Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: August 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
Jul 31, 2015 5:05 PM CST

Moderator

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

Since everyone liked the Zebra Longwing and Mexican Flame Vine banner the other day, I decided you get to look at this as your thumbnail for the entire month!

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Now that that's out of the way, August has always been a month of mixed feelings for me. I had to go back to school, the summer heat had become unbearable, but also it's my birth month! That's right folks, but not until the end. August 31 - mark your calendars now! Oh, and my birthstone is peridot which is a butt ugly gemstone. Thumbs down

But butterflies are my flying gemstones and I managed to see a few before it started raining again. For like, the 10th day in a row. I'm going to start building an ark soon. Or at least take pictures of all the cool fungi growing around here to share on the Fungi forum. The Skippers were out early today. I find that the smaller butterflies tend to show up before the larger ones. Except Zebra Longwings. They come out at some weird times. I usually have to chase them to bed. Anyway, I think this is a Eufala Skipper; that's what I guessed when I submitted it to BAMONA. I'm sure they're still shaking their heads at me, wondering if I'll ever get a Skipper correct.

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I've had a pretty good population of Long-Tailed Skippers around. In the first picture, doesn't this one's abdomen look swollen? It hadn't just emerged because it was flying around but I wonder if it's a female with eggs?

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The Zebra Longwings were on the porterweed, too. I'd have to go back through my photos, but I swear I've seen this exact butterfly before. Notice that piece missing out of the wing? I'm certain I've seen this one before.

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I counted four Duskywings at one time. When they can't get their Spanish Needle fix, the head for the porterweed. Some of them seemed like they were just trying to dry themselves out. It's weird seeing butterflies basking this time of year. It's normally so hot they don't need to.

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A Spicebush ST flew by and this was the only shot I could get. And yes, those are my red pentas. I know they look a little pink in the picture, but they're red. What is it with the red ones?!

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So, we get Dorantes Skippers here which look just like Long-Tailed Skippers except they lack the turquoise sheen on the top of the body. I think I saw one today (missing tails). My book says the Dorantes has a dark, broken line on the underside of the wing whereas the Long-Tailed isn't broken. I submitted this to BAMONA with a guess that it's a Dorantes. It wouldn't open its wings all the way but I don't see any turquoise. But I'd really like to be able to tell the difference just by looking at the sides because they don't like to open their wings - either of them!

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If you're looking for Gulf Frit eggs, they do lay on the leaves, but they really like the new growth and those little tendril things that passion vines have. And yes, they lay eggs upside-down!

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And then you get Gulf Frit cats. I don't have many right now. My Passiflora has buds and flowers on it! Do you know how weird that is for August?

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Zebra Longwings also love the firebush.

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And I had some more Gulf Frits flying around. Which is weird because if I don't have the caterpillars, who does? Seriously, there's some passion vine that grows naturally on the dirt road between my street and the next street. Here's a Gulf Frit on porterweed and one chilling on the Spanish Needles.

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And here's a shot of another Duskywing on the porterweed.

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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
Jul 31, 2015 5:12 PM CST
Thanks for the new thread Melanie.

I am seeing lots of Gulf Frits around now too so they are coming from somewhere.
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
Jul 31, 2015 5:56 PM CST

Moderator

Ann, I think Gulf Frits are the most commonly seen butterfly in this area. I went to a class one time on butterfly identification and when they showed the Gulf Frit the instructor said, "I'm sure most of you have seen this one before". And we all laughed because yes, we had all seen it.

Mom just asked to see my butterfly book. I asked her what she saw and she started describing a Queen that was on the Mexican Flame Vine. Fortunately, the Queen is on the cover of my book (actually, two of my books, come to think of it) so I just showed her the cover and she said that was it. Mom and I also need to have a talk about what "red" means. In sad news, it looks like my Queen chrysalis was parasitized. I warned Mom when she found one that large that the odds were high. But maybe I got egged today. Although, my milkweed is covered in so much skunk vine I don't know if any female could find it.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Jul 31, 2015 8:38 PM CST
Back up a minute. My birthday is also in August (like in two days from now) and my birthstone is a beautiful light green color...y'all know I love the color green but it sure is difficult to pronounce 'Peridot'. My very first pair of earrings were peridot. Later, when I could no longer wear metal jewelry, I began to make earrings for others to wear.

