Butterfly Season 2016

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Brooke
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Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:13 pm

Drove down south today and picked up some milkweed, including a type I didn't know existed.

The nurseryman was nice and allowed me to take as many Monarch caterpillars as I came across, which turned out to be seven! Yay!

I do love the little creatures so. :D


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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:18 pm

Asclepias linaria – Pineneedle Milkweed

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Plant Name

Scientific Name: Asclepias linaria

Common Names: Pineneedle Milkweed, Pine-Needle Milkweed, Needle-Leaf Milkweed

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Subshrub, Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland

Flower Color: White

Flowering Season: Spring, Summer, Fall (early)

Height: To 5 feet (1.5 m) tall, but usually less

Description: The flowers are in umbel-like, terminal clusters and have 5 reflexed petals and an erect hood that extends beyond the central column. The flower buds are pink. The seed capsules are teardrop-shaped and 2 inches (5 cm) long. The leaves densely line the stems and are dark green, narrowly linear, and resemble pine needles.
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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:10 pm

One of the seven is in the "J" position already. :)
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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:11 pm

I have seen a few Tachnid flies and parasitic wasps hovering around my milkweed outdoors, which are monster predators of Monarchs. I will have to figure out a way to get rid of them if that is possible.
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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:23 pm

Second caterpillar in the "J" position and likely one more to go sometime today. I just hope they are healthy.
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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:12 pm

The third just dropped into the "J" position and a fourth caterpillar is investigating them. He or she is trying to find a spot near the others. They often cluster their chrysalises close together. Just one more thing that makes them so cute and adorable.
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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:19 pm

One chrysalis! :D Everything is going well so far.
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ShiftyMutt
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby ShiftyMutt » Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:33 pm

I admire your excitement to start again, and appreciate your efforts. This season I'll not be as 'into' it as last season. I have about 4 but they're eating cucumbers because my 8 milkweed plants are bare, they're growing, but pretty bare. Also, they ate my seedlings already. It'll just be a very casual thing for me if at all this time, or maybe late in the season when my plants grow.

Flutter on! :)

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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:06 pm

I guess my excitement shows doesn't it? I don't know why, but I just love butterflies, especially Monarchs. They are disappearing from the USA and their Mexican wintering grounds by the millions. Each year the count is lower than the previous year so they are in danger of dying out completely if we don't help them.

Which is why I put in the extra effort and money to take care of the eggs, caterpillars and release as many healthy adults as I can.
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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:00 pm

BTW ShiftyMut, your caterpillars will die eating cucumbers. They can only survive eating milkweed.
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mslayers
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby mslayers » Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:01 pm

Yes! Butterflies are awesome. Looking forward to spotting these beauties more and more in the area.

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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:25 pm

Out of the original seven caterpillars four died in the "J" position. One with a white string coming from its body, which is indicative of being parasitized by Tachinid fly larvae (maggots). GROSS and very sad.

Three of the caterpillars made it to the chrysalis stage, but one was infected with something (part of it was discolored) so it went into the freezer. Also sad.

Only two left. I hope they are healthy.

Now I know why they don't sell caterpillars.
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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Sat Apr 30, 2016 12:37 pm

Yay! Just found a baby Gulf Frittilary caterpillar on the Blue Passion Flower Vine. There are at least two more eggs. Should hatch soon if the same mother laid the eggs. :D
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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Sat Apr 30, 2016 2:39 pm

gulffrittilarycaterpillar.jpg
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The top of wings have no shine at all, but the colors under the wings are iridescent. Also, the facial features of Monarch caterpillars look nothing like the adult butterflies, but the facial features of Gulf Fritilaries resemble the caterpillars.
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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Sun May 01, 2016 1:06 pm

Make that two Gulf Fritilary caterpillars so far. :D

The caterpillars aren't cute, but they don't sting and the butterflies are beautiful.
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Brooke
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby Brooke » Thu May 05, 2016 5:32 pm

Three Gulf Fritillaries, found another one today. :D
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Re: Butterfly Season 2016

Postby crayegg » Wed May 11, 2016 9:18 am

Good news for Monarchs:

Seven Native American tribes in Oklahoma will provide habitat and food on their lands for monarch butterflies, whose numbers have plummeted in recent years due to troubles along their lengthy migration route.

Tribal leaders said at a news conference on Tuesday in Shawnee, southeast of Oklahoma City, they will plant crucial vegetation for the butterflies, including milkweed and native nectar-producing plants, on their lands.

<Snip>


Native Americans Help Monarch Butterflies

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