Swallowtails are back

organic_kitten(8)March 25, 2011

I've seen a couple of skippers, but mainly, I'm seeing Swallowtails, light and dark.

They are really liking the plain old garden variety verbena, probably because not much else than tulips is blooming.


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I sure do miss seeing tulips. Can't grow them here in Florida. Yours are very pretty, Kay.

Do you know what kind of swallowtails you are seeing? Eastern blacks? Tigers? Giants?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 7:23AM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Really pretty garden shot there Kay!! I am in NW GA, and I am seeing some Eastern Black Swallowtails and some Tigers now.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 1:59PM
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Beautiful pictures, Kay! I just saw my first GST yesterday! I have Tigers nectaring on my native Mexican Plums on the back of my property along with a million bees, ALs, Buckeyes, Pearl Crescents, & other bugs. I already have eggs on my A.tormentosa & A. clementitis from a lady PVST I saw a week or so ago. So far, I haven't seen any BSTs except for when I released 3 that eclosed after overwintering in my BF box.

I planted daffodils & hyacinths here in North Texas...tulips don't rebloom for us here & I don't want to have to re-plant them every year! You would have to dig them up & refrigerate them every year to keep them blooming! Yours are beautiful!!!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 11:03AM
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I have Polydamas Swallowtails laying their eggs, saw my first Spicebush last week and found 2 eggs on my Camphor. Been seeing Giant Swallowtails flying around but haven't found any eggs on my Wild Lime yet. Saw a Red Admiral and a Buckeye in my yard as well as the Moarchs and Frits.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 7:38PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Beautiful pictures of some beautiful tulips and a handsome tiger! Tulips won't grow here - they say it gets too hot for them.
I've been seeing some swallowtails, too, several male tigers, plus lots of palamedes swallowtails, at least one spicebush swallowtail, lots of sulphurs of several types, and I saw my first red-spotted purple today. I also saw a red admiral, so I checked out the nettles, and there it was, the first red admiral nest for 2011!


    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 8:06PM
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I have false nettle seeds but am trying to figure out the best place for them...any suggestions? How big does it get? Is it hard to control?
I also have English Plantain seeds but am afraid it will overtake my BF garden & maybe there are easier host plants to control???

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 11:01AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Is it just me, or are others having trouble logging in?
I had to try four times before it worked, and I could post!

I don't know about English plantain, imabirdnut. I think that was the type plantain (looong, thin leaves?) that I planted once, but it died and never returned. The only type that grows here is the native type, Plantago virginica.

False nettle is, in my opinion, the best host for red admirals. Not only does it not have stingers, other butterflies will lay eggs on it, too, like, in my area, question marks will use it. It naturally grows in bogs, ditches, and other very wet areas, but it can grow in normal garden soil, provided it doesn't dry out too much. The plants that are growing in a wet area on my property grow wider every year - the garden plants hardly spread at all. Just remember to water your plants in your garden should it get real dry, and they'll do fine in that situation.


    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 3:03PM
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No trouble logging in here.

In some cases it must take a while for the red admirals to find the false nettle. I have some pretty big ones and had a few butterflies the first year and only a few the second year. This year there seems to be more. Perhaps it's just seasonal?
They die off in winter months, or at least lose most of their leaves, but they come back.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 3:48PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I grew false nettles for a few years before I ever got the first red admiral caterpillar. I was beginning to think I'd never have any. Eventually they came, spasmodically at first, but now they're regular, making caterpillar nests mainly in early spring and fall, but off and on in the summer as well.
They're troubled hugely by parasitic wasps - SO many of my caterpillar nests are parasitized, I raise a lot of them myself.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 7:37PM
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alex928 Z8/LA

There are a couple of large azalea bushes a short distance from my house which seem to attract swallowtails (along with carpenter bees). Every butterfly I have seen there so far has been a swallowtail. I'm usually a little hesitant to get too close to them because I don't want to scare them off; however, today I actually did get rather close to a gorgeous male Tiger who didn't seem too inclined to fly off right away. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me (blah!).

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 4:12PM
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Here is one I saw a while back

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 10:03PM
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