulphurs are so pretty.

Thanks for the new thread Melanie.
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: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Apr 2, 2015 6:37 PM CST
Hi all, I live in Iowa and have loads of these caterpillars in my yard. I would like to know what they become when they are not caterpillars. I would also like to know if they are good to have or not so good. I know I should know what they are but I just can't think of it. I look forward to posting pictures of the butterflies, birds, and moths that I have visit my yard this year. I have had the hummingbird moth in the past but did not see it this past summer. I learned that the horned caterpillar that was eating my tomato leaves was the Hummingbird Moth Caterpillar. I will never dispose of another one again. I am even going to tell my neighbor that I will take the ones that she finds on her tomato plants so that she doesn't dispose of it.
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Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Meredith
Atlanta (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Butterflies Hummingbirder Seed Starter
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memays
Apr 2, 2015 7:29 PM CST
I am getting a little worried. My dutchmans pipe hasn't emerged from dormancy. It's the aristolochia tomentosa variety. Now My aristolochia fimbriata has emerged. So I'm confused. And I'm really hoping to attract pipevine butterflies. I do have some winter sown pipevine seeds sprouting as a back up. Anyone with pipevine growing experience?
I love butterfly gardening & am active in NABA. Please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/nabageorgia/ & website nabageorgia.weebly.com.
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 2, 2015 9:34 PM CST

Moderator

Jeanne, you have a Wooly Bear caterpillar. Becomes a Tiger Moth. Just Google Wooly Bear and tons of stuff will pop up.

Speaking of Wooly...Meredith, A. tomentosa is usually referred to as Wooly Pipevine. Dutchman's Pipevine's are usually the tropical ones. I've been growing two for two years now and added six more a few weeks back. My two that have been established starting putting out lots of new growth weeks ago. Since you're a lot further north, I wouldn't give up on them quite yet. I have a few plants that just leafed out for me in the last 2-3 weeks. It was a weird winter.
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
Apr 2, 2015 10:05 PM CST
My A. tomentosas are finally starting to grow again. The A. serpentaria and A. fimbriata are looking pretty good. I keep waiting for more butterflies to show up...I'm not the most patient person in the world. I know the Monarchs must be coming through, but haven't spotted any yet. A friend near San Antonio has Gulf Fritillary cats, but I haven't seen those butterflies, much less the cats.
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
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mellielong
Apr 2, 2015 11:34 PM CST

Moderator

Linda, I'm friends with Monarch Watch on Facebook. I didn't have time to read the whole article they posted but I do remember seeing a headline a few days ago about how the Monarchs left Mexico later than usual this year so that may be why you haven't seem them yet. And I've only had Gulf Frit cats for the last two weeks or so. I think the freeze we had around Feb 20 pushed a lot of things back. The timing of a lot of things seems "off" by a bit. Our official last frost date is Feb 15 so with the late freeze I think it just threw some things out of whack.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Apr 3, 2015 5:12 AM CST
Thanks Melanie and Vitrsna for the thumbs up. Thanks Melanie for IDing my Wooly Bear. Once I read it I realized that I did know what it was but just couldn't remember. I did remember that we look at it to predict if we will have a mild winter or not. Old folklore tale. I googled it and now know why it has been around all winter in the same cat form. Thanks.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Apr 3, 2015 9:54 AM CST
Can anyone ID this Butterfly for me? This was taken in June 2008. Sorry this is a poor picture. It was pretty dark where they were sitting.
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Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Apr 3, 2015 9:59 AM CST
Here's a better picture of the blue/black one. Any idea what these yellow ones are? The yellow ones look more like a type of moth.
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Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
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
Apr 3, 2015 11:46 AM CST
The first are Red-Spotted Purples, which I've missed since the drought made them so rarely seen here. There's two kinds of swallowtail butterflies on the other two pics. One in the middle is a Giant Swallowtail and the rest of them are some kind of Tiger Swallowtails...perhaps Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, although I'm not sure.
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: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Apr 3, 2015 12:46 PM CST
Thank you Linda for the information. I really appreciate it. I look forward to leaning about the other butterflies that I find in my yard this year. These that I pictured were seen by a stream a little ways south of where I live. It is great to be able to put a name on them. Thank you everyone for the thumbs up that you gave me.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
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 3, 2015 1:51 PM CST

