misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)June 23, 2013

I was out gathering red-spotted purple hatchling caterpillars when I spotted this buckeye -

It was in the meadow/weed pit by the side of the road where a good bit of Agalinis is coming up, so I'll be on the lookout for cats. I believe I remember a faded buckeye passing through early this spring, but this is the first one I've seen that reasonably might leave eggs, assuming it's a female, of course! :)


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catherinet(5 IN)

Great pic Sherry! I love those Buckeyes. We have lots of them when the summer gets going. They do seem to like the edges of the fields. So handsome!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 5:26PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Thanks, Catherine!

I was back out again, and I saw a worn female spicebush swallowtail, with her tails gone. She may be the one who laid the eggs that made the cats I'm now raising.
I also saw the male spicebush swallowtail and my first giant swallowtail of the year! I couldn't tell if it was a male or female, but I saw the bar across it, so I know it wasn't a palamedes swallowtail. By its rapid flight, it wasn't laying eggs, but, if it was a female, she might stop and visit my Ptelea trifoliatas, rues or orange tree. Let's hope anyway!


    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 5:54PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Great news, Sherry. Hope you find some cats, or an egg-laying female. My one cat finally started eating, apparently didn't like being in captivity. But now it is getting really big.

I'm waiting for the Spicebush Swallowtails to come here, they don't make their appearance until it gets really hot--we are just about there! The Butterfly bushes are just beginning to bloom, as is the Vitex, so the air is heavily scented and I'm beginning to see some new butts. I've had two female Monarchs hanging around on the milkweed the last few days--but not laying any eggs. Don't know if they have ever mated, or are out of eggs. This is a behavior that I haven't seen before. One of the females was very tattered; but the second female is in pretty good shape. Hope a male flies through soon and knocks her off of her feet, if that's the problem. Both females have visited the different milkweeds and just perched on the leaves. I keep checking where they've been, but no eggs. And I'm not observing the ovipositing pose.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 6:25PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Hmmmm......I can't recall seeing that behavior either, Sandy. I haven't seen any monarchs at all, but my most common time to see them is late summer or fall, when I usually get a batch of eggs.

I hope your giant cat thrives! Spicebush swallowtails show up in early spring here, normally, but this year wasn't normal.

I agree, though, a male monarch needs to fly through - maybe the younger female hasn't mated yet.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 7:10PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

I found two real small buckeye caterpillars on some Agalinis in the same vicinity where the buckeye was. I wasn't going to raise them myself, but then I saw flies that looked like those dreaded tachinids and other predators, so I brought them in to the porch where they're under protection! :)

I'll look for more tomorrow.


    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 11:55PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Neato! Congrats to you. I have not yet seen a Buckeye. In fact, I am not really seeing the big butterflies here yet. I have Sleepy Oranges and Cloudless Sulphurs laying on my Sicklepod Senna, and those are the only cats that I have right now.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 11:23AM
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"I'm beginning to see some new butts". Too funny! That will be our new tag line.

Miss Sherry, have you ever watched the male buckeyes courting the female? It is really funny.

Sandy, the lonesome female is worrisome. I had a female visit my yard a month ago. She looked like she was looking for milkweed but when I looked at my plants there were no eggs. Granted some were small but a few were good sized. Certainly I had a femail last year who laid eggs on three inch high milkweed in April. I hope there isn't something else going on.


    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 6:33PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Elisabeth, I'm just now seeing your post. No, I've never seen them courting. Do they do something out of the norm?

When I get food for the cats in the cages, I keep finding more little cats. Today I found one that's not so little. I debated whether or not to bring it in, thinking it might be parasitized, but I decided to do so. I got a picture of it -

I think buckeye cats have beautiful coloring!


    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 8:40PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Wonderful shot Sherry, and I agree with you. Those blue dots are da bomb!!! Congrats!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 9:00AM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

All the buckeye cats have pupated a while back, so I expect them to start emerging soon. I saw an adult buckeye today in the same grassy area where I found the first batch, so maybe there will be more cats in the near future - I hope so, anyway.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 6:40PM
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