Where are the Giants?

shannon74April 29, 2012

Hi everyone

I live in North Texas. by this time last year I was seeing lots of Giant Swallowtails, and had released a bunch myself. With last year's drought and record heat, I did not see any Giants in the mid to late summer and consequently had none to overwinter, whereas the year before I had about 20 overwinter. There are TONS of other butterflies - red admirals, emperors, frits, lots of mourning cloaks even, but no swallowtails to be seen. What gives??

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I could be asking the same question - I've only seen one this year, and he didn't leave me any eggs or cats. I think people in the Florida peninsula are seeing them, so they should spread out soon. I don't usually get eggs until later in the summer, unless I've had some adults to overwinter, which I didn't this year.

I sure hope the giants aren't in low numbers this year. If they are, they're the only ones!


    Bookmark   April 29, 2012 at 10:21AM
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mechelle_m(z9 TX)

I have been seeing a few giants but none has visited my yard and laid any eggs. I am seeing about the normal number in my area, but not in great abundance like the other butterflies...


    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 2:58PM
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Sorry that you haven't been seeing any Giants, perhaps soon. It's early for them here yet. The only Giants I've seen are the approx. 20 that I've released so far this year. They are one of my favorites!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 4:32PM
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I have been asking myself the same question. Like everyone else, I have seen RA's, VF's, Sulfurs of all sorts, Buckeyes, Whites, etc., but haven't seen any of the swallowtails. My husband says he has only seen a couple. I'm hoping they will show up sometime this month. After all, I did plant fennel and dill just for the black swallowtails. They have to show up. (please?????)

Ms. Faith

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 3:04PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

I had two Giants overwinter. One eclosed a month ago; the second one yesterday. So, they just may be late eclosing. Haven't had any BSTs here yet. All the plants are up and waiting.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 5:48PM
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mechelle_m(z9 TX)

I have seen a few black swallowtails, just not in my yard. However, Ninja Momma came and left me 4 eggs and all have hatched. I very rarely see them in my yard, just the evidence that the female has visited.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 11:13PM
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fighting8r(10 Fort Myers Florida)

I've seen none, did find one little cat and had him on a potted citrus for a few days but he disappeared. Seems like we usally see them more in the fall though. hmm..

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 11:19AM
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mechelle_m(z9 TX)

As I was leaving to go to an elementary school to give a presentation on raising butterflies, a Momma GST came to visit and left me at least one egg! Got to take it with me to the presentation. Hopefully she will come back often and leave lots of eggs.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 7:05PM
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As far as I know, there hasn't been a single swallowtail around other than the Pipevine Swallowtails. My theory being that swallowtails could be more sensitive to disasters including drought, extreme heat and wildfires...like we had in Texas in recent years. We had no real rain all of April (triggering my drought phobia), than last weekend, we got a good one! Now, thunderstorms are going on. Yes! I hope that later in the year, the other swallowtails that disappeared will repopulate the areas of Texas that don't have them anymore. The RA's are thinning out and leaving my area lately.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 10:25PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Had my first eclosure yesterday of my 2011 GST chrysalises.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 2:41AM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

Found my first GST egg of the year. Normally I get a bunch when I do get them but today there was only one.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2012 at 10:25PM
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I hadn't seen but maybe 1 GST so far this year until a few days ago. So far, no eggs here on my rue, lime, or Prickly Ash I just planted in the fall.
I hadn't seen a single BST here either but have found several cats on a native plant I've never seen until this year when I let a 1/4 acre of my property go "wild" as a meadow(have always mowed all our property until this spring). I have been collecting local native seeds from my area but not sure what the plant is that looks like a dwarf dill with tiny seeds but have found several cats on it. I have had lots of PVST cats & they ate my abundant A.fimbriata down to the ground so I put them all on my 2 A.tormentosas. Saw a beautiful new male PVST flitting around earlier this morning.
I think they are just late...I hope!!!
I haven't seen a single Tiger this year either but last year they were everywhere!!! I have planted some Black Cherries & a plum tree for them & have native Mexican Plums on the back of our property but haven't seen a single one yet! ;o(

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 3:34PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I sure hope we all get some giant swallowtail eggs! I planted LOTS of rue, and I'm growing a hop tree in a container to plant out this fall, plus I've got my big orange tree and a young satsuma tree, but I've only seen one giant this year. :(

The small plant that looks like dill might be mock bishop's weed. It grows here, and I've even fertilized some of it in my garden to help it out. Dill, fennel and parsley don't do well here, can't survive the summers - mock bishop weed thrives here, and black swallowtails have used it before.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 4:38PM
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