The green glass stars in this photo are a similar color to most Peridot, although the real stones can be more yellow or more blue depending on where they are found. Unless they are recently from China and then they miraculously seem to be all exactly the same shade of green. Whistling
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I have no caterpillars today but there are more butterflies. Mostly Tiger Swallowtail and some small brownish ones that are too fast for my old eyes.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Aug 1, 2015 9:38 AM CST
Beautiful photos, Mellie!

I do not remember if I mentioned, the Monarchs are thick this year. I am amazed at the numbers compared to previous years. It really has helped that the county people have not yet mowed our road. I wonder if they were sent a memo to not be so aggressive with mowing down milkweed. I want to try and transplant a few of the Whorled Milkweed that came out of nowhere, but it's right in the patch of that mower blade.

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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
Image
mellielong
Aug 1, 2015 10:05 AM CST

Moderator

I maintain my dislike of peridot but what I really wish they'd figure out is the birth flower for August. When I was a kid, it was poppy. But then at some point I started reading gladiolus. I like both; I've grown both. But poppy is what I was raised with. True story (and I'm going to date myself but I think most of you are older than me so that's okay): When I was little I loved "My Little Pony". I had so many! And they had this special mail-away order where you could get a pony with your birth flower on it. You couldn't buy them in stores. So my wonderful mother sent away and I got a pony with a poppy on it. Sold that thing on eBay years ago along with my other pony stuff. Made a killing. Thumbs up

Kim, that is awesome that you are seeing more Monarchs and that they are having sex in front of your camera. They're such exhibitionists! Rolling on the floor laughing

Well, today we're going to update what's going on in my tanks. Except this first picture which I snapped after I uploaded all my pics yesterday. This is a Long-Tailed Skipper basking. Check out the turquoise coloring. Ooh! Aah! One of my better pictures, if I do say so myself. And I do.

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Okay, now to the tanks! This is my Tiger ST egg. You can see it's about to hatch. Remember when it was green? Now, you can totally see the caterpillar inside, waiting to bite through that egg. By the way, I consider that way cooler than birds. I mean, they have a beak. Caterpillars gotta bite through that shell! And then they eat it! Awesome.

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My two Giant ST eggs hatched. They're super small, even if they are Giant. You can see one on the leaves near my thumb moving in an upward arc. Don't worry, everyone got fresh food after picture time.

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My Tiger ST cat ate a whole lot after he molted yesterday. So I rewarded him with a new leaf to munch on.

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I just think Orange-Barred Sulphurs are such a cool caterpillar. I also like that unlike the smooth Swallowtails, they have a bumpy texture to them. They're another one I use as a volunteer cat at the museum.

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Now, I warned you that my Queen chrysalis was sick and not likely to make it. You can see the sickly brown color at the top. Also, anytime the chrysalis is unevenly colored is bad news. As they darken, they normally do it pretty evenly and in a distinct pattern. So any deviation is cause for worry. FYI, that Black ST chrysalis she built on also isn't likely to emerge which is one reason I let her build there. You can see the spots running down the back like the wings formed but that was like a month ago. If it was going to come out, it would have. Even chrysalises that over winter won't show their pattern until they're ready to emerge.

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So as not to end on a downer, here's my Io Moth. Look at those adorable feet! I wish I could hug him, but that would end badly for the both of us.

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Frogs and Toads Garden Procrastinator Cottage Gardener Birds
Annuals Hummingbirder Region: Indiana Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies
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jimard8
Aug 1, 2015 10:13 AM CST
Millie ,, Imagine that , the day of Every skipper remembered and documented correctly ! Whistling Hilarious!

Chillybean Nice photo's , not as many here this year , that I am seeing anyway Sticking tongue out

These this morning ,,
Thumb of 2015-08-01/jimard8/0933b0 Monarch
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Thumb of 2015-08-01/jimard8/08f4b7 Pearl Crescent
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Thumb of 2015-08-01/jimard8/e16553 ? Confused

In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
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
Aug 1, 2015 10:23 AM CST
Jim, I believe that last one, the white one is a pecan or fall webworm moth. Hyphantria cunea. See:
http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Hyphantria-cunea

http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/fall-webworm
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
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mcash70
Aug 1, 2015 5:20 PM CST
Finally the camping trip butterflies. Green Grin!

