Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: July 2016 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 1, 2016 10:14 AM CST

Moderator

We came from here: The thread "June 2016 Butterflies, Moths & Larva" in Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum

Well, we ended on a Tiger Swallowtail, so let's start with another one! I saw this one this morning on my Jatropha. And I immediately thought that this was just going to encourage David to try growing a Jatropha! Rolling on the floor laughing

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More pictures to come...
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
Jul 1, 2016 11:19 AM CST

Moderator

Well, I've been taking it easy because it's hot out there, plus I slipped and fell the other day. I was in the kitchen refilling the hummingbird feeder and Dad had just been doing dishes. Well, there was water on the ceramic tile and I slipped and hit just under my right knee. Not the kneecap itself, but just under. And man, did it hurt. It still hurts a little, but I'll live. I did use it as an excuse to buy new shoes to wear when I go out for my little caterpillar feeding and picture taking escapades. And I may have bought a few more pairs to make the pain go away. Whistling Rolling on the floor laughing

I'm cheating a little bit because these photos are from yesterday. Here's a Long-Tailed Skipper. Oh look, it's on porterweed. Why am I not surprised? Hilarious!

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This Duskywing was just relaxing on a spent bloom on my Salvia 'Saucy Red'.

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Here's a slightly tattered Duskywing on porterweed.

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Gulf Frit on porterweed and one on Jatropha.

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Cassius Blue on porterweed. I'm sensing a theme here. Hilarious!

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Meanwhile, inside Melanie's bedroom...there's caterpillars! The Black Swallowtails are continuing their trend of building their chrysalis on top of another chrysalis. Rolling my eyes.

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Meanwhile, my first Giant ST made its chrysalis. I love how the chrysalis resembles bark, but also has some greenish-gray spots as if there's lichen growing on it.

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Now, for today. This Black ST is demonstrating why those eyespots are a good way to get away from predators. Yeah, he's missing part of a wing, but he's still alive!

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Zebra Longwing on...oh, you guys know what that is by now. Rolling on the floor laughing

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You know, I've had Salvia 'Mystic Spires' for maybe three years now, and it hasn't really been a big draw until this year. What's up with that? Here's a Duskywing that was all over it.

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I saw a male and female Spicebush, but only managed to get pictures of the male. I think he just lives here now.

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This Long-Tailed Skipper has seen better days!

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The Gulf Frits and Zebra Longwings fight over who gets to lay eggs on the Corkystem Passion Vine. This round goes to the Gulf Frits!

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Speaking of, I was trying to get a picture of these two Gulf Frits on the same Penta. You can kind of see the one underneath the other one and behind the leaf.

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I walked around front and there was a Tiger ST on my Jatropha. Yeah, I started the thread off with it, but here's a few more. I always take way too many pics of Tiger STs. They're so awesome!

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And here's another Gulf Frit who managed to find the only Spanish Needle blooming. (I had to pull a bunch to make way for progress.)

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Coatesville IN (Zone 5b)
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Claudia
Jul 1, 2016 1:55 PM CST
@GrammaChar your fresh BST on the last thread was beautiful!!

Lovely Melanie!

I am seeing lots of Tiger Swallowtail this year but just a handful of BST so far.
Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. ~Eeyore
Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
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jimard8
Jul 1, 2016 8:46 PM CST
The last time I saw any SWT was May , I am seeing Red Admials and Pearl Crescent , I did see a little blue or Hairstreak last week ,
August and September should see more , I am hoping ,,
Still with the Larger Butterflies You never seem to see enough , Smiling
In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
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 1, 2016 9:02 PM CST

Moderator

Here's a Zebra Longwing from when I went back out to get more food this evening. I was surprised to see it on the Pentas. They've been using them more this year.

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Jul 1, 2016 9:35 PM CST
So today I went out to the Mort Nelson Missourians for Monarchs project where we planted 450 milkweed plugs and another 250 other nectar/pollen plants. When we made the planting 2 months ago I discovered Common milkweed already growing in the area ~ a 10 acre field. It turned out there were ~ 200 + Common there which I check often.

Went out and checked today and ~ 1/2 are blooming - most just past prime bloom.

Saw for Monarchs

Adults - Zero
Cats - Zero
Eggs - Zero

I was not surprised as reports all over North America are sad (Monarch Watch email listserve). At my place I have seen 2 Adults, 1 Queen and no Monarch Cats or Eggs. Crying
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
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 1, 2016 9:54 PM CST

Moderator

You're still making a difference, David. They will come and find it, eventually. I'm sure of it! Thumbs up
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: John
Thibodaux, La. (Zone 9a)
Cactus and Succulents Butterflies
anole
Jul 2, 2016 9:22 AM CST
While tending my small herd of caterpillars, I have one that has different coloration than the others, does this lead to a butterfly that has different coloration than the norm? I have two that have made their chrysalis. How long does it remain in this stage before emerging as a butterfly?

many thanks,

Anole

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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
Jul 2, 2016 9:46 AM CST

Moderator

John, first I deleted your double post over in the articles thread since you made it here and I would have told you to post here, anyway. You figured it out! Thumbs up

The caterpillars may vary, but the adults won't. Males and females will look slightly different, but that's it. As for how long they stay that way...well, normally about two weeks. Swallowtails overwinter in their chrysalis form and sometimes you get one that doesn't seem to know what season it is. So if they're in your house, make sure they get plenty of natural light (and dark) so they "know" what season it is. And make sure you don't stick them under an air conditioning vent, of course. Other than that, give it two weeks or so.
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: John
Thibodaux, La. (Zone 9a)
Cactus and Succulents Butterflies
anole
Jul 2, 2016 10:13 AM CST
Thanks Melanie, will keep all posted on their progress.

