Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: February 2017 Butterflies, Moths & Larva

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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
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mellielong
Feb 1, 2017 12:18 AM CST
We came from here: The thread "January 2017 Butterflies, Moths & Larva" in Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum

Wow, is it February already? I've been kind of sick for the last few days, so I hope you guys don't mind if I use another picture of my Orange-Barred Sulphur. FYI, it stayed on the porterweed all night and the next day so I went out and got it, brought it back in and warmed it up under Mom's Ott Lite (she uses it for sewing). I waited until the butterfly was really flapping around and then let it go. It flew back to the porterweed, but at least it was sunny outside, even though it was cool. I checked a while later and it had flown off. Thumbs up

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Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 1, 2017 10:02 AM CST
Ok, do you hypnotize them to get them to stay on your finger like that, or put nectar on there, or glue ? ? What's your secret? Those sulphurs really don't stay still like that usually, do they?
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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
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mellielong
Feb 1, 2017 10:48 AM CST
Elaine, that one was new and I was releasing it. Also, it was cold outside so it still needed to warm up before it could fly. Normally, a Sulphur would never do that.
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
Feb 1, 2017 11:53 AM CST
Hoping for blooms soon! Will get out and water some today, which will help. If no blooms soon, I will have to visit a nursery and buy something. We don't mind repeats on pretty pics! I saw a Red Admiral yesterday when I was taking my kitty for a walk on the back of the property! Yes!
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
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
Image
mellielong
Feb 3, 2017 5:40 PM CST
I feel really dumb over on the bird thread, so let me indulge myself in my specialty!

Nice warm day here and more butterflies showing up every day. I saw a Tiger Swallowtail on my neighbor's azaleas, but didn't get a picture. Thumbs down But seeing one this time of year is kind of bonkers. I'm not sure we actually had winter here. Although, we did have some frost the other night. Saw it as I drove to Starbucks. Mom even covered up the citrus trees (they're in pots).

First off, I declare caterpillar season open! Hurray! I found a caterpillar on the well today. As you all know, my well is a hub of insect activity. I've submitted it to BAMONA, but it appears to be some kind of Furcula. I once raised a White Furcula, but I found it on Black Cherry. That was back in 2009! I had to go back to that "other site" Dave used to run to find where I posted it. I don't even have it on Facebook or submitted to BAMONA! This guy was closest to an oak tree, so I gave him an oak leaf and a cherry leaf and he seems to have nibbled a little of the oak. I don't like the markings on him. They look like wounds because as you can see, they're not even. I believe he had just molted judging by the skin and head capsule I found below him. And yes, he's hanging out in my bedroom right now.


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I don't usually have Zebra Longwings in February, but I'm not complaining!

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Long-Tailed Skipper enjoying Pentas.

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Oops, I forgot I released a male Orange-Barred Sulphur yesterday!

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I had another one that was just about to emerge today, so I put Mom on butterfly watch since I was outside. This is what the chrysalis looked like. The orange patch is the "orange bars" that give the butterfly its common name. It also indicates it's a male. When you see the "rings" around the body of the butterfly, that means it's really close to coming out.

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And here he is! Mom even took him into the master bath when she took her shower so he could bask in the sunlight that comes through the glass blocks. I told her she could have left him in the living room, but she's sweet like that. Lovey dubby

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Duskywings are back! And they love Spanish Needles!

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Quite a few Barred Sulphurs in the backyard enjoying the Tassel Flower.

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I'm pretty sure this is a Cloudless Sulphur but it does have more markings than usual. That's common in the winter form, though. I was also happy to see it using Salvia 'Amistad'. Thumbs up

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I saw a Gulf Fritillary flitting about my obelisk, so I knew an egg-bombing was imminent. They can't stay away from the Corkystem Passion Vine.

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Then, she basked a bit.

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There were a few Ceraunus Blues in the back, as well.

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And finally, I caught the Long-Tailed Skipper on Salvia 'Amistad', too! They usually stick to the Pentas.

