Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: June 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
May 31, 2016 6:02 PM CST

Moderator

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

Danita is right and I'm seriously eyeing Char as competition for the photo contest this year!

This isn't my best photo, but it looks pretty decent as a thumbnail, I think. Female Spicebush on Jatropha.

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Texas (Zone 8a)
Passionate about Native Plants
Region: Texas Butterflies Salvias Garden Photography Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Birds Hummingbirder
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GrammaChar
May 31, 2016 6:35 PM CST
I'll add the one butterfly from today that's not all beat up by the stormy weather.
Pipevine swallowtail on Flame Acanthus.


GrammaChar
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
May 31, 2016 6:40 PM CST
Thanks for the new thread Melanie.
Pretty photos from the both of you. Thumbs up
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: 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
May 31, 2016 6:43 PM CST
and I will post an old Monarch pic just so I can know when the thread has been updated



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[Last edited by krobra - May 31, 2016 6:45 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1166909 (4)
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
May 31, 2016 6:55 PM CST

Moderator

Kurt, you can also hit the "Watch" the thread link up at the top. Although, it will now probably say "Unwatch" because you are currently watching it. But I like your photo, too! Just thought I'd let you know how to watch the thread if you don't post.
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
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jmorth
May 31, 2016 7:07 PM CST
Spring Azure -
Thumb of 2016-06-01/jmorth/6c5243on Larkpur


Thumb of 2016-06-01/jmorth/60aa3f on a ground cover

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
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flaflwrgrl
May 31, 2016 8:11 PM CST
I really like it on the Larkspur J, sort of a color echo type thing.
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 ~~



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
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jmorth
May 31, 2016 9:21 PM CST
Thanks Ann, those azures are little tiny things, about a half inch.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Texas (Zone 8a)
Passionate about Native Plants
Region: Texas Butterflies Salvias Garden Photography Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Birds Hummingbirder
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GrammaChar
May 31, 2016 9:31 PM CST
They are hard to catch. Good job, @jmorth.
GrammaChar
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
Jun 1, 2016 12:44 AM CST

Moderator

Okay, I slept the vast majority of the day which I guess I needed because I had to catch up on the sleep I haven't been getting. I'm taking things super easy this week because I'm going on that Orchid Walk on Saturday over in Orlando. Mom's coming, too. The guy leading it went and did a scouting walk this past weekend and listed the various species he saw, along with plants like some native milkweed and other host plants. He also saw a Pygmy Rattlesnake and I was like, "For God's sake, DO NOT tell my mother!" But it was too late - she had already read it! Mom is unreasonably afraid of snakes.

Thunderstorm passed through during my afternoon nap and I didn't even care that the thunder woke me up because first of all, I fall right back asleep. But most importantly, I didn't have to get out there with the hose tonight! Hurray!

So in the last post where I posted pictures, I said I might go to MOSI. So I did. That was on Friday so we mostly just hung out, although I did help change some of the tanks and find the chrysalises so we could pin them. But before I left, I had my own Zebra Longwing to release!

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We had lots of Great Southern Whites to release at MOSI. The gray ones are female; the white ones are male.

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Female on the left, male on the right.

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Julia Longwings

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This Gulf Frit was posing so nicely.

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Since I pulled my old Senna ligustina plants and transplanted the babies (which are coming along nicely), I've been missing my Sulphur butterflies. I got my fix with these Orange-Barred Sulphurs.

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Common Buckeye way up high.

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And they have Atala Hairstreaks again! Hurray! Native to South Florida, these little guys almost went extinct due to over-harvesting of their host plant, Coontie.

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The usual suspects hanging out in the corner where the sun comes up.

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Monarch up in one of the hanging baskets.

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Julia Longwing caterpillar in the lab.

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Just hatched Polydamas Swallowtails in the garden.

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Buckeye cats in their holding cell while the tank was cleaned.

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So Saturday I wake up and Mom had just come in from her walk. She tells me there are a ton of Zebra Longwings in the butterfly garden and a couple of them are mating. Mom literally put her two index fingers together to simulate what they looked like. Rolling on the floor laughing I grab the camera and Mom follows me outside to show me where they are. Turns out, they're on the trellis with the Corkystem Passionvine. It's a little unusual to see them mating right on the host plant, but not totally unheard of. Except, as I get closer, I realize they're not mating at all.

Remember the two chrysalises I took pictures of on the Corkystem? Two Zebra Longwings were sitting on it. I've read about this behavior, but never seen it before. You see, when a female develops in the chrysalis, she sends out pheromones that attract males even before she emerges. So they lay in wait for her so they can be the first to mate. In some cases, males have been known to break open the chrysalis and mate with the female. Some refer to this as "pupal rape" but I don't believe in placing human morals on wild animals. I explain what's going on to Mom and asked her, "Do you want me to let nature take its place, or should we protect our gal?" In the spirit of sisterhood, Mom said to protect our gal. I brought her in and she's still in my bedroom. What's weird is when I looked at the chrysalis, it was dark, but I thought it still had at least a day before it would emerge. That was on May 28. It still hasn't emerged but it doesn't look diseased or anything. It just made me wonder how the males were so attracted to it. I thought they only did that shortly before the female was going to emerge. Anyway, here's some pictures. You'll also see the other chrysalis in the pics, but it was far from turning darker.

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The Giant ST made an appearance and seemed to only want to eat my Magic Red Pentas. It also must be male, because I still don't have any eggs.

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Long-Tailed Skippers are coming around pretty often. They love porterweed which is what this one is on.

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And in more Corkystem drama, I had a female laying eggs on the same vine those chrysalises are on.

