A new butterfly to raise

butterflymomok(7a NE OK)June 30, 2011

Yesterday I watched a Goatweed Leafwing lay eggs on croton plants. Here is a photo. The egg is small, white and has little yellow specks on it. There is evidence that I have had caterpillars on my crotons, but they have disappeared. I will raise these inside. There are 5 eggs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Goatweed Leafwing egg

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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Wow, Sandy, that's a fantastic picture of the egg!
I've raised these butterflies before on the local crotons, which are C. capitatum, as I recall. I find the adult butterflies to be absolutely maddening. They keep their wings up nearly all the time, so you can't see the beautiful orange coloring of their topsides. Obviously when they fly, they have to open their wings, but they fly in an erratic fashion, and you can hear a 'click' with each wing opening. I couldn't even get a picture of the topside of my adults when they emerged in my cages. I'd stand there, camera in hand, battery running, waiting for them to open their wings, then I'd snap their picture. Well, they'd leave their wings up an entire nanosecond!
I did manage to get some pictures of the cats, though.
Here's a goatweed leafwing hatchling - notice they make a frass string like red-spotted purple and viceroy hatchlings do -

Here's a picture of a late instar cat -

And here's a chrysalis - they look like a monarch chrysalis, only smaller, and the green coloring is more yellow green -

Sherry

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 10:34PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Thanks, Sherry. Those are great pictures. I have seen the evidence that the caterpillars were on the croton. However, as I said, they have disappeared. The leaves look just like your photo--and just like the Viceroy and Red Spotted Purple do to the willow leaves. It's interesting that their chrysalides are like the Monarchs, and yet the caterpillar is nothing like the Monarch larva.

It will be fun to raise these and document the different stages.

I've got a photo of a Goatweed Leafwing with wings open; it was basking in the sun and didn't know I was watching it. Need to check my storage hard drive and find it.

Sandy

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 11:02PM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

REALLY terrific shot of the egg Sandy. Wow. How exciting is that? Keep us posted on the progress. Sherry, I love your pics, esp the one which shows the frass string. Very interesting.~`Angie

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 10:09AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Today the first caterpillar formed a chrysalis. I have photos of the Goatweed chrysalis added to my pbase gallery. If you click on previous, you can see the 5 photos from egg to chrysalis.

Though the chrysalis is similar in shape to the Monarch, the surface is covered with lots of wrinkles and spots.

Here is a link that might be useful: Goatweed Leafwing Chrysalis

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 1:27PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

What a fantastic picture, Sandy! And congrats on getting the chrysalis!
I don't remember seeing those wrinkles in mine, just a few spots. Maybe if I'd had a good camera, it would have showed them.
Sherry

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 1:45PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

My GOSH! What fantastic pictures!

What kind of cameras do you guys use?? I can barely figure out this point and shoot I just got, it's maddening. You have the little square? You're supposed to put your object in that square? I do, and it's blurry. I try taking pictures from afar and then cropping, they're blurry. I had a camera, bought it 2 yrs ago that took great pictures. It decided to die this yr. That camera and this camera are Canons. I don't understand aperture and ISO if that's even right....I'm just hopeless :(

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 5:34PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Thanks!! I have a Canon Rebel T2i. My lens is a 60mm macro. I take lots and lots of images and delete those that don't work. This one required trying several lighting situations and using a tripod. The ring flash was too much, so I finally got a balance of natural light with the built-in flash.

I find the patterns on this chrysalis intriguing. There are rows and circles of repeated patterns with borders in between. There's the "zippers", and lots of speckles of different colors. The whole thing looks like a piece of porcelain that has a crackle glaze. The beauty is so incredible when viewed upclose. I am always amazed at the details present in nature.

Sandy

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 6:27PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Amazing photo!! I'm like you. There's so much in nature, that sometimes I swear, it can't possibly be real.

Mine's a Canon too, but it's a point and shoot. Butterflies are so skittish (except Gray Hairstreaks, they like to pose for me). How do you get these perfect shots? I know you must take a lot, but still!

You know what bugs me about cameras nowadays? No darn viewfinder. How the heck am I supposed to see anything with the sun glaring on that screen? It's impossible and I miss so many shots that I don't get again.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 10:48PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

When I went to buy a camera in June 2008, an optical viewfinder was a must because I did not want to be one of those people who could not tell what they were pointing at. In June of this year, I was at a Brownie to Girl Scout ceremony for my daughter. Almost all the parents were relegated to one spot. Because of the sun, I was the only person in that group who knew what pictures he/she was taking.

Terry's post made me wonder what is out there these days. The answer is one camera for under $300 - the Canon Powershot A1200.

For more $, there are Canon G12, Nikon Coolpix P7000 and Nikon Coolpix P500.

If you are willing to shell out the big $, the Fujifilm Finepix X100 has a optical viewfinder that does some pretty incredible things.

Other option is to buy a discontinued camera.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 1:31AM
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imabirdnut

TOO COOL!!!
I've seen them here west of DFW but not sure what crotons look like?
Do you have pics of the host plant? I know there must me some native plants here but don't know what to look for???

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 11:26AM
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mary_littlerockar(8a-7b mid Arkansas)

Incredible photos and another new learning experience. Thank you so much for sharing.