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Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Dragonflies 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
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jimard8
Feb 3, 2017 5:55 PM CST
Really nice Melanie Thank You! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Smiling

A Sky blue aster for later Crescent is the best I can do for now Shrug! If it is a Host plant for them
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In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
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
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mellielong
Feb 4, 2017 1:32 PM CST
My caterpillar molted and I think it might be a Mottled Prominent. I updated my submission to BAMONA to reflect that and add a new picture, post molt.

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One of the local nurseries I shop at posted on Facebook that they had gotten their shipment of herbs and veggies in. I could see Rue in the picture so I stopped by today and bought all eight that they had. They're those tiny square pots. They were $1.25 each or 4 for $4. You can never have enough host plants and that was a good deal so I bought them. Melanie Tip: buy plants small and cheap because they grow and get bigger. Unless you live up north and don't have that luxury.

Anyway, the cashier only counted six and charged me $1 each so I saved some money. I might have corrected her but she was talking about how the Rue doesn't sell well. I told her how it was a host plant for two butterflies and she was like, "Really?" If you don't know your product and you can't count, I'm not going to help you. Not in the mood anymore.

They had a few milkweed plants and I found a little friend. I left him there for whoever buys the plant.

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And to continue the strange winter we're having, there was a Polydamas Swallowtail devouring the Duranta. Didn't see any eggs on the pipevine they were selling, though.

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Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Dragonflies 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
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jimard8
Feb 4, 2017 3:06 PM CST
My Ruta Graveolens Has not sprouted , I had one that was in the wrong place outside , I will set a couple planters of them near the wafer ash ,
I get a few giant swallowtail passing by ,
Fennel for others seems easier for me Nice photo's Melanie ,, Hurray!

I have never seen any Eastern Swallowtail larvae on my Tulip poplar , it is there though

Seems Crescent and Red Admiral , and the Question Mark host plants is all I have correct
Of course the Milkweeds , some seasons ..
Get lots of BF visitors ,not many propagators
In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
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
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mellielong
Feb 5, 2017 4:01 PM CST
Jim, one reason I like Rue is that it's a 2-for-1 plant! You get two kinds of caterpillars with one host plant. So for those who have to limit themselves - and I think all gardeners reach that point - it's a plant you can justify having. I still have most of the ones I planted last year, despite the fact that I neglected to keep up with weeding around them. Plus, the mild winter helped, I think. I'm going to spread my new ones around and see if I can get little host plant clusters.

Speaking of, that's a good strategy for milkweed, if you can do it. A lot of people like to have several, smaller milkweed patches than one big one to cut down on aphid infestations and disease. So keep that in mind when you plant!

I've got some plants I want to order but our last frost date is still ten days away. Rolling on the floor laughing Plus, I sort of feel like Mail Order Natives is going to have a sale. I should just email them and ask. Mom is donating $50 to purchasing plants this spring. Hurray! I want to add more Spicebushes and some more native nectar sources. I really should email them and ask them to update their website. I want to know if they're really out of stock on some of the plants, like a couple of native milkweeds.

Update on my mystery caterpillar. Well, BAMONA is still "pending". I got a little worried because my caterpillar wasn't eating or pooping and you know that's all they do. And then I had to remind myself that all caterpillars are different, and moths can be especially weird. See, a Monarch cat will molt, turn around and eat the skin, and be back eating milkweed in an hour or two. But moth caterpillars sometimes do things slower. I picked two kinds of oak leaves, willow, and black cherry for it. Last night, I woke up and I saw where he had eaten about half of one of the oak leaves and there was frass all over! Hurray! I picked him a couple of leaves from the exact same tree so hopefully he'll like those.

I still wonder how he ended up on the well. My guess is he might have purposely dropped to protect himself. I'm pretty sure those dark marks on him before he molted were wounds. But I still wonder about that shed skin below him because he was actually in the process of molting when I found him. Confused Because I moved him from his silk pad, I had to help him molt. Basically, I held his anal prolegs down while he did the hard work. I did pull the final bit because it looked like he was getting tired. I hope I get to see him turn into a cool moth. We should appreciate moths more. There are so many more of them than butterflies, they evolved way earlier, and some of them are very important pollinators for specific plants - like orchids! Thumbs up
Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Dragonflies 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
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jimard8
Feb 5, 2017 6:05 PM CST
Melanie the frost free date here is April 24
However . to some plants , that is no matter ,
I have a season old Smooth blue aster that is starting to grow and the Fleabane (at least three types ) is evergreen and will begin now to grow (all outside .