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The Polydamas ST has been spotted but they move so fast it's really hard to get pics. They also flutter their wings much faster than the other Swallowtails which makes for lots of blurry photos.

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There were about five Zebra Longwings flying around which is a lot for one little area. They weren't just flirting and laying eggs. They had to eat every now and then, too.

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The male Spicebush has been a regular visitor. Notice he's on the red Pentas.

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I forgot to mention that when Mom knocked on my door, she said "Egg delivery". She brought me Polydamas eggs so at least one of them was female. I need more Pipevine because I found more when I went outside. There's always more!

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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
Jun 1, 2016 1:04 AM CST

Moderator

Now, on Sunday I went to the Hibiscus show, but before I did, I took a picture of a couple of my Spicebush cats. They've started gut purging. Some Swallowtails change color before they pupate, and as you can see, the Spicebush goes from green to orange. Or "gold" depending on where you live. They're much more orange down here in Florida which is why some lepidopterists suspect we have a subspecies.

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That brings us to Sunday. There was a female Spicebush ST and a Polydamas ST battling for dominance of the Jatropha. Spicebush won!

Here's the Polydamas.

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Remeber, the female Spicebush has more blue on it. Compare it to the male in my last post.

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Check out all the pollen on her legs!

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I was checking my Sweetbay Magnolia because I had seen a Tiger ST flying around. No luck, but this poop made me look twice. This is why caterpillars are bird poop mimics. Because it works!

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My Gulf Frit transport business is staying busy.

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Which brings us to yesterday. You guys know I'm raising Tersa Sphinx Moths. I've gotten a lot better at finding them when they're small which has been interesting because I can watch more of their process. You see, Tersa Moth cats come in green and brown forms, but I never knew if they started that way, or molted and changed. So I wake up this morning, and I notice one of my cats had molted and was much darker green than the other cats. A lot of cats are darker when they first molt and they lighten up after a few hours so I wasn't too surprised. But I took pics because I wanted to show you guys. You can also see his shed skin behind him. See the horn?

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But then when I went to feed them this afternoon, he was brown!

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And as I was picking food, I found another tiny guy. I put him next to my biggest Tersa cat just to show you how much they grow. Crazy, right?

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By now, my Spicebush cats have started pupating.They usually go for the plastic, but this one picked a leaf. I saw the smaller cat on the leaf earlier when I was checking on them, but they don't tend to mess with each other, so I wasn't worried. What he did do was eat the leaf all around where the other cat had silked himself. Rolling my eyes.

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I took most of my Pipevine cats to MOSI but kept a few for myself. I think they look like lobsters with those big tubercles in front.

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Outside, the other chrysalis on the Corkystem Passion Vine is darkening and showing the wing pattern. I imagine it will emerge later today.

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And finally, I had five eggs and now I have five Black Swallowtail cats. You can only see four in the pic because one is on the underside. Let the eating commence!

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Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Jun 1, 2016 7:18 AM CST
Melanie, you are amazing!! Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
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
Jun 1, 2016 9:20 AM CST

Moderator

Thanks, Josephine! I think nature is amazing. I'm just there to document it. Thumbs up
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
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jmorth
Jun 1, 2016 10:59 AM CST
Atala Hairstreak - very cool. Is it related to the hairstreaks we have up here (Grey and Banded)?
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge Region: Texas Garden Art Irises
Daylilies Butterflies Dragonflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers Hibiscus
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froggardener
Jun 1, 2016 2:25 PM CST
WOW, gorgeous, all of them
Love your photos Melanie!!
Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That's the fun of them.
You're always learning !
Helen Mirren
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
Jun 1, 2016 2:50 PM CST
I agree!
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
Jun 1, 2016 5:22 PM CST
Hurray! I got confirmation on my Plebejus icarioides Boisduval's Blue from BAMOA today! Hurray!
http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/sighting_details/1081856
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Texas (Zone 8a)
Passionate about Native Plants
Region: Texas Butterflies Salvias Garden Photography Native Plants and Wildflowers Bee Lover
Birds Hummingbirder
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GrammaChar
Jun 1, 2016 5:35 PM CST
Not much new butterfly action here today. Melanie, your photos are like a Chamber of Commerce ad for Florida. What variety you have!
I did spot this swallowtail depositing eggs on the rough fruit scale seed weeds. I have to walk around and rescue the cats out of the yard and relocate them to the fennel/parsley patch.

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And I got one shot at this black swallowtail.

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GrammaChar
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
Jun 1, 2016 5:47 PM CST

Moderator

Glad you guys are enjoying the photos! Feel free to come spend your tourist dollars here!

Jack, yes the Atala is in the Hairstreak family but it is definitely a more tropical species. They only live (naturally) in South Florida. The ones at MOSI stopped breeding last year around October. I think they really like it hot! As far as color, they are similar to the Great Purple Hairstreak, but not as large. We ordered them from a butterfly farm as a special treat.

But they're still bigger than Blues! Margaret, that's so cool and thanks for representing the West Coast! It's also rare for me to see any Blue with its wings open because there's not much of a need to bask here.

It's so darn hot, I went to the movies today. I'm still resting up for the Orchid Walk on Saturday. It's sold out with a group of twenty people. I'm going to have to get up so early to get to Orlando! Mom's driving; I'll make us a strong pot of tea for our travel mugs! I'm looking forward to taking lots of bird and butterfly pictures, too. When I was there in January, I took photos of fifteen kinds of butterflies. In January!
Moderator of the best forum on ATP, the Butterflies, Bees, and Birds forum!
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
Image
frostweed
Jun 1, 2016 7:50 PM CST
Gorgeous butterflies, Margaret and Char. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.

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