Our campsite was great, lots of weedy areas around it, beautiful fireweed blooming everywhere.
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Weidemeyer's Admiral, the 2nd one looks pretty beat up, it was very windy.
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Field Crescent on wild Asters
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Western Tiger Swallowtail, I saw lots of these but they would not pose.
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Mariposa Copper, this one is pending, I sent it to Bamona for a positive ID.
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Painted Lady, saw this one the day we were leaving at the sani dump, seemed to like the stinky water around the area. Blinking
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I saw lots of butterflies including, sulfurs, coppers, cabbage whites but darn it they wouldn't sit where I could get a decent shot of them. Shrug!

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
Aug 1, 2015 5:33 PM CST
But you got some really great shots of some of them. I love the Weidemeyer's Admiral & Mariposa Copper. Cool fireweed!
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
Aug 1, 2015 5:46 PM CST

Moderator

Ooooh! Ahhhh! Those are the sounds I'm making looking at Margaret's pictures. And I'm not going to lie; I looked up where in Canada you are. Like many Americans, my knowledge of geography is horrendous. Which is weird because I won the Geography test in my whole school in 7th grade. That just proves I have excellent short-term memory. Of course, now a lot of those countries don't exist or changed names. I'm pretty good at "Jeopardy" but when there's a geography category I'm like, "I'm out!" Seriously though, I love seeing butterflies from different parts of the country and the world. It's fun to see the similarities between species, but it's more fun to see something totally different!

Now, since people post way too many baby pictures on the internet, I've decided to join them. Here's my baby Tiger ST caterpillar! Yes, the one from the egg picture this morning. Isn't he adorable? Lovey dubby

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I'm really glad the eggs are hatching. I was getting bored waiting. The only eggs I have left to wait for are the Pipevine Swallowtails. All these species should keep me busy fetching food every day!
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
Aug 1, 2015 6:14 PM CST
Thank you Ann and Melanie, glad you liked the butterflies. I tip my hat to you. Melanie, Thank You! for the Acorn tip.
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
Aug 1, 2015 6:49 PM CST
Awwwwwwwwww that widdle biddy Tiger ST cat is soooooooooo cute! Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Tiny, tiny, tiny!
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: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
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greene
Aug 1, 2015 7:35 PM CST
flaflwrgrl said:Awwwwwwwwww that widdle biddy Tiger ST cat is soooooooooo cute! Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Tiny, tiny, tiny!


I agree What she said!!

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
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
Aug 1, 2015 7:37 PM CST
I would be so afraid of squishing 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: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Frogs and Toads Garden Procrastinator Cottage Gardener Birds
Annuals Hummingbirder Region: Indiana Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies
Image
jimard8
Aug 2, 2015 9:15 AM CST
flaflwrgrl I believe it could be that ,when I first saw that . I thought a Giant Whitefly Crying Hilarious! Confused

mcash70 , Beautiful pictures of the Butterflies from camping , rarely most of those do we get to see , Great shots , Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!

Millie What could I add , Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Thumbs up

From this morning , two Monarchs, I was watching them doing the mating dance ,About five Cabbage Whites , And several Silver Spotted Skippers
Thumb of 2015-08-02/jimard8/8423d1 Monarch on Zinnia


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Silver Spotted Skipper , Sitting on the fence , thinking it over
In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Frogs and Toads Garden Procrastinator Cottage Gardener Birds
Annuals Hummingbirder Region: Indiana Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies
Image
jimard8
Aug 2, 2015 10:23 AM CST
I thought I would show this , talk about your green eyed monsters , here's one keeping an eye on you , Green Grin!

Cabbage White
Thumb of 2015-08-02/jimard8/3ad05f

In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
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
Aug 2, 2015 10:28 AM CST
Great photos Jim! Hooray for mating monarchs. Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
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: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Frogs and Toads Garden Procrastinator Cottage Gardener Birds
Annuals Hummingbirder Region: Indiana Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies
Image
jimard8
Aug 2, 2015 11:20 AM CST
flaflwrgrl I appreciate the Thank you Everything seems so flighty lately , difficult to get good photo's ,, Thank You!
In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
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
Aug 2, 2015 11:22 AM CST
Thanks Jim, you take some great shots yourself! Thumbs up

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