Moderator

Thanks, Linda. And Jeanne, those butterflies are "puddling". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mud-puddling
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Meredith
Atlanta (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Butterflies Hummingbirder Seed Starter
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memays
Apr 3, 2015 4:14 PM CST
Thanks for sharing pipevine plant info. Will try to be patient. Saw a small Orange butterfly near work today but couldn't capture a picture. I know I wasn't a monarch or a gulf frit. A mystery. Here is a fun pic my butterfly weed seedlings!
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I love butterfly gardening & am active in NABA. Please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/nabageorgia/ & website nabageorgia.weebly.com.
Name: Jeanne
Lansing, Iowa (Zone 5a)
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gardenglassgems
Apr 4, 2015 3:27 AM CST
Thank you everyone for the thumbs up.

Thanks Melanie for the mud pudding link. I did not know that was what it was called and why they were gathering like that. That is good to know. I can't wait to see what visits my gardens this year. I will be sure to post pictures.
Yard decor, repurposing, and flowers,
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 4, 2015 3:47 AM CST

Moderator

No problem, Jeanne. I don't tend to see butterflies puddling like that here in Florida. Not in groups, anyway; I'll just see one at a time. I think maybe because our "soil" is just sand and we don't have a lot of minerals in it. I was in WV one time visiting my grandparents back before I raised butterflies. We were hiking up a hill to a cemetery (genealogy is my other hobby). Near where we parked there were all these Tiger Swallowtails on the ground in a big group. My grandpa remarked, "A horse must have peed there." And we just kept walking. It wasn't until I started raising butterflies that I realized Grandpa knew what he was talking about. Granted, I can't help but wonder what he would think of me raising caterpillars. I guess as long as they didn't eat his vegetables we could have come to an understanding. Then again, he loved Pawpaws and my favorite butterfly is the Zebra Swallowtail (their host plant is Pawpaw). But they eat the leaves, not the fruits so I think he would have been okay with it. One day we'll get to talk about it, I suppose.
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
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mellielong
Apr 4, 2015 5:01 AM CST

Moderator

Well, I learned something new and I figured I should share it with you folks. I'm always harping on the need to plant native host plants, and to be particularly careful what you plant for the Pipevine Swallowtail. Well, I was going through one of my old butterfly books (by old I mean 1920's) and it said a plant called Asarum canadense was a host plant. "What is this?", I thought! That's not an Aristolochia! But it is in the Aristolochiaceae family, just not the Aristolochia genus. But the Pipevine Swallowtail still likes it just fine. Commonly known as Canadian Wild Ginger, this plant has no hope of growing in Florida. Hilarious! But for my Northen gardening friends, I wanted to make you aware that this plant hosts the Pipevine ST so get out there and plant some! Also, don't confuse it with actual ginger and try eating it. There's a reason the caterpillars ingest aristolochic acids - like Britney Spears, they're toxic! So let the caterpillars munch them instead. Here's the plant database entry: Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)

And for a source of seeds, plus a handy map that shows where this plant will grow, check out one of my favorite new vendors, Everwilde Farms: http://www.everwilde.com/store/Asarum-canadense-WildFlower-S....

I guess I should dust off the old books and read them occasionally, huh? You learn a lot of interesting information from old texts. I have other old books about wildflowers and even one on Gesneriads (African Violet family). You can also find some fun old books on Google books (for free!) if that sort of thing interests you. I find it interesting to see how the science has advanced and yet, at the same time, some of the knowledge has been lost. And while Spicebush Swallowtail might be a more accurate name, I'm still sort of partial to the Green Cloud Swallowtail (what it used to be called).
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
Apr 4, 2015 1:05 PM CST

Moderator

Okay folks, I just risked life and limb for you today. I ventured over to my neighbor's weed patch looking for butterflies and caterpillars. I saw they had two dogs up by the house and I didn't know they had dogs. I didn't come anywhere near the house and had been out there at least 5-10 minutes when the dogs came at me. I don't know too much about breeds, but the one clearly had pit bull in it. They called them off, but the one kept following me back to my place and jumping up at me. Nothing really aggressive, but still somewhat alarming. Also, we have leash laws and they don't have a fence so what's to keep them from running into the street? Anyway, what sucks is that as I was walking away I saw some Cudweed with a suspicious nest on top. I picked it up as I was walking but there was another one I missed. But the one I got had an American Painted Lady caterpillar in it! But now I want to go back and get more! I wonder if these people work on Mondays?