I had to take a Black Cherry out and have a small one to replace , Finding a place without wires for it to grow a concern ,

All things take some planning I don't expect Giant Swallowtail larvae and do not usually see many Black swallowtails either

Woodsy type Butterflies I see several of , The tree or forest edge types Go with what is I guess is the point of the story ,
In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
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
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mellielong
Feb 5, 2017 9:48 PM CST
That's cool, though, Jim. I usually have to go hiking to see the woodsy type butterflies. It's super rare to see a Carolina Satyr in my yard, but I see them all the time when I go hiking. I also see a lot more Hairstreaks when I hike. I guess you just have to make the best of what you're given to work with! Thumbs up
Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Dragonflies 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
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jimard8
Feb 6, 2017 8:15 AM CST
I get a few Wood satyrs . a few Hairstreaks , I miss seeing them most of the time , I had not seen any Red spotted Purples in years until the Black cherry trees started showing up around here ,
Red Admirals and Comma's like larvae starting in rough partly shaded areas , but love to sun bask on Hot Concrete places ,,
I may have seen a Metalmark on the Fleabane a few times only I have not got a picture clear enough or a good look to tell if it was that ,,
There are Bunches of BF's I have not seen copper , pearly eye ,, their only possibles here , Emperors are rare here , , so forth ,

Anyway to get see any is go ,, Hurray!
In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
Name: María Cecilia Merlo
La Plata, ARGENTINA
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ceci
Feb 6, 2017 11:02 AM CST


Monarca
I've been searching in internet and I found that the monarch that lives in Argentina in a Danaus erippus. Here it is:
Monarca ( Danaus erippus)
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Espejito (Agraulis vanillae)
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Borde de oro (Battus polydamas)
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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
Image
mellielong
Feb 6, 2017 11:48 AM CST
Cool, Ceci! I Googled the Latin name for your Monarch and it seems we up here in the Northern Hemisphere refer to it as the "Southern Monarch". Makes sense. Also, another common name for the Polydamas is the "Gold Rim" Swallowtail which I think is roughly what "Borde de Oro" translates to. Neat! Thanks for bringing us your international butterfly experience! Thumbs up
Name: Jim D
East Central Indiana (Zone 5b)
Seed Starter Dragonflies 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
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jimard8
Feb 6, 2017 12:04 PM CST
I agree I agree I agree Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! Thank You! ceci
In the Butterfly garden if a plant is not chewed up I feel like a failure
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge 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
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frostweed
Feb 7, 2017 8:01 AM CST
Gorgeous butterflies CeCi, Thank you for posting.
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: María Cecilia Merlo
La Plata, ARGENTINA
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ceci
Feb 9, 2017 7:54 AM CST
bataraza ( Ortilia ithra ) is a small butterfly very common in my area
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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
Image
mellielong
Feb 9, 2017 8:19 AM CST
Nice! Not every butterfly can be a Swallowtail, but that doesn't mean we love them any less. Glad to see the little ones getting representation!
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge 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
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frostweed
Feb 9, 2017 8:21 AM CST
Very Nice Ceci. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
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
Image
mellielong
Feb 9, 2017 11:20 AM CST
So I went to the doctor this morning because I caught the cold my brother brought home. Thumbs down But before that, I had to let a female Orange-Barred Sulphur go. I thought she had another day by the look of the chrysalis, but they do like to surprise me. She was ready to fly so I sneaked this pic before I opened the lid fully.

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And in bigger surprises...Mom just knocked on my door and said I had a butterfly out. I thought I only had one left that was overwintering and that it was a Polydamas. FYI, they're still out in the formal living room because moving stuff back into my room has been a very slow process. And I hurt my back bringing books back in. Anyway, I walked out there expecting a Polydamas, and I got a female Pipevine instead! Would've sworn I only had one left and it was a Poly. Hmm...I really need to clean my containers. I'm going to be needing them soon! Well, she was ready to fly, but again I cracked the lid and sneaked a few pics. You can see it's female because she doesn't have the blue iridescence like the males show, especially in the sun.

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