Gulf Fritillary Eggs!

misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)May 29, 2011

This afternoon when I went out to my garden there was a female gulf frit nectaring on the big lantana bush. I knew right away she was a female, because she was obviously tawny colored. I found 5 eggs in a short time, so she's probably laid more.

I really love those gulf frits! They may be common, but you can't get much more striking than a newly emerged male gulf frit - they're nearly red!

The battery in my camera gave out, and I can't find the charger - I'll probably have to buy another one.

So here's a picture from last year of a male gulf frit -


Sherry

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siam_cannas(13)

great pic miss sherry, ive got some heliconius ricini, and dione juno cats on my passiflora edulis vine now.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 9:13PM
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psyc1210

How exciting!! I don't get the pleasure of seeing the Gulf Frits up here in Maryland. :(

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 10:41PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I took this picture of the Mama GF yesterday - I haven't seen her today. I guess it's the afternoon sun, but she looks darker in this picture than she really was -

Here's a picture (trimmed) I took of one of the eggs. I took pictures of several of them, and they all look golden brown with a yellow area in them - I assume the yellow things are the tiny cats?

Sherry

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 4:48PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Oooooohhhhhhh! Great photos, MissSherry! I love the GFs, too. Those flashes of silver when they fly and when they flutter their wings is just so beautiful! I also like them because they tend to stick around the garden once they've found your passion vines!

I also find them easy to raise compared to others.

Susan

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 9:14PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I love them, too, Susan!
I saw a giant swallowtail in my garden today, and I hoped to find eggs. I found a grand total of two eggs! I didn't find any more gulf frit eggs - still just five - so I'll have to guard those few eggs of each type real closely. I'd like to bring them in as soon as they hatch.
Hopefully, I'll find more gulf frit and giant swallowtail eggs!
Sherry

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 10:59PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Woo Hoo, love those Gulf Frits! We don't get them here every year--just the years where we have strong southerly winds. They are so exotic looking.

And, Giant Swallowtails to boot! You are twice blessed. My rue plants are waiting. I had eggs and raised them at our last house, but haven't had any eggs in the seven years we've lived here. I do occasionally see the adults. I hope this is the year they decide to leave me some presents.

Sandy

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 11:02AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I hope they do, too, Sandy!
'The' female giant swallowtail was back early this morning. I saw her lay an egg at the very top of my orange tree - to get this one, I'll need my 8' step ladder, and I may still not be able to reach it. She laid the first two eggs yesterday on a Ptelea trifoliata in my garden. I just got back in from the garden and found two more eggs that she laid on some rue. I put the word "the" in quotes earlier, because there are actually two giant swallowtails hanging out in my garden. I thought 'she' was really getting around, until I saw one GST at one end of the garden and another one at the other end! 'Don't know if they're both females or one is a male.
Anyway, it appears that she or they are taking their time laying eggs, not laying a lot all at once like they've done in the past.
I got this picture of the one I saw laying an egg on my orange tree as she nectared on milkweed -

The gulf frit never came back, at least I haven't seen her, and I haven't found any more than the five original eggs. These five have all turned real dark, so they should be hatching at any moment. If this year is typical, the vines will get chewed down to the nubs sooner or later! :)

Sherry

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 1:54PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

You reminded me that I need to plant my Ptelea trifoliata tree that I grew from seed, and the Hercules' Club tree that I got from Mary Ann when she was here in May. The Toothache tree is really nice--lot's of great foliage, and my wafer ash tree has grown well also. My biggest problem is getting hubby to let me plant more trees in the yard. He thinks we have enough. One never has enough trees, IMHO, LOL. And I'm the one who has to mow around them. The zero turn makes it pretty easy.

Maybe with several host plants to choose from, the GSTs will decide I'm worthy of their eggs!!

Sandy

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 2:11PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Yes, I'd say their first preference is Ptelea trifoliata, but rue, toothache tree and orange trees get eggs, too. And I agree, you can never have too many trees - they don't need weeding like garden plants!
Sherry

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 2:52PM
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