Anole
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 2, 2016 9:56 PM CST

Moderator

I took a picture of my Black ST cats to show the variability. You can see the one all the way to the left is quite dark.

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This Long-Tailed Skipper kept going to the trellis to hangout. I hope it didn't lay eggs on the pipevine! I just thought about that. Must check tomorrow. For some reason, Wooly Pipevine confuses them and they lay eggs on it. (Note to self: write down question to ask Jaret Daniels.) Oh, did I mention the man who wrote my field guide is going to be leading a walk (and giving a separate talk) at the Florida Wildflower Foundation symposium? It's being held at Silver Springs this year. I booked the hotel yesterday and Mom and I are going up a couple of days early to enjoy the springs. Okay, here's that Long-Tailed Skipper!

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I keep seeing a male Spicebush every day. Every. Day.

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Zebra Longwing. I had four of them at one time in the butterfly garden. Hurray!

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Still a lot of Gulf Frits.

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: John
Thibodaux, La. (Zone 9a)
Cactus and Succulents Butterflies
anole
Jul 3, 2016 8:34 AM CST
Melanie, I have had several passion vines in my yard for years, the Gulf Frits visit in July-Aug-Sept. I have seen very few butterflies and no caterpillars at all. I do have this assassin looking bug that also likes the passion vine. I am wondering if his kind are a problem.

I saw a black swallowtail hovering around what's left of my parsley bush but it was much too quick for a photo.

Other than the parsley, do you have a preference for a host plant, I saw you mentioned "rue"-

thanks

John
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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 3, 2016 9:31 AM CST

Moderator

Rue, glorious Rue! Rue (Ruta graveolens)

Stinky, but useful! I grow it because it's a host plant for two butterflies - the Black Swallowtail and the Giant Swallowtail. Since we gardeners never have enough space, I like a plant that does double duty! I did plant a Wild Lime this year for the Giant STs, though. Also, parsley and dill seem to fade in the heat which is just about the time the Swallowtails show up in force. So bad timing. I don't grow herbs for my own use, so I tend to prefer Rue. It can take the heat, and it feeds two kinds of caterpillars. Efficient! And now...I have to get out of bed and go pick some Rue because the caterpillars look hungry. They always look hungry!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Morgan
IL (Zone 5b)
Winter Sowing Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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molanic
Jul 3, 2016 10:23 AM CST
My sleepy oranges started eclosing yesterday. Five of the seven have been released and I still have yet to get a decent picture of them with their wings open. I had the same problem with clouded sulphurs before . They just don't want to open up!

It is pretty neat how you can see their eyes and antennae while still inside their chrysalis. If I am determining their sex correctly I had a mix of males and females so far. I think the females have that large beige patchy spot on their wings, like the first pic here with the dark background?

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Oh, and yes Melanie I did pet the caterpillars. How could I not. :)

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 3, 2016 5:37 PM CST

Moderator

They're so velvety! The caterpillars, that is. Great shots of the chrysalis and the butterfly! Hurray! I love how you can see them in the chrysalis. So exciting! I think all Sulphurs have something against opening their wings. Hilarious!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Jul 3, 2016 5:42 PM CST
I agree You're so right, Melanie. I bet I could look through all of my photos and not find even one picture of a sulfur with its wings open. Blinking Pretty chrysalis too. Lovey dubby
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Kurt
Woodbridge , Va (Zone 7a)
Hummingbirder Butterflies Birds Dragonflies Garden Photography Container Gardener
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krobra
Jul 4, 2016 10:45 AM CST
any ideas what this might be ? it was trying to feed on my sunflower leaves.


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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
Jul 4, 2016 11:21 AM CST

Moderator

Kurt, my first thought was definitely a moth. I looked through my caterpillar book and there are some Looper Moths that resemble it that eat sunflowers. I say put it in a tank and keep feeding it! But that's my answer to everything. Rolling on the floor laughing
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: Kurt
Woodbridge , Va (Zone 7a)
Hummingbirder Butterflies Birds Dragonflies Garden Photography Container Gardener
Seed Starter The WITWIT Badge Annuals Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Virginia
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krobra
Jul 4, 2016 11:50 AM CST
funny my answer is usually throw it on another plant or feed it to the birds , after I have taken a picture of it of course though.
I have it in a little fruit cup at the moment with lovage leaves (smells like celery) , it does not seem to like them.

I did throw it up on bug guide too as I already have an account there.
and just went out in the rain to get it 2 sunflower leaf tips.
[Last edited by krobra - Jul 4, 2016 1:25 PM (+)]
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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
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wildflowers
Jul 4, 2016 1:08 PM CST
Yeah, that one looks familiar to me too, some kind of moth but can't recall which off hand...

I might be thinking of a fruit moth?
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

[Last edited by wildflowers - Jul 4, 2016 1:10 PM (+)]
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