In case you haven't been following the story, ever since my neighbor died, his granddaughter and her boyfriend have been living there. They've already gotten in a verbal altercation with my neighbor across the street and the police have been out several times. One of the neighbors that lives further down the street said last time the cops came the woman came out and was injured but said she had an "accident" in the shower or something. As soon as the cops left, the boyfriend came out from the woods behind the house. So I'm trying to avoid them.

But caterpillars are a beacon to me and this is my prize for being brave today. American Painted Lady caterpillar! I unfurled its nest for you. I don't raise these guys much because I don't see them very often. Usually, only in the spring when the Cudweed is growing. I hadn't seen one in so long I got my book out to confirm it. I've raised regular Painted Ladies before, too. I need to go through my pictures and see if I can figure out which is more common and which caterpillar I've seen more of.

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I also had a surprise first thing this morning and found another Sulphur cat. I'm thinking I have Orange-Barred Sulphurs because they're staying pretty yellow and I think they would be green by now if they were Cloudless.

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In other surprise garden news, my Passiflora lutea reappeared! I bought one recently from [url=www.mailordernatives.com]www.mailordernatives.com[/url] I had bought one years ago and put it out on the corner and it had come back but everything was so weed choked this year I thought it was dead. But Dad cleared the weeds a few weeks ago and they came back! I transplanted five over to the butterfly garden. I'm not sure if all of them will make it because I didn't get much root on two of them. I planted them in the back by the fence so they will hopefully grow up the fence. You can see three in the picture. I have trouble getting things to grow in that area, though. We'll see. The one I planted a few weeks ago is growing really fast! It won't be long before the Zebra Longwings find it. They really love the native Passifloras.

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Now, I saw some frass on my Sweetbay Magnolia and you know I got excited because I thought, "Tiger Swallowtail!" Except, I could tell this was moth frass. Proving yet again that I know way too much about caterpillar poop. You see, butterfly cats tend to have regular, pellet-type frass. But some of the larger moths we've raised at MOSI like the Polyphemus, for example, have ridges in their frass. I suppose it's because of how their insides are shaped. This tree is under large oak trees so some moth caterpillar is up there eating my oaks. Which is fine by me; I just wish he wouldn't get my hopes up.

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I had two Gulf Frits up front today. One laid an egg on my Corkystem Passion Vine before they chased each other over the house. The other one was content to just nectar on the Jatropha.

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Here's one of the American Painted Ladies flying around the neighbor's yard.

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They've also got my Duskywings.

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I'll keep you guys update on the search for Painted Ladies. All I could think of when I got back to the house is what if those dogs had killed me and the news showed the pictures from my camera showing all I was doing was taking butterfly pictures. And how they'd probably show the Gulf Frit and say it was a Monarch because the news is always getting that wrong. I'm in kind of a morbid mood today.
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
Apr 4, 2015 1:53 PM CST
Great report Melanie! Glad you weren't dog dinner. Watch yourself over there ya hear?

Could you find a photo on the net of the cudweed you're talking about & post a link? I found a bunch of different cudweeds & would like to know which you're speaking of. I must have some here, I just need to know how to ID it.
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
Apr 4, 2015 2:05 PM CST

Moderator

I think the one I have is Gamochaeta pensylvanica a.k.a. Pennsylvania Cudweed a.k.a. Pennsylvania Everlasting. I've heard this weed called Sweet Everlasting, too. Check out the photo gallery on the ISB Atlas of Vascular Plants. I'm sure you've seen this one before. It's all over the place down here, but is not native. http://www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/photo.aspx?ID=8350

The caterpillars build nests at the top of the plants by silking several leaves together. Sometimes you can also see the frass inside. I'll try to get a picture of the nest without getting myself killed. Once you've seen one, they're pretty obvious and so it become easy to find the caterpillars.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!

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