First Butterfly Emerges in 2012!

misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)February 17, 2012

From the chrysalides in a cage on my front porch, that is.

It was a pipevine swallowtail. I think the white on the forewing is on the back of it and just showing through, so it's a male - he has too much blue to be a female.

The first spring butterflies are always so much smaller than the later ones, and this little guy was no exception -

The freeze we had about a week ago killed a lot of the new growth that was sprouting on many plants here, but not all, so some things will have to start all over again.

It's warm today, though, and there are no freezes in the forecast - let's hope it stays that way, and spring is really here!


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I sure hope it's the last of any arctic blasts here in OKC, MissSherry!

He's a beauty, despite his small stature, and I'm sure the females won't know the difference, or won't care, lol!

I'm hoping the milkweed shows up earlier than last year. Remember when the migration started and very little milkweed was available yet?

I've got a great start on the Fennel, since it rarely gets killed back to the roots, and stays evergreen all winter.

Guess what I saw today? A big, beautiful Mourning Cloak! Yeah! Maybe there will be a good population of them this year. It's been awhile since I've seen any great numbers of them around, just one or two here and there. About 5 or 6 years ago, they were plentiful. So, I guess they experience population fluctuations, too.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 8:41PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Fantastic, Susan!
I think mourning cloaks are one of the most beautiful of all butterflies. I've forgotten what their host plant is - willows? - but if I were you, I'd sure have some of it just in case I got lucky! Being on the very southern edge of their range, chances are slim to none I'd ever get any on my willows. I've only seen one, and that was in late fall, and the individual was very worn.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2012 at 10:30PM
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I have had a female Spicebush and a male Giant Swallowtail emerge already from chrysalis that overwintered since July.
The poor Spicebush emerged just before our first cold spell and I wondered if she got far enough away.

Yesterday I had a female Giant and a male Giant in the yard as well as a female Spicebush and a Cloudless Sulphur and a very aggressive Monarch who wanted all of them out of his yard!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2012 at 12:12PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

You've seen a lot of butterflies for February, Mary - congratulations!
Another little male pipevine swallowtail emerged. I got his picture when he landed on the ground before flying off -

I've been working outside again today in this cool weather. It sure is invigorating!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2012 at 5:23PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

A female emerged today - she's a good bit bigger than the boys.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 5:24PM
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Yeah for FEMALES! They finally garner a WIN! in the insect world!

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 7:34PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)



    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 7:54PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Another little male emerged today for a total of four PVS so far.
The pipevines are making new growth, so I guess they've emerged at the right time!

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 1:54PM
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