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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default It's Butterfly time.

    I like to plant Dill for the Black Swallowtail Butterflies. My daughter loves to collect the caterpillars when they get bigger and let them grow into Butterflies.

    Here is a pic of a pupa.(Pretty sure it's a BST pupa) Found 6 tonight. Pretty cool. I am actually running a few weeks behind. Planted my dill 3+ weeks late. I will post updated pics as they grow.




    Here are a some pics of last years crop.




    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default Re: It's Butterfly time.

    Thanks for posting Derek!
    I checked my dill last week and it was covered with BST cats. Another excellent plant for hosting BST's is rue- it's a perennial, it's heat-hardy, and it will usually spread by seed. I highly recommend it if your daughter likes butterflies.

    Here's a link to a photo of rue with cats in it that I took a couple of years ago:

    http://www.pbase.com/dragonfly/image/68408169
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ennis, TX USA
    Posts
    5,124

    Default Re: It's Butterfly time.

    I will buy some Rue! Those BST cats were huge!! Are the dark colored ones BST cat's too?

    Looked tonight. They have grown 1/16" easy today. In my first pic they are a 3/16" today a 1/4"+ I will get some pics tomorrow.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default Re: It's Butterfly time.

    According to the people at a butterfly forum I visit on occasion, they were all BST's. I do have giant swallowtails here too, and have wondered if maybe that's what they were, but have never looked it up to see what a GST cat looks like.
    I really do recommend rue for its butterfly hosting properties and its toughness. It will get huge, if you don't keep it trimmed back, and it seems to do pretty well even if you don't water it. It's better if you do, of course, but it seems acclimated to our area pretty well. I need to get a new plant or two of it, because mine is getting old and is starting to show its age, but it still hangs in there. Another plus, is that it keeps its leaves in winter, so it gives me a little color in the garden all year long.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    parker county, tx
    Posts
    7,923

    Default Re: It's Butterfly time.

    Well, nevermind. It's definitely not a GST cat. Looks nothing like it.
    So many weeds.......so little time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,692

    Default Re: It's Butterfly time.

    Dragonfly, the striped ones looked like Monarch butterfly caterpillars.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Marlin, Texas
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: It's Butterfly time.

    The Black Swallowtail and the Monarch caterpillars look similar except the Monarch has a couple of antennae. The Queen also looks similar to the Monarch except it has an additional set of antennae near the middle of the caterpillar.

    The University of Minnesota has a "citizen science" program to monitor Monarch larva, http://www.mlmp.org

    If you gently touch a swallowtail caterpillar in the mid back, it will raise its head and expose orange "scent horns". If you let the caterpillar touch you with the scent horns you will be the recipient of the worst smelling scent you can imagine.

    I always thought the Giant Swallowtail caterpillar looked like a bird dropping with eyes. A good host plant for these is the "Wafer Ash" (Ashe?) or "Hop Tree".

    Walt
    Last edited by Walt B; 06-04-2010 at 06:37 AM. Reason: spelling
    "Having Fun with Nature"
    www.rgf-tx.com

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