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Jun 5, 2015 6:01 AM CST
Name: Chenoa Frazer
Jacksonville Florida (Zone 8b)
just in my garden and notice these 2 caterpillars and was wondering if anyone can tell me for sure what they may be. From the internet they look like monarchs, but I am not sure. I've read people will take caterpillars in to take care of them, any advice on leaving them alone or doing the inside thing? I'm just starting out so I'm thrilled to have these already
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Avatar for Dutchlady1
Jun 5, 2015 6:35 AM CST

Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator
Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Welcome! chenoa0125. They sure look like Monarch caterpillars to me!
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Jun 5, 2015 7:00 AM CST
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
I have no use for internet bullies!
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I agree Looks like Monarch.

My experience with the Monarch caterpillar was very short. I admired and photographed the caterpillar. Soon after a bird swooped down and said, "Thanks for the snack!" So if you want to watch the life cycle as it progresses, my advice would be to either provide a 'habitat' inside the house or create a protective enclosure to exclude birds and other predators. Here is a "Butterfly Pavillion" that can be purchased in a store for educators; it's about 24 inches tall.
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Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
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Jun 5, 2015 7:08 AM CST
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Irises Plant Identifier Hummingbirder Birds
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Curious, I thought birds wouldn't eat monarch cats. Maybe your bird didn't know that or I'm wrong? Shrug!

Very cool about having those. I keep trying to draw them in but without success.
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Jun 5, 2015 7:10 AM CST
Name: Chenoa Frazer
Jacksonville Florida (Zone 8b)
My husband just put our 3 milkweed in the garden last night. So to my surprise this morning to find them. There are 4 on this one plant
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Jun 5, 2015 7:21 AM CST
Greencastle IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hummingbirder Lilies Region: Indiana Dog Lover Echinacea
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You can also use a plastic container to keep cats inside. Shoe box size works well. Line the bottom with paper towels. You must clean every day. Monarchs require fresh milkweed. So you must keep the milkweed moist. The best way to do that is is to stick it in florist foam. Do not use a shallow dish with water. The cats will drown.

There is lots of information online about raising different types of cats. I found monarchs to be difficult. I raised Black Swallowtail for a number of years.
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
- Alan Keightley
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Jun 5, 2015 7:36 AM CST
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
I have no use for internet bullies!
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Rabbit Keeper Frugal Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level
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If you don't have the Oasis floral foam to keep the Milkweed watered, you can use a plastic drink up (like from a fast food place). Push the Milkweed stem though the straw hole in the cover of the cup.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"
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Jun 5, 2015 8:16 AM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Ukraine Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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@mellielong might be able to offer advice on raising those caterpillars so they can become beautiful Monarch's!
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


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Jun 5, 2015 4:35 PM CST
Name: Melanie
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
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Region: Florida Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Salvias
Yup, those are Monarchs. And yes, some birds will try to eat them, but usually learn the lesson the hard way that they do not taste good. I don't bother with trying to keep the leaves moist or any of that. Monarchs eat so fast I never have a problem with the leaves drying out. I just try to give them as much as they can eat in a day or so and make sure to keep the container clean and give them fresh food once or twice a day. Or you can leave them on the plant, if you want. Monarchs tend to have better rates of survival, but are still at risk for OE spores, viruses, bacteria, spiders, lizards, and other predators.
Avatar for daylilylady12
Jun 7, 2015 9:47 AM CST

I found a zebra swallowtail whose wings were crumpled. I think it just hatched. I put it in a butterfly mesh container. Does it need nectar, is it dying, or does it need time to pump up its wings? If it needs nectar, what type of plant would it need in the mesh monarch house?
Thanks,
Lisa
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Jun 7, 2015 10:00 AM CST

I have two caterpillars that started on my dill and I moved them to my monarch butterfly mesh bag. They needed more food, so I placed a parsley plant in it. One is now missing---hopefully crysalising. I have attached a photo of the other one. I think it is a type of swallowtail, but not sure which one. Can anyone help?
Thank You,
Lisa
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Jun 7, 2015 10:11 AM CST
Name: JoJo
Texas (Zone 8b)
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Hi, it looks like a black swallow tail and that is one of their host plants. Nature is amazing, isn't it?
Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That's the fun of them.
You're always learning !
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Avatar for Frillylily
Jun 7, 2015 10:40 AM CST
Missouri (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
daylilylady12 said:I found a zebra swallowtail whose wings were crumpled. I think it just hatched. I put it in a butterfly mesh container. Does it need nectar, is it dying, or does it need time to pump up its wings? If it needs nectar, what type of plant would it need in the mesh monarch house?
Thanks,
Lisa
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I think? they need sun on their wings to warm them.
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Jun 7, 2015 11:07 AM CST
Name: Melanie
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Bookworm
Region: Florida Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Salvias
Okay, first the Zebra ST. They just need a little time to pump their wings. They do not need to eat for a while. They are way more interested in mating. I've had them come out in the evening and spend the night in my house and then I release them in the morning and they're fine. You don't need to feed them. If they don't fly away when you release them, put them on a plant in a sunny area. Butterflies are cold-blooded and use solar energy to warm themselves. If you found it that way and it doesn't look "normal" within half an hour it's wings are damaged and it will not be able to fly right. The best thing to do in that case would be to euthanize it.

Yup, those are Black STs, also known as the "Parsley Worm". When they get big enough, they will gut purge (looks like caterpillar diarrhea) and then go into a "wandering phase" to find the perfect spot to pupate. You may find them quite a distance from where they started.
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Jun 7, 2015 6:56 PM CST
Greencastle IN (Zone 5b)
Daylilies Hummingbirder Lilies Region: Indiana Dog Lover Echinacea
Butterflies Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
BST will attach some where (I always place a twig/branch in the container for them). If you can get to see them make the chrysalis it is a very cool process!

It is not advisable to go give them store bought dill or parsley or plants bought at box stores. There can be chemicals on it that will kill them. Use what you have in your garden. Host plants for BST are dill, parsley, & fennel. I have grown Bronze fennel for years for them to lay there eggs on.
“Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to.”
- Alan Keightley
Last edited by Claudia Jun 8, 2015 9:32 AM Icon for preview
Avatar for Frillylily
Jun 7, 2015 9:24 PM CST
Missouri (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
so if you grow these type of plants will they come?
I don't mind having them in my yard, but do the caterpillars only eat those plants or do they eat hostas and daylilies and roses? If that is the case I do not want to purposely plant anything to lure them around because I don't want the cats to eat my other plants!
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Jun 7, 2015 11:34 PM CST
Name: Melanie
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Bookworm
Region: Florida Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Salvias
Butterfly caterpillars have specific host plants. They will starve to death before they will eat anything else. Black Swallowtails will eat Rue, Fennel, Dill, Parsley, Queen Anne's Lace and other members of the Apiaceae family. And they make a sling, not a J when they pupate.
Avatar for Frillylily
Jun 8, 2015 9:53 AM CST
Missouri (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
ok, so what happens if I plant only 1 thing, say a fennel (because that is what I plan to do) and there are more caterpillars than it can support? does that happen? Then I would feel bad luring them in, knowing they won't have enough food supply.
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Jun 8, 2015 9:55 AM CST
Name: Melanie
Lutz, Florida (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Hummingbirder Birds Bee Lover Bookworm
Region: Florida Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Salvias
Yes, that happens. Here's a thread about that very thing: The thread "Host for black swallowtails" in Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum
Avatar for Frillylily
Jun 8, 2015 9:56 AM CST
Missouri (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Thank you!

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