Mary

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 2:20PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Woolly Croton is a member of the Euphorbaceae family. It is considered an invasive weed. Here I see it along dirt roads. I obtained a couple of plants from a native nursery and put it in a bed where I grow mainly natives, including pipevines and milkweeds. I will have to make sure I collect the seeds so the plant doesn't get "loose" in the neighborhood.

I have included a link to the USDA site. I got the plant as I have Goatweed Leafwings come to my fruit feeder. This spring, a female goatweed would perch in my Pawpaw tree, which is also in this garden, and watch me planting.

Sandy

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 2:48PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

KC, that camera has to be discontinued. The old camera of mine that died, was a Canon Powershot A1100IS, which had a viewfinder. I want to see the camera, hold the camera, mess with it, before I buy it. I'm not comfortable buying one online. The only camera with a viewfinder that I could find, was a Canon SX30IS. Only problem with it is that it has a mega zoom, so you sacrifice the macro. What the consider to be macro is a joke. The mega zoom was blurry. I really don't like saying I'm not smart enough to figure out aperture and lighting all that you need with a DSLR...so I'll say it's more my lack of patience. Sounds better...lol...

Sandy, if the woolly croton is an invasive weed, then why would a native plant nursery be selling it? I've never heard of a native nursery selling invasive plants. That's usually against what they stand for. Huh.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 4:12PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I still had the SX30 IS web page up. Just forgot to include it in my list.

Canon A1200 is new this year, announced in January from what I could find out. Lists for $110.

I've never bought a camera online. I always go to a camera store so I can play with it before buying, plus the sales people are normally camera experts. This can be tough to do these days since stand alone camera stores are few and far between these days. The main one in my area has closed many stores and has had a foot in the grave for years but is still hanging on. My favorite place closed probably 10 years ago.

Camera buying is always a compromise because nothing does everything you want. And if it does, you don't want to pay that much. ;)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 4:40PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Good question, Terry. Maybe it's not considered invasive here. When I find it in the wild, I will just find it here and there along an old road or path. I don't find a mass of it.

I'll know more about it's behavior as I raise it. It is blooming now, and as I said, I will collect the seed pods. I did purchase seeds online from a native plant organization. I just never got them planted so I got these plants.

The leaves are very interesting when you look at them up close. The hairs are not just long and straight, but they grow in star-shaped tufts. The caterpillar is very well camouflaged.

Sandy

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 6:13PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

I bought the Panasonic Lumix. I am really happy with it. It is sort of inbetween a point and shoot and a DSL. It has the option of an LCD screen or viewfinder. You can switch back and forth. It also has a great micro close-up.
-Elisabeth

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 10:26PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Great picture, Sandy!
Croton isn't an invasive weed, it's a native annual. I plan on gathering seeds this year - if I can remember to visit the roadside places where they grow at the right time - and plant them or maybe just drop them on my roadside. At one time I grew some in my garden, and the seedlings popped up freely.
Sherry

    Bookmark   July 26, 2011 at 10:33PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

KC, to look at that camera, it's like looking at my old camera. The reviews on amazon are confusing. Some think it's great just in auto, others say you need to mess with the megapixels and the ISO. I have not a clue on either, probably why my pictures look so bad. As far as a camera shop...what's that? My gosh, you'd think in such a small community, we'd have something like that, but I don't think I've seen anything like that. I drive an hour to get to Best Buy. Or I can go to Wally World or Target (Target is 20 miles away). I know I didn't see that camera at Best Buy. I would have bought it if I had!

Another great picture Sandy! Doing a search for woolly croton, it came up as an invasive. I don't know though, everything was talking about TX. So maybe only TX has a problem with it...? I have no clue.

Elisabeth, I asked at Best Buy about a Panasonic Lumix. I was told they had all low end cameras except for Canon. Canons sell, at this particular store, so that's what they push..sales guys words, not mine. Is yours like the new Sony that you put lenses on? Could I have the model number please?

Sherry, what kind of camera do you use?

Oh hey! I found 16 more eggs on my buttonbush!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 5:09PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Terry,

Congrats on finding more eggs! Have you had a chance to look them over?

A good place to check out cameras and what people think about them is B&H Photo online. I buy most of my camera equipment from them. I once bought a camera from them that had a scratch on the lens. They took it back, paid shipping and replaced it. You will read lots and lots of reviews from amateurs to pros. Then you can go out and look at the cameras and try them out. Walmart usually has a good selection of a variety of cameras. I buy from B&H because their prices have so far beat anything on Amazon, Ebay, or at the local stores.

HTH,

Sandy

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 5:21PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Sandy, I'm so excited! 3 have changed! I put the picture on my thread, and the picture of the eggs I found. I said I saw 5 on my thread, but I think it's 6. There has to be more that I'm just not finding. The bush is sort of wedged now between house, fence and then it overhangs the sidewalk somewhat. So it's kind of hard to look over very good. The cats are always on the underside, so when I see a chewed leaf, I'm really careful of handling the leaf, that I might touch or hit or knock off the cat! Plus I'm standing there talking to them the whole time, asking them where they are, show themselves, I wanna see...you all do this, right? lol..

I'll look up B&H Photo, thanks!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2011 at 10:35PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

The Goatweed Leafwing (Anaea andria) is ready to eclose and showing its colors. Check out the photo on pbase.

Here is a link that might be useful: Anaea andria chrysalis ready to eclose

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 11:35AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

The Goatweed has emerged! You can see the picture on pbase.

Here is a link that might be useful: Newly eclosed Goatweed Leafwing

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 12:43PM
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