Giant Swallowtail in Garden

misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)July 13, 2011

I have over forty giant swallowtail chrysalides in cages, and surely the oldest of them will start emerging soon! I used every Ptelea trifoliata leaf and nearly all the rue in raising them, but they're beginning to make new growth, which egg-laying females should love.

In the meantime, this adult visited the garden. Once again, milkweed is right up there with lantana in the popularity contest of nectar plants. The only thing badly wrong with my garden this year is I that I didn't plant any Mexican sunflowers. Mexican sunflowers are the BEST nectar plants for making pictures, because the butterflies can sit still on those big, platform flowers.

Anyway, here's today's visitor -


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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Beautiful pictures!! I am seeing an occasional Giant Swallowtail nectaring, however, no eggs yet. I hope I get some this year. Haven't had any since I've lived here. They always found my rue at my other house.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:46PM
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runmede(7a Virginia)

Amazing. I need some of those beauties. It has been a long time since I have seen them in my area, but I see them further out in the country.

I have plenty of rue, some hop tree, and prickly ash, plus I think it is a hardy wild lime (purchased from a Georgia nursery). Bring them on.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 1:48PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

When mine start to emerge, I'll send them your way! :)
When I was out checking the bare limbs of one of the Ptelea bushes looking for new growth, this little dragonfly perched right in front of my face, so I had to make its picture -

My Pteleas never get more than about 6' tall. Does anybody have any tips on how to get them to grow bigger? I put chicken manure, sometimes mixed with chemical fertilizers, around them periodically, but their growth is still limited.
The male gulf frit that's been hanging around was flitting from one lantana flower to the other -


    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 2:16PM
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I'm jealous!
I have prickly ash Giant Swallowtails but there's some sort of beetle larva that attacked them early this spring and nearly defoliated them. Not much left for the Giant Swallowtails and I haven't seen a single one this year.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:35PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

The first giant swallowtail emerged this morning, and I just released him - 'looked like a male, but I'm not sure.
I got another 2" of rain yesterday - YAY!
I actually saw TWO gulf frits at one time in my garden! One was the above pictured individual, and the other was a somewhat worn male - still no female. It's strange, because of the twelve gulf frits I released earlier, about eight of them were females. Before the hurricane, there would be six or seven gulf frits in my garden at one time - sigh. Maybe those days will return eventually.
All the giant swallowtail host plants are making new growth, which is good!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:51PM
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I can't type. I meant to say I have Prickly Ash FOR Giant Swallowtails.
Last summer, the Gulf Frits ventured north to my garden but I don't think it's common for them to get this far. I hope they do show up again. They're beautiful!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 1:41PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Yes, they are beautiful, Christie!
I see typos that I make here and there on this forum. I read the preview, so you'd think I'd see all my mistakes!
I knew you meant prickly for giant swallowtails, not a new type of swallowtail. :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 2:55PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

Oops! I meant prickly ASH for giant swallowtails - you started something here! :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 2:56PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

That giant is a beauty! I dont know why but the giants only come to see me when they are pretty worn and tattered. I love that dragonfly too.

Thank you, I enjoyed your pictures.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 8